A couple of days ago we received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page from a reader who recently moved into an apartment in Valencia, Spain. Unfortunately, his girlfriend has been waking up with bite marks that look like they might be the work of bed bugs. However, both the reader and an expert could find no trace of bed bugs in the apartment. This led our reader to speculate that he might have found carpet beetle larvae, as these larvae have small hairs that can cause skin irritation that look like bed bug bites, just as the reader noted. He sent us a few videos and asked us to comment on the matter.
First, here is a screenshot from one of the videos he sent to us:
The body features are a little hard to make out, and this is true in the video as well. This obviously makes identification more difficult, but it’s not much of an issue since the reader supplied us with lots of good information. In fact, the reader not only gave us lots of good details, but probably solved the problem himself, as we think there is a good chance he is dealing with carpet beetle larvae.
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Just recently, we wrote an article about carpet beetle larvae on car seats that noted the similarities between bed bug bites and the skin irritation caused by carpet beetle larvae hair. Many people who think they have bed bugs actually have carpet beetle larva – they’ll fruitlessly search for bed bugs, confused how someone could get bed bug bites without bed bugs. Of course, you can’t, and the skin issues are generally the indirect work of carpet beetle larva, whose hairs can be scattered around a house. These scattered hairs are likely causing the reader’s girlfriend’s skin irritation.
We also think our reader found carpet beetle larvae because the creature in the video looks like a carpet beetle larva. We aren’t sure what species are prevalent in Spain, but there definitely are carpet beetle larvae on the Continent. The creature in the video looks like the larval form of a black carpet beetle because of its elongated and vaguely cone-shaped brown body, but we aren’t certain of this. Moreover, a mattress is definitely the type of place one might find carpet beetle larva, and in fact we have specifically written about carpet beetle larvae on mattresses before. Finally, carpet beetle larvae are quite common. We answer questions about them all the time – they are by far the most regularly occurring subject of our articles – and of course it is more likely our reader is dealing with a common problem than an uncommon one.
So, to sum everything up, we agree with our reader’s assessment and think that he likely has carpet beetle larvae. Sources on how to get rid of carpet beetle larvae are legion, so we’ll conclude by pointing out a couple. We’ve written about the general question of getting rid of carpet beetle larvae, and we have written about getting rid of them in specific situations, like when they are under furniture or on the aforementioned mattress. These articles link to other resources as well. We wish our reader the best of luck and hope he is able to get rid of the pests quickly and easily.