One reader was vacuuming her couch when she spotted “worm like bugs”. The sighting of these small creatures worried her, and she scoured our website in hopes of identifying them. She initially believed what she found on her couch were carpet beetle larvae. However, everything she read about carpet beetle larvae suggests they have hair, and the larvae she found didn’t have hair.
Despite the hairlessness of the creatures she found, we agree with her first identification, these are carpet beetle larvae. The photo she sent confirms this for us. There are three species of carpet beetle larvae that are considered pests: black, varied, and furniture. Black carpet beetle larvae have short stiff hairs lining their bodies. Varied carpet beetle larvae have dense tufts of hair. Furniture carpet beetle larvae usually have short stiff hairs similar to black carpet beetle larvae, but they could have rubbed off. All of the other details validate that she found carpet beetle larvae.
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Carpet beetle larvae eat animal products (wool, fur, dander, feathers), carpets, upholstered furniture, and other various fibers. Adults lay eggs on a food source, where the eggs hatch and begin to feed. The larval stage can last for as many as 630 days! When they are ready to pupate, they might burrow further into their food source or wander to another. As larvae migrate, they shed skin and fecal pellets, which look like small grains of rice, and makes them easy to track.
Since our reader found larvae in her couch, we assume the couch is the main food source. She should remove it from her home and have it professionally cleaned. If there is significant damage to it, she might just want to throw it out and purchase a new couch. If our reader finds evidence of larvae in other areas of her home, she needs to inspect any potential food source for damage. She should also sweep, vacuum, dust, and do laundry every day until she believes these larvae are gone!
In summary, a reader found carpet beetle larvae in her couch. She should remove the couch from her home and search for any other infested food sources.
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