Carpet Worms

Ok, guess what? Worms, specifically earthworms, can’t live in carpet. They can’t live in your house, and they can’t survive in furniture, clothes, or in boxes. What can survive in your house are spiders, moths, flies, and their larvae. Larvae, spiders, and moths like to live in your walls, in your ceiling, around pipes and drains, in bathrooms, near light fixtures (moths), and even in boxes of grains, cereal, and seeds. One popular house “worm” is the larvae of the moth fly, specifically the case-bearing clothes moth, Tinea pellionela.

The larvae of the case-bearing clothes moth are white and they look like worms. They carry a case that can reach up to 10 mm in length. The case is usually made from a combination of self-made silk and the materials they feed on. While the larvae consumes a hearty diet of dried plant and animal material outdoors, they also feed on carpets (yes carpet!), clothing, and general debris in the household as well as dried cereal and vegetable matter. They are likely to feed on wool and cotton, but rarely will they feed on nylon, acrylic, or polyester. In fact, they turn up their noses at any type of synthetic fibers.


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The larvae or caterpillars of the case-bearing clothes moth are among the few insects that have the ability to digest the keratin of feathers and hairs. Its’ insatiable appetite for fabric, cereal, and plant and vegetable matter make the case-bearing clothes moth larvae a serious household pest. Because of this, it is important to get rid of them before your home becomes infested. There are many ways to prevent and kill case-bearing clothes moths and larvae.

First, inspect for damage. This is a good indication of an infestation. Check your cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, and storage areas. You should also inspect your carpeting (especially undisturbed areas), behind and under furniture, and in stored linen, such as in the linen closet. After inspection, if you notice damage, holes or larvae, there are several ways to kill them. Insecticides such as Insect Guard are effective as well as pesticide free clothes moth traps. There are also al number of sprays available that can be used in carpet and around furniture to kill and/or repel the clothes moth and its larvae. Visit any local hardware store to find the best spray or call an exterminator for professional treatment.

How to prevent a case-bearing clothes moth infestation.

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·Dry-clean or launder woolens and other susceptible fabrics before storing. The case-bearing clothes moth prefers dirty fabrics, such as fabrics soaked in perspiration and urine. Cleaning these fabrics before storing actually kills any eggs and larvae that may be present. Once cleaned, seal all clothing in plastic. The moth cannot penetrate plastic.

·Susceptible fibers may also be treated with special mothproofing liquids, so speak with your local dry cleaner about options.

·If at all possible, purchase carpets and furniture made from synthetic fibers and be sure to keep them clean.

·To take it a step further; inspect roof spaces to make sure there are no bird nests present. Bird nests are perfect places for moths to hide and lay their eggs.

·Vacuuming works wonders, so be sure to keep your carpets vacuumed at all times. Vacuuming helps to remove debris that can actually support future infestations. Vacuum dark areas and underneath furniture where larvae like to feed and moths are likely to hide away from the light. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum bag immediately.

·Freeze-treatment is also an effective way to kill eggs. If you have small objects that can fit into a zip lock bag, simply place the item in the bag and freeze it for a week to kill larvae and eggs. After a week, clean the objects thoroughly.

Author: The Top Worm

1 thought on “Carpet Worms

  1. I have so many of these things in my carpet its dispicable. I was not told this apt was vacant for an entire year before I moved in. They keep saying they are going to call someone to come out but it has not happened yet.

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