One of our readers asked us to confirm if the bug he found in his carpet is a carpet beetle larva. While carpet beetle larva would be a logical guess, as they do eat/live in carpet sometimes, we cannot confirm this. He didn’t send in a photo or give a description of the specimen. (The photo featured above is of a carpet beetle larva that a previous reader sent us.)
If the creature he found is small, rust colored, and has tiny spiky hairs covering its body, then it is most likely a carpet beetle larva! Carpet beetle larvae are common household pests. They feed on animal products like fur, feathers, wool, and pet dander. They also eat linens, fabrics, dust, and various other particles that gather in a home. If our reader believes this is a match for the creature he found, he should focus on getting rid of them. He should have his carpet professionally cleaned, which will kill all of the larvae and eggs living in it. In addition, he needs to check other items in his home that show signs of damage. Anything that appears to be infested by carpet beetle larvae needs to be removed and professionally cleaned, or disposed of if it is too ruined. Until he is confident that the larvae are out of his home, he should sweep, dust, vacuum, and do laundry daily!
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He also asked us if carpet beetle larvae are the natural enemy of the bed bug, and if the presence of carpet beetle larvae in his carpet will minimize the risk of a bedbug being there. We have never heard that carpet beetle larvae and bed bugs are enemies. However, they are sometimes mistaken for each other. Bed bugs are also reddish-brown, and they live in similar places as carpet beetle larvae when they are inside a home. The difference lies in what they eat. Carpet beetle larvae eat fibers, like the ones we described above. Bed bugs, on the other hand, pierce human skin and feed on human blood (ew!) If our reader thinks he has bed bugs, he should follow the same cleaning procedures we described for carpet beetle larvae. He should also check his body for red welts, which could be caused by bed bugs.
To summarize, a reader thinks he may have found a carpet beetle larva or a bed bug in his carpet. Without a photograph or description, we cannot determine which one it is.
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