Carpet Beetle Larvae Hide in Bedding

One of our readers found these creatures on her bed sheets:

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carpet beetle larva

In fact she has been finding them sporadically for several months. She has a few questions for us: What are they? Why and how are they appearing? How can she get rid of them?

We are very familiar with these creatures, and we are happy to answer our reader’s questions. The creatures are carpet beetle larvae! Carpet beetle larvae feed on carpet, linens, upholstered furniture, bedding, clothing, dust, and other fibrous materials tucked away in a home. They usually inhabit a primary food source, and then are discovered near that area. Since our reader has been finding these specimens in her bed sheets, some of her bedding is likely the primary food source for these larvae. Finding and removing the food source is the first step to getting rid of carpet beetle larvae.

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She should examine all of her sheets, pillows, comforters, and any other materials near her bed. Anything that looks damaged should be removed from the home and professionally cleaned, or thrown out if it is ruined. If she can’t find the primary food source near her bed or in her bedroom, she should still have all of her bedding professionally cleaned. Then, she should check possible items in the next room over, including the closet (carpet beetle larvae like clothes). As long as she is able to locate and discard the main infected item serving as a food source, she should be able to get this infestation under control! There is also a cleaning regime that we recommend she adopt for a few weeks to ensure the larvae are gone. She should vacuum and sweep her home 1-2 times a day, and also do laundry daily if possible. In addition, she should dust any surface where dust collects. She may also consider storing her extra bedding, towels, and off-season clothing in air-tight containers so that the larvae do not have access.

In summary, a reader found carpet beetle larvae in her bedding. We encourage her to remove their main food source form her home and to follow a cleaning regime in order to say goodbye to these creatures!

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