This week we heard from a reader who found three small creatures on his floor one night. He wrote that he is familiar with these specimens because they appeared last spring as well. He wonders if we can speculate on what they are. From the photograph, we know these are small, bean-shaped, and have lots of minuscule hairs sprouting from them. We believe that our reader has discovered furniture carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are sometimes thought to be nuisances because they can cause damage to furniture, linens, and other household items.
The list of what these little larvae eat is quite long and includes items like animal skin or fur, stuffed animals, feathers, hair, wool carpets, leather book bindings, and many others. When someone discovers carpet beetle larvae in their home, it indicates that an adult carpet beetle larvae has laid her eggs in a food source. Our reader must search for this primary source in order to stop these larvae from spreading around his home. Once he discovers what the primary source is, he should remove it from his home. Any other items that show evidence of being damaged should be removed as well. He should have the items with minor damage professionally cleaned, and those that are destroyed should be disposed of. He will need to clean his home thoroughly and often, as carpet beetle will also eat dust particles. Until he is confident that these creatures are gone, he should vacuum, sweep, and do laundry daily. To prevent future visits from these larvae, our reader can keep his extra linens, bedding, and off-season clothing in air-tight storage containers. Keeping up with a cleaning regime will also be helpful. Finally, if he has a dog or cat, brushing out their fur and cleaning their beds often will ensure that carpet beetle larva stay away.
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In summary, a reader discovered three small brown creatures on his floor and sent us a photo of one of them. We are confident that our reader has found carpet beetle larvae. Although he said he has found this creatures in his home about a year ago, we think that their return is just a coincidence.
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