Today, we will address a question from a man who found a rather unwelcome bedmate amongst his sheets. He snapped a picture of it, and wonders if he has found a carpet beetle larva.
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We agree with his identification. This is, most likely, a carpet beetle larva.
These are one of the most common household pests we hear about, and for good reason. These are known as Dermestids, or skin beetles, because they like to eat the dead skin that is constantly falling off our bodies, and bodies of our pets. If that is the preferred food source, then our houses are the best possible places to live. If you’re a carpet beetle larva, a human household is kind of like a bountiful forest in which food, literally, falls from the sky.
While we know that no one wants to find one of these in their beds, we can assure our reader that this little guy poses no risk to him or any pets or children he may live with. These little larvae are interested only in our cast-off flesh bits.
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To politely ask this little fellow, and any friends or family he may have, to move along we recommend that our reader thoroughly, and regularly, wash his bed clothes. This includes not only the sheets, but the blankets as well.
It’s also a good idea to keep a hypo-allergenic mattress protector over his mattress. This will prevent the little bits of dead skin he sheds in his sleep from collecting in the mattress, where they look like an all-you-can-eat buffet to carpet beetle larvae. The cover should also be washed regularly.
Typically, these critters do not live in our beds, they live in our carpets (hence their name) and in the little cracks all over our house. So, it is likely that this particular little fellow managed to hitch a ride to the bed on our reader’s clothes or slipper. To keep the carpet beetle population of the entire house down, our reader should do a lot of vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and dusting. But, generally speaking, this is a battle that he will never precisely win. We all live with these little critters. They need us, and we need them. So, our reader should clean regularly and come to terms with the fact that he likely has a lot more housemates than he’s aware of.