The son of this reader found ‘tiny brown-striped worms’ in the sofa, and his mother contacted us, wondering what they might be.
Despite this being the only context provided, and no visual information was given, we can nonetheless positively assume that what our reader’s son found in their sofa was a carpet beetle larva. Carpet beetle larvae are the youngest form of the carpet beetle. These common household pests feed on animal-based fabrics, and are named after their tendency to feed on and live in the fibers of carpets. However, they also feed on clothing, upholstered furniture, and sometimes books.
It is the larvae of the carpet beetle that do the most damage, as the mature carpet beetle will normally just feed on nectar and pollen. Yet, it should be noted that the carpet beetle may also feed on human foods such as flour, rice and cereals, and so even the adult carpet beetle is not something one would want to keep around their house. Now, if our reader finds more of these larvae and suspects there may be an infestation, then there are several steps one can take to rid one’s home of carpet beetles.
First, one must locate the source. As carpet beetles prefer cramped and damp locations to hide, our reader will want to consider looking underneath furniture, in cupboards, between the folds of clothing, and other places such a bug might hide. Secondly, it is vital to vacuum one’s space, thoroughly and powerfully, and perhaps even multiple times. Thirdly, washing all animal-based fabrics that are at risk for infestation in as hot water as they can muster will eliminate any residing organisms and secure a carpet beetle-free home.
Of course, we do not know if our reader is experiencing an infestation, but if she wants more detailed information on the eradication of carpet beetle larvae, as well as on the prevention of carpet beetle infestations, she may feel free to either contact us again, or read one of our previous articles on carpet beetles, such as this one.
To conclude, the brown-striped worm our reader’s son found in their sofa is likely a carpet beetle larva. Our readers encounter these all the time, and while they can be a nuisance to deal with, they are not impossible to get rid of, and we are confident our reader will be able to deal with an infestation should that be the case.