We just heard from a reader who sent us a picture of an orange creature that was hiding in her bed. She asked us if we know what it could be and/or if it is harmless. We hear from readers finding unwanted specimens in many places in their homes, but we must admit that accidentally finding something in the place you sleep is probably the most scarring, so we hope our reader is moving on from this traumatic experience. Hopefully we can offer some comfort to our reader by providing an identification of the critter. We believe that the creature-in-question is a carpet beetle larva.
We recognized this creature by its rust-orange color, segmented body, and hairs. Carpet beetle larvae eventually mature into adult beetles. Carpet beetle larvae are not harmful in a direct way towards humans, but they can cause some havoc and perhaps add brief additional stress into a life. Carpet beetle larvae eat carpet (as their name suggests) as well as other fibers, like pet hair, dust particles, blankets, and other upholstered furniture items. If an infestation of carpet beetle larvae occurs in your home, it is best to start cleaning at once!
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First, the main source of the infestation must be identified. Since our reader found this carpet beetle in her bed, it is likely that the source is nearby. She should examine all of her bedding, looking for signs of damage. Anything that has been damaged should be removed from her home immediately and either professionally cleaned or thrown out. All materials near the area of discovery should be professionally cleaned. To keep the larvae at bay, our reader should add vacuuming, sweeping, and laundry to her daily cleaning regime, at least for the next two weeks or so. Moving forward, she should store her extra linens, blankets, and towels in airtight containers. Also, she could consider storing her off-season clothing in airtight containers as well.
To summarize, a reader found a single orange larva in her bed. We are confident that this creature is a carpet beetle larva. Although carpet beetle larvae infestations can feel overwhelming, getting rid of them is definitely doable, it just involves intense cleaning!
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