We recently heard from a reader in Trenton, New Jersey. She explained that she took the cushions off of her couch and was horrified to find some “tiny worm-looking things.” She said she vacuums all of the time and doesn’t know where the worms might be coming from. She wants to know if they might be harmful to her dog, who is 13, or harmful to humans. Finally, she would like to know how to get rid of the specimens.
We can see several small dark spots in this photograph, and we believe these are the creatures our reader would like us to identify. Unfortunately, we can’t see enough detail of them in order to identify them. Instead, we will list a couple of possibilities of what these specimens might be.
Our first idea is that these could be carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae have small, oval-shaped bodies that are rust colored and covered in hair-like bristles. Carpet beetle larvae can be extremely annoying household guests because they feed on a wide range of items discovered in a home including upholstered furniture, animal products, dust, and other small particles. Carpet beetle larvae aren’t harmful to humans or animals, but they do sometimes eat pet hair and pet food, so if these are carpet beetle larvae there might be more lurking on her dog’s bed. If our reader believes she has found carpet beetle larvae, she can read any of the other numerous articles we have written addressing how to get rid of them!
Another possible answer is that our reader has discovered flea larvae. Flea larvae are tiny worms that have black and translucent bodies. Since our reader has a dog, this is a definite possibility. If our reader suspects these might be flea larvae, we encourage her to take her dog to the vet to be treated and begin to treat her home as well!
Without more photo evidence or information from our reader, we aren’t able to identify the creatures she found under her couch. While they might be carpet beetle larvae or flea larvae, the specimens might also be another type of larvae, or some other mysterious tiny worm! Although we aren’t able to provide a firm identification for our reader, we are confident that these organisms are not harmful to humans or animals. If our reader is still struggling to identify and get rid of these creatures, we invite her to send us more photographs!