What are Tiny Black Worms in Carpet?

One of our readers recently wrote to us about some mysterious creatures that have made a home out of his carpet. He explained that they have been around for over a year, and that despite vacuuming them up, they always come back. He would like to know what the worms are and how he can prevent them from living in his carpet. This is the photograph he sent to us:

The photo shows three black worm-like organisms next to a lighter. Since the lighter is positioned next to the worms, it provides a great sizing scale and we can see just how tiny these specimens are. On the other hand, since the creatures are so small, we can’t determine any other physical traits about them. What could they be?

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When we hear about small black worms discovered in a carpet, our first idea is that the creatures are carpet beetle larvae, which are extremley common household pests. However, we are confident that these creatures are not carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae look much different than the three specimens in the photograph. Instead of elongated thin bodies, carpet beetle larvae have round bodies that are covered in small spiky hairs. So, if they are not carpet beetle larvae, what are they?

We see some resemblance to millipedes, which readers discover fairly often as well. Millipedes have dark segmented bodies lined with tiny legs. They also curl into a C-shape as a defense mechanism, sort of like the creatures in this photograph. However, millipedes are usually 1-2 inches long, and the creatures in this photograph are all smaller than 1 inch long. These millipedes could just be particularly tiny, or perhaps they are another organism altogether.

Unfortunately, we aren’t confident of the species of the organisms our reader discovered. Therefore, we also can’t offer a ton of advice on how to get rid of the creatures other than cleaning. We recommend our reader use a carpet cleaner to deep clean his carpet and eliminate whatever food source the creatures are feeding on, rather than just vacuuming up the creatures themselves. If any of our other readers are familiar with these small black worms, we invite them to share their experiences in the comment section of this article!

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What are Tiny Black Worms in Carpet?
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What are Tiny Black Worms in Carpet?
One of our readers recently wrote to us about some mysterious creatures that have made a home out of his carpet.


  1. Dean

    I live I New Zealand and get these on my carpet downstairs near the door into the garage,only appear Autum through winter never see them in the summer
    What the hell are they

  2. Chrissy Warnock

    Did you ever get any answers?? I’m suffering from this as well!!

  3. Michele Lau

    I also have tiny thin worms but some are very long literally making designs in my carpet. I also have clear looking ones. Now these worms are in me and my caregiver under the skin. I havent been back to my apt in over a month and now they seem to be dead leaving bruises that arent sore in a worm like pattern. I have hundreds of pictures and would like to share. My dr hasnt found anything in my blood and am still waiting on results from the stool samples. These things have left me permantely scarred. I dont know who to reach out to because these types of parasites arent known in the u.s.

  4. jim

    I get them all the time in the summer ? I live in nky. my apt. is clean no pets.my place is next to a park. all woods. 1st. floor. clean them up . about 3 or 5 a day?

  5. Catherine

    Ingrid, I also find these little creatures mostly upstairs. Most times they are dead, but many times if I go to clean it up, it does clear in a C shape. I live in Eastern Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. Maybe it’s something regional. I also would like to know what they are. I have 2 indoor cats….I don’t know if their presence have anything to do with these teeny tiny worms.

  6. Ingrid

    OMG… I find these everyday along the base boards all over the house…. rarely are they crawling usually they are dead and curled up…. upstairs in bedrooms downstairs in every room! We have been getting them for over a year (summer & winter) here in NJ! None of our neighbor get them! Someone help! I keep researching g ans cant figure it out. We also carpet clean our house at least 2x a year!!

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