Several “larva type things” were found by this woman in her house, and upon checking out some of our posts, she guesses that they might be carpet beetle larvae. She asks that we help her in identifying the critters by checking out the photos she sent to us.
Firstly, we are very grateful for the excellent photos she sent us, including the one above, which shows the larva in great detail. This makes it significantly easier for us to get a grasp of the larva’s individual, distinct qualities that sets it apart from other species. Secondly, our reader is correct in saying that this is a carpet beetle larvae. While these pests can be tricky to get rid of once they infest one’s home, we are sure that if our reader goes about this issue properly, she can have her home carpet beetle-free in no time.
Like in the case of clothes eating moths, it is the larvae of carpet beetles that do the most damage. Likewise, they also have a specific taste for animal-based fabrics, or more specifically, organic materials in general. Carpet beetle larvae will even feed on animal furs and human hair. These larvae prefer to hide in dark, small spaces, and thus can be difficult to spot before the problem is a substantial one.
In order to rid her home of carpet beetle larvae, our reader must first locate where the carpet beetles are most concentrated. As we said, they prefer dark, cramped spaces, so looking in cupboards, closets, under furniture, or attics is one’s best bet at finding them. Secondly, it is vital that our reader vacuums all carpets, and other places where carpet beetles could possibly infest (such as upholstered furniture), intensely. In fact, perhaps vacuuming these areas for a couple of days in a row is a good idea, just to make sure no carpet beetles escaped her reach. Thirdly, washing all washable animal-based fabrics in as hot water as is healthy for the fabrics is vital in eliminating any eggs or other organisms that could be residing on them. Alternatively, using a steam cleaner to clean her upholstered furniture and/or fabrics is also a valid method for achieving the same outcome.
Now, in regards to preventing and controlling future infestations, there are some key things one can do to ensure that one’s home is not invaded by these critters. These methods include consistent housekeeping and cleaning, sealing cracks in walls and flooring that bugs could crawl through (if possible), ensuring the durability and good quality of bug screens (carpet beetles can fly, so this is very important!), and vacuum-sealing – or safely storing in some other fashion – unused fabrics that are organically made/animal-based.
To conclude, the larvae our reader has been finding in her house are indeed carpet beetle larvae. These critters can be quite the nuisance, and plague many households, but it is not impossible to rid one’s house of them efficiently. We believe that if our reader applies the methods listed above and keeps up with the preventative measures then she should be carpet beetle-free in no time!