“These are tiny, brown segmented worms”, states this reader in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. “They have something like hair at the ends of their tails. I see many of these worms all around my home, in the bathroom, living room, and bedroom. They are mostly near the baseboards. It has been just one month since I moved into this home and I bought everything new. I used pesticide spray so anything I find is dead. But the dead worms are found everywhere! I do not know where they came from. Could you please help me? Please please.”
From the look and sound of it, these are probably carpet beetle larvae. These creatures have segmented, striped, brown bodies, and will also tend to have little tufts of ‘hair’ on their tails. As their name suggests, carpet beetle larvae like to feed on carpets, but unfortunately, they also like to chew on a whole lot more. These insect larvae are one of the most notorious household pests, and infestations of them can prove to be a huge nuisance, especially when they keep coming back after rigorous cleaning and other efforts to get rid of them.
Carpet beetle larvae will feed on any material that is even partially organic in make, and usually this means textiles, but it can also include hair, fur and feathers. Such materials include cotton, wool, leather and silk. The items one can usually find them on include carpets, clothing, and upholstery. Of course, seeing as our reader bought all of her furniture new, it is most likely that these larvae came into her new home on her clothing. She might just have brought this infestation from the old home to the new. Of course, it is not entirely impossible for the eggs, larvae or mother beetle to have come in on the new furniture from the store.
In any case, it seems like she is experiencing an infestation. We do not recommend using pesticides to combat any sort of infestation, or to kill any type of organisms. Not only do they not work for so many common critters, but they are also extremely toxic to humans, so no one wins in that fight. Seeing as our reader has already used one, and she only finds the bugs once they are dead, she might as well make the best of that situation and get her home rid of these bugs as soon as possible. The reason she keeps finding new dead bugs is probably because the infestation is being kept going by larvae that are still alive.
To control this infestation, we recommend that she vacuum her entire home and that she launder all her clothing which is organic-based (as well as towels, or any other textiles which could be infected). If she has one, using a steam cleaner on her rugs and carpets would also work great to eliminate any of the eggs and larvae that the vacuum does not pick up. On top of that, to prevent future infestations, she should make sure to get rid of or store unused clothing and materials in airtight containers (vacuum-sealed is the best). Likewise, making sure that one’s window screens are intact and free of holes, and that one’s walls and floors do not have bug-sized holes in them, is key to preventing all sorts of bugs from entering one’s home.
In conclusion, we think that the brown, segmented worm-like creatures our reader is finding all over her home are carpet beetle larvae. We sympathize with her, as these infestations can really get out of hand and do a lot of damage to the items in one’s home. That said, we hope that with the advice we provided, she will be able to fight and eliminate this infestation quickly. We wish her the very best!