“The below was found on a carpet near a clothing closet in Manhattan, NYC”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. “Please advise. Thank you!” The creature in question appears to be striped, with alternating colors of beige and brown, and has an ovate, bristly body. Based on its appearance alone, we would say that this is a carpet beetle larva, though the location it was found in also supports this conclusion.
Carpet beetle larvae are notorious household pests that feed on the textiles in one’s home. Any material that is even partially organic-based makes a good snack for a carpet beetle larva. Those materials include silk, cotton, wool, leather, and feathers, and these critters are most commonly found inside closets, wardrobes, dressers, and on beds and carpets/rugs. Though one can usually find them in any dark, cramped space that access to a potential food source (even hair, fur and lint counts!). Infestations of them are common and they can go on for a long time without notice. This is because their small bodies and nondescript coloration makes it easy for them to blend into their surroundings. That said, it seems that this critter was not able to escape our reader’s notice.
We recommend that our reader check her closet, and the rest of her home for that matter, for more larvae. Hopefully, finding this one larva was a fluke and it just got into the apartment accidentally, though the location of its discovery is suspicious, since they frequently infest carpets and closets. If she finds more, she will want to thoroughly vacuum that area (and any infested area), as well as vacuum/steam-clean whatever items are susceptible to carpet beetle larvae infestations. On top of that, there are some things one can do to prevent future infestations, such as sealing cracks in walling and flooring, ensuring that one’s window screens are intact, and storing unused organic-based materials in vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers. Now, infestations can go on for a long time, so our reader may need to vacuum her home and launder home several times over a period of two or more weeks to fully eliminate infestations. That is why, between every deep-clean, it is important that she scan her home for more roaming larvae and/or adult beetles.
In conclusion, the bug our reader found on her carpet is a carpet beetle larva. They are not harmful to humans or pets, but they can prove destructive to the home. We hope this article helps and we wish her the very best!