This reader has been finding small “worm-looking things” coming out of her bed linens and clothes. These worms were found after our reader treated her bed for bed bugs, and thus our reader seems to insinuate that she thinks they might be something else.
First and foremost, it is important that we note that we will not be able to confidently identify these worms, as our reader neither sent photographs of the worms, nor did she describe the worms in a substantial amount of detail to provide us with something to go off of. Secondly, we do not want to rule out the possibility that these may still be bed bugs. Even though our reader stated that she “treated for bed bugs”, the context of that situation is ambiguous. What kind of treatment did she use? Did she do it herself, or get it professionally done? Regardless, if our reader has not done so already, we encourage her to consult a professional in order to get a qualified individual to identify the worms and properly resolve this issue.
Secondly, these worms could be a number of things. Besides bed bugs, there are other common pests that can reside in one’s bed sheets or clothes. These worms include, but are not limited to: carpet beetle larvae, flea larvae, webbing clothes moth larvae, and casemaking clothes moth larvae. Carpet beetle larvae tend to be 4-5mm in length, and can be black and white, or brown and tan in color. They are striped, and have bristles all over their bodies. Flea larvae can be anywhere between 2-5mm in length, and are completely transparent. Usually, one can see the dark stripe of their insides through their translucent skin.
Furthermore, webbing clothes moth larvae and casemaking clothes moth larvae look very similar. They are also somewhat transparent, but will appear white or tan from a distance. They have black/dark brown heads, and their bodies are somewhat ridged (the casemaking clothes moth larva more so than the webbing clothes moth larva). They are often mistaken for maggots, as most white and clear larvae are. Though both species of clothes moth may leave behind patches of webbing, the casemaking clothes moth larva leaves behind entire tubes of woven silk, hence the name they were given. We have provided these descriptions in the case that our reader is able to match one of them to the worms she found, so that she can narrow down her search for how to handle this situation. If she would like to send us some photographs of the critters, we can also help her narrow down what these visitors are.
If our reader wishes to, she can read any of the following articles we have written on these critters:
Tan & Yellow-Striped Bug in NYC Apartment is a Carpet Beetle Larva
Tiny Clear Worm on Hand is a Flea Larvae
Fat White Worms on Fabric are Webbing Clothes Moth Larvae
Discovering Case Bearing Larvae and Carpet Beetle Larvae Together
In conclusion, it is unclear what worms have been plaguing this reader’s bed linens and clothes, but we hope that these brief descriptions of the worms, as well as the articles above may help her identify these worms and deal with her situation.