One of our readers reached out to us after finding a fascinating brown “worm like thing” on a toilet paper roll in her bathroom. She explained that the organism is segmented, has legs, and has two antennae-like structures on its posterior end. Her note to us also included great descriptions concerning the movement and behavior of the specimen. Finally, she mentioned that a millipede is the closest match that she knew of to what she discovered, but there were too many issues with the description for it to be a match. Here are some photos she snapped with her cell phone:
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The photos aren’t super clear, but we can discern the tiny antenna-like structures on the specimen’s posterior end. We don’t see the legs, but we think that our reader probably mistook tiny hairs lining the specimen’s body for legs. We think this is a carpet beetle larva! Carpet beetle larvae are rust-colored, carrot-shaped, segmented creatures. They have tiny hairs lining their bodies, and a tail like the one in this photo has.
Carpet beetle larvae feed on fabric and other animal products such as leather, wool, fur, and feathers. They cause damage to couches, clothes, linens, and carpets, making them particularly destructive when they are inside a home stocked with these available food sources. Our reader asked what she should do with the larva she discovered: she should remove it from her home immediately and follow our protocol to get rid of these pests.
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She needs to discover the primary food source for these larvae. Since she found the creature in her bathroom, she should check the towels and bathmats first. If none of them have any damage, then she should move on to the next rooms and continue to search until she finds the damaged item. Once found, it needs to be removed from her home. Anything that shows sign of damage should be removed and professionally cleaned, or discarded if it has been disfigured beyond repair. After removing and cleaning these items, she should focus on getting rid of other potential food sources, like dust, spider webs, animal fur, etc. Until she is confident there are no more larvae in her home, she should vacuum, sweep, and do laundry daily!
To sum up, we received some photos of a brown worm-like organism discovered by a reader. We are confident that the brown specimen is a carpet beetle larva. These larvae can be destructive, but we have total confidence in our reader conquering the infestation!