A small, black worm was found by this reader, who wonders if we can help identify its species. The worm in questions appears to be black in color, bristly, and possessing two especially long bristles, which could either be tails, antennae, or simply bristles!
The worm that our reader found is in fact not a worm at all, but rather a larva of the black carpet beetle. Carpet beetles are common household pests, and have been covered on AllAboutWorms multiple times. The only things that really set apart the black carpet beetle from the common carpet beetle are its color, length bristles from its bottom, and its bigger size. Generally, carpet beetles all behave the same way, which means that they are consistently a nuisance, but also makes it easy to provide accurate advice on how to deal with them. Of course, as far as we know, our reader has only found one carpet beetle, and so as not to bore her, we will simply redirect her to this article we wrote on carpet beetles for advice on how to deal with carpet beetle infestations, should that problem arise.
Hence, we will instead outline some of the basic facts about carpet beetles, and specifically their larvae, so that we can fulfill our reader’s hopes that we could provide some insight into these critters. It is at the larval stage that carpet beetles do the most damage. They feed primarily on the animal-based materials found in clothing, bedding, carpets, and upholstery, but have also been known to eat pet food, crumbs, dead insects and more. They prefer to hide in small, dark spaces where they can feed in peace and are thus most often found in or underneath carpets, in between the folds of clothing, and under or behind furniture. Furthermore, although when fully matured the carpet beetle prefers to feed on nectar and pollen, if trapped in a house, they have been known to reach for human foods such as rice, flour and cereals. For that reason, we do not recommend keeping these critters as pets, but rather we would advise that our readers puts them outside somewhere far from her home where they cannot re-enter through some crack in the wall, or split in a window screen. Especially considering that adult carpet beetles can fly!
In conclusion, the creature our reader found was a carpet beetle larva. These creatures are common pests of the household and are not harmful to humans or pets, though infestations can occur. If our reader thinks this might apply to her, then she may feel free to contact us again, or simply read the aforementioned article linked within the body of this text. However, for the sake of our reader, we hope that this was simply a single, stray carpet beetle larva that found its way into our reader’s home and that this was a one time occurrence.