In addition to finding carpet beetles on her ceiling, this reader also found this”bug” in three different spots. From the photo, these bugs look to be beige and brown-striped, bristly creatures, and our reader wonders what they turn into and how to get rid of them.
Firstly, there is one part of the context that our reader sent in that is somewhat confusing to us. She states that the carpet beetles were found on her bedroom ceiling and “nowhere else.” However, she then goes on to say that “3 of the spots had this bug on it”, in reference to the creature in the photograph. We are not quite sure which three spots she is referring to, especially since she explicitly states the carpet beetles were only found in one spot. We will assume that she meant three different spots on the bedroom ceiling, though we cannot be sure. If our reader wishes to provide some clarification, she is welcome to do so in the comments section.
Secondly, to answer our reader’s first question, lo and behold, this creature turns into a carpet beetle! This is in fact a carpet beetle larva. Its long bristles that extend from the sides of its body, as well as its striped colors, give its identity away. As our reader already identified its adult counterpart, we are sure our reader probably already knows about this pest. But for our other readers, who might have missed the plethora of articles we have written on carpet beetle larvae, carpet beetle larvae are a notorious, and unfortunately quite common, household pest. It is especially the larvae that are destructive. Their diet consists of animal-based textiles (depending on the species), and so carpet beetle larvae will get into any such material in the home and slowly eat their way through and ruin it.
Then, to answer our reader’s second question, the method of getting rid of carpet beetle larvae is simple enough, but tedious and potentially strenuous. One must first locate the source, which our reader seems to have done, her bedroom ceiling. Now, the next step is usually vacuuming up the source, but seeing as it is on her ceiling, this might be difficult (unless she has a small, handheld vacuum). The important thing is to clean up the source where the beetles, larvae and eggs are most concentrated. Regardless, we recommend vacuuming the entire home anyway, as the larvae may have spread and infested the rest of our reader’s home. We advise looking underneath and behind upholstered furniture, in and under clothing (especially garments that have gone unused for a long period of time), and in the attic or basement (should our reader have one). If our reader has a pet, then searching in and around its bed would be a good idea. Then, our reader should launder and/or steam clean any and all animal-based materials at the highest temperature they can withstand. This will eliminate any remaining organisms.
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Should our reader discover that she is indeed experiencing an infestation, which will be made obvious by discovering more roaming larvae or beetles, then she should repeat this cleaning regime two-to-three times a week, for about two weeks. If she does that, then she is sure to get rid of the infestation. Naturally, there are also some preventative measures our reader can apply to keep more critters from entering her home. When it comes to all clothes-eating pests (including carpet beetle larvae and clothes moth larvae), inventorying unused pieces of clothing is a good idea. The best way to ensure that larvae cannot access those pieces is by storing them in vacuum-sealed bags or in cold vaults. Additionally, our reader should ensure that her window screens are in prime conditions (no tears or gaps through which bugs could fly or crawl) and that her walls and floors do not have cracks for the same reason. This goes for preventing any bug from entering one’s home.
To conclude, the bugs our reader found are the larvae of the carpet beetles she discovered on her bedroom ceiling. Carpet beetle larvae can be quite difficult to spot, so our reader is lucky she caught them roaming so close to the adult beetles! We are sure that if our reader begins with a consistent cleaning routine that targets the carpet beetles, then she will be rid of them in no time.