We heard from a reader who is concerned about some bug bites on her body, and wonders what might have caused them. She explained that she has the bites on her arms, legs, and back, and recently found a worm-like organism on her mattress. The discovery of the worm has even caused her to stop sleeping in her own bed. She suspects there might be some of these biting worms in her closet, “I’m also finding that when I take clothes off my hangers and wear them, I am getting more bites.” She explained that she has never actually seen the worms on her body, but the bites swell up to about the size of a quarter and itch badly. Our reader is desperate to understand what is going on and how to get rid of these biting worms to gain peace of mind.
She sent us two photographs. One is of the specimen she discovered on her bed, and the other shows her irritated skin. The photograph of the creature has a bit of glare in it, but we can see the brown specimen fairly well. It has a segmented body, and hair-like bristles coming out of its posterior end. We believe it is a carpet beetle larvae:
This identification also lines up with where she found the critters: in her bed and closet. Carpet beetle larvae are known to eat bedding and clothing. Carpet beetle larvae don’t bite, but some people do experience Carpet Beetle Dermatitis from physical contact with the hair-like bristles of a carpet beetle larvae. This is usually shows as a red rash or small red bumps. We think this could be the “bug bites” our reader is dealing with. We hasten to add that we are not medical professionals, and we cannot give medical advice. If our reader has medical concerns we urge her to see her doctor. Here is a picture of our reader’s skin:
Getting rid of carpet beetle is annoying, but it just requires some dedicated cleaning! Our reader will need to remove anything that shows signs of damage from carpet beetle larvae. Since her clothes are irritating her and she found one in her bed, we recommend she wash all of her sheets and bedding to be safe. She should also sweep, dust, vacuum, and do laundry daily to eliminate any other potential food sources that the larvae might be eating.
To wrap up, one of our readers might be experiencing a skin rash from carpet beetle larvae that are living in her bed and closet. If she is worried about the skin irritation, we recommend she see a doctor.