“I have these crawling types of worms/maggots appearing from nowhere on my ceiling/walls in my living room”, writes Billy about the bristly, striped creature pictured below. “They only appear at height and cannot see them emanating from anywhere. They just appear! They seem to be drawn to the brightest points in the room (directly above lamps etc). I’m attaching a few pics (one including my finger for size reference) and the others are zoomed in pics so quality isn’t great. It would be great if you could identify them so I can finally deal with them.” Billy is absolutely right in saying the quality of these photos is not great, and unfortunately that makes it much harder for us to identify the organisms. Given what we can see from the photo, we would like to conclude that this is a carpet beetle larva.
The stout body, brown stripes, and bristles make this creature look like a carpet beetle larva. Billy also states that they seem to appear out of nowhere, which many often feel is the case with these critters, and that is because they are very good at hiding. Carpet beetle infestations can go on for a long time before they are discovered, and that is because they like to hide in dark, cramped spaces where they can feed on textiles (eg: clothing, carpets, and upholstery) in peace. One might find them in a dresser drawer, or underneath a rug, or behind upholstered furniture. Billy is lucky to be seeing them at all, because at least he is aware of them and can take necessary steps to control and eliminate the infestation.
Now, there was one piece of information in Billy’s story that threw us for a loop and had us questioning if these were carpet beetle larvae after all: the critters are “drawn to the brightest points in the room”. We thought to ourselves, ‘This can’t be right. Carpet beetle larvae like the dark! Besides, if they were attracted to light, then people would have no problem discovering infestations.’ But, upon investigation, we found out that carpet beetles are indeed attracted to light, though specifically the adult beetles, not the larvae. After covering carpet beetle larvae extensively, we thought there was nothing left to learn about them. We couldn’t have been more wrong! That said, why is it that the larvae are being found in bright spots, if it’s only the beetles that are attracted to light? Our theory is that the adult beetles are laying their eggs in or around these lamps, and as the larvae hatch and begin to spread out from the lamp, Billy is seeing them. This might mean he caught the infestation as it was starting, which gives him an advantage in tackling it.
The most important steps to take to control a carpet beetle infestation is to vacuum and launder. Vacuum the entire home, paying particular attention to those areas in which pets spend a lot of time (if that’s relevant to Billy). Similarly, launder any infested, or potentially-infested, items: things made from fabrics and other soft-materials containing organic materials like cotton, wool, silk, leather, and feathers. Likewise, ensuring that one’s window screens are in good condition, and that any sizable cracks in the walls and floors are sealed with caulk, helps prevent lots of different types of bugs from being able to enter the home.
In conclusion, we think it’s possible that Billy has been finding carpet beetle larvae, though it’s hard to say for certain with such a blurry photo. We hope that this helps, and we wish Billy the best.
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