One of our readers recently reached out to us because she found some worm-like organisms under her sofa. She thought that they looked like carpet beetle larvae, but wasn’t sure if it was a match. She said the creatures were eating a cat treat, which the larvae are clustered around in the photos:
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The specimens have dark brown, segmented bodies. We count 9 total creatures in this photo, but there might be more that aren’t included in the picture. The appearance of these creatures, the location of discovery, and the fact that they were eating a cat treat convinces us that our reader is indeed dealing with carpet beetle larvae! Upon closer inspection we can see the small bristle-like hairs lining the bodies of these larvae. These bristle-like hairs confirm our suspicion beyond a doubt: these are carpet beetle larvae.
Carpet beetle larvae are among the most annoying household pests that our readers deal with. They eat a wide range of items found around a home and can become quite destructive when their presence goes unnoticed. Two of the many food sources for these larvae are pet food, like the cat treat our reader mentioned, and also upholstered furniture, like the sofa they were found under. We don’t know which is the primary food source for these larvae, but we recommend our reader take steps to eliminate both before a potential carpet beetle larvae infestation becomes out of hand. We encourage our reader to remove the sofa from her home and to have it professionally cleaned or treated with Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth, or D.E. for short, is a powder made from the fossilized remains of aquatic diatoms. It will kill carpet beetle larvae and other bugs upon ingestion, but it is harmless for humans and pets to eat. Our reader should also clean her house vigorously to limit the number of potential food sources for these larvae and to get rid of any other hidden larvae and eggs. Her cleaning regime should include doing laundry, sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming every day. Since carpet beetle larvae also eat pet hair, our reader should be sure to wash her cat’s bedding and any washable toys! Also, while carpet beetle larvae can surely be a headache to deal with, our reader should know that they aren’t dangerous for humans or pets to be in contact with.
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In conclusion, one of our readers found several brown organisms under her sofa snacking on a cat treat. We have identified these specimens as carpet beetle larvae!