“Is the grub in the attached video a carpet beetle larva?” is all this reader asks in his submission regarding the orange and brown-striped critter pictured below. Luckily for him, no context is needed in this case. We have identified so many carpet beetle larvae at this point that one look is all it takes. This is indeed a carpet beetle larva. And it is a grub too (a common umbrella term for beetle larvae, or just plump-looking worm-like creatures). Before we get into a brief overview on these creatures, we want to thank our reader for the excellent video he sent in. We do not have many videos showing how carpet beetle larvae move about on a piece of fabric, so to have that, and be able to share it with our readers, is invaluable.
Carpet beetles are some of the most notorious, and unfortunately common, household pests. The reason for this is because they can damage so many of the items in our homes, and therefore spread to the entire home. On top of that, given their bland coloration and tiny size, infestations of them can take a long time to spot. Often, several generations of carpet beetle larvae will have chewed through the textile items in a home before they are spotted. Then, when one does want to eliminate an infestation of them, they seem to not want to go away. Like cockroaches, they are pretty resilient beings. Most insecticides do not work on them (though we never recommend their use anyway).
Now, we are not saying that our reader is experiencing an infestation: finding one larva does not suggest this. However, we do not want to disregard the possibility. It is unfortunately more common for one to find multiple carpet beetle larvae than just one, because they typically infest homes rather than accidentally wander into them. The adult beetles know to invade urban buildings because there will be plenty of food for their young ones. So, what we recommend doing is searching the home for more larvae. They like dark, cramped spots where they can remain undetected, like under carpets, behind upholstery, in wardrobes and dresser drawers, and in attics. If he finds more larvae, and thinks he might be experiencing an infestation, then we recommend checking out this “article on carpet beetle larvae” we wrote a while back, which includes steps to eliminate and prevent carpet beetle infestations.
In conclusion, the orange and brown-striped critter our reader found is indeed a carpet beetle larva. They can do a lot of damage to textile items in the home that contain organic materials, so our reader should be on the lookout in his home for more roaming larvae, as well as holes in any organically-made clothing. Likewise, we should note that carpet beetle larvae can cause allergic reactions, so we avoid touching them. Unfortunately, these reactions can still occur without directly touching them, as they sometimes leave their bristles on the items they feed on. We hope this helps, and we wish him the very best!
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