Today we will respond to a reader who noticed some worm-like organisms crawling from her mattress. She explained that she was using carpet cleaner to clean the mattress when she saw the organisms. She asked what they are and how she can get rid of them. The first photograph shows a worm-like organism on the mattress. Since the photograph is rather dark, we can just make out the outline and general shape of the creature in question:
Even though this photograph doesn’t clearly display the specimen, we have a hunch that our reader has found a carpet beetle larva. Carpet beetle larvae are extremley common household pests that feed on a wide range of materials found around a home. Some of their food sources include animals products (feathers, fur, felt, leather, wool), upholstered furniture, carpeting, linens, clothing, pet food, and pet hair. Since there are so many things they might eat, readers find them in all different rooms of their homes. However, the most common place that readers discover these larvae is in their bedrooms and beds. We suspect that the carpet beetle larvae our reader found are feeding on the stuffing of her mattress. Let’s take a look at the second photograph to confirm that she is indeed dealing with carpet beetle larvae:
This is definitely a carpet beetle larva. To eliminate carpet beetle larvae from her home, our reader will have to follow a few steps. First, she should remove the mattress from her home immediately since it seems to be the primary food source for the larvae. She should have it professionally cleaned before bringing it back into her home. She can also try to sprinkle the inside of it with diatomaceous earth (D.E. for short). D.E. is a powder-like substance made of the fossilized remains of diatoms. It kills bugs upon ingestion, but it is harmless for mammals to eat. After dealing with the mattress, our reader will need to investigate the area around her bed for more carpet beetle larvae. Anything that shows evidence of the larvae should be removed from her home and professionally cleaned or disposed of. This will guarantee that there are no more larvae or eggs hiding in her clothes or furniture. Finally, she will need to start an intense cleaning regime to get rid of any remaining larvae and eggs, and to get rid of dust and small particles which could serve as food sources for the larvae. She will need to vacuum, sweep, dust, and do laundry daily until her home is free of carpet beetle larvae.
To conclude, a reader discovered carpet beetle larvae in her mattress. Unfortunately, she will need to dedicate several hours to cleaning in order to say goodbye to these pests. On the bright side, they are harmless even if their presence is annoying.