This is a carpet beetle larva. Carpet beetle larvae are extremely common household pests, and readers often find them in their beds. They eat basically everything, but most typically they eat materials found in bedding sets such as wool, feathers, felt, and fur. While adult carpet beetles aren’t a nuisance, the larvae can be really annoying. They have destructive feeding habits and travel among rooms in a house looking for food sources. Therefore, it is important that our reader act fast to prevent this single carpet beetle larva turning into dozens or even hundreds!
The first step will be identifying the primary food source for these larvae. We recommend she begin by looking through all of her bedding, searching for damage, additional larvae, and carpet beetle larvae droppings, which look sort of like dirt. Once she figures out what the primary food source is, she should remove it from her home. She can either have it professionally cleaned or throw it away if it has sustained a lot of damage. She should also wash all of her bedding to eliminate any other potential larvae, and to keep them from spreading to other food sources. Once she is confident the primary food sources are gone, it all comes down to cleaning. Cleaning will eliminate eggs and larvae, as well as get rid of any small crumbs or particles that could be potential food sources. Our reader will need to embark on a daily cleaning routine for about a month, or until she is confident her home is free of carpet beetle larvae. We recommend she sweep, dust, vacuum, and do laundry every day. Although this may seem excessive, we promise she will be happy she has done the work to prevent a full-blown infestation.
To sum up, the small brown worm our reader found on her bed is a carpet beetle larva. Unfortunately, these organisms can be really annoying and destructive, but luckily our reader only found a single larva, so she should be able to start cleaning in time to prevent an infestation.