A reader was preparing to launder her bed sheets and removed them from her bed. On the bare bed she noticed a small worm-like organism crawling around. The sighting of the specimen startled her, so she quickly killed it. However, then she noticed another one, which she photographed. In addition to the photo, she described the specimens as having cream-colored and brown stripes. They were also very small and “a little bit fuzzy.” What tiny creatures did she find?
We are confident that the worm-like organisms crawling around our reader’s bed are carpet beetle larva. This shouldn’t be a surprise to those who check out our site frequently. We hear from readers who find carpet beetle larvae in their bedding pretty regularly. Carpet beetle larvae are either rust-colored or striped, and have tiny tufts of hair on their bodies. The hairy larvae feed on animal products such as wool, fur, and feathers. However, they also eat dust, carpet, and other materials found in a home.
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In this particular case, we aren’t sure if the carpet beetle larvae are feeding on the bedding or the mattress, so she should inspect both for signs of damage. Anything that has been damaged should be removed and cleaned professionally or thrown out. Getting rid of the primary food source for the larvae is crucial for getting rid of them. She can also use diatomaceous earth (DE) on items she suspects are infested. DE is made up of fossilized diatom remains, and it kills insects upon being ingested (it is totally safe for humans and pets). In the mean time, she should adopt a cleaning regime until the infestation is over. Thoroughly vacuuming, sweeping, and washing her clothes can effectively control carpet beetle larva and keep them at bay.
To summarize, one of our readers found a few small organisms in her bed. We believe these specimens are carpet beetle larvae!
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