A reader recently reached out to us after cleaning out some cluttered drawers in his kid’s room. He explained that he found a bunch of sugar cookies and other snacks that were in the drawers along with some clothing. He thinks the food was left in pockets and that’s how it got into the drawers. While cleaning he found some bugs that look like “short maggots with legs.” Some of the specimens were brown, some were white, and some were brown and white. He found a few of them in each of the drawers he cleaned out.
He has a few ideas about where these creatures are coming from. He thinks they could be coming from the food that somehow ends up in the drawers. He also mentioned that they used to have a pet mouse that lived on top of the dresser, and he found a few mouse droppings in the drawers, so he thinks the worm-like organisms could be related to that. He hopes we can weigh in on what these creatures are, where they are coming from, and if they are disease-spreading organisms.
Going off of the detailed information our reader provided and the photo, we believe he is dealing with carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are common household pests that feed on a wide range of items, including food particles and clothing, both of which were in the drawers where the creatures were found. Getting rid of these larvae requires cleaning, which our reader has already begun doing. We recommend he wash all of the clothing in the drawers if he hasn’t already in order to eliminate any unseen eggs or other larvae. He should also scrub out the drawers to get rid of all of the leftover crumbs from the food. Finally, we think it would be wise for him to investigate other areas in his home for these larvae, since sometimes they travel around a home looking for more food sources. Any areas that have been invaded will need to be thoroughly cleaned by sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and doing laundry.
To sum up, we believe the organisms our reader found in his kid’s drawers are carpet beetle larvae. While these specimens can be a headache to get rid of, he might find some comfort in knowing that they aren’t known to carry or transmit human diseases!