“I found this worm in my bedding” says this reader about the virtually featureless, beige worm-like creature with subtle segmentation and miniature bristles. This article will aim to answer our reader’s question of what this “worm” is.
Besides the photograph above, our reader does not provide any more context about his situation, but given the physical attributes of the creature, as well as the location in which it was found, we have concluded that this is a carpet beetle larva. Although carpet beetle larvae are of a far less discreet appearance than this — their bodies being clearly striped between darker and lighter tones of brown, and their bristles being longer — we would venture to say that this could be an immature carpet beetle larva. Not only does its location give it away, but if one looks close enough at this creature, one can make out the segmentation where the stripes will appear, as well as the shorter bristles that stick out from its body. In addition to this, the photographed “worm” gives the silhouette that is unique to the carpet beetle larva’s body.
Finding a carpet beetle larva in one’s home is seldom a good sign; it does not mean the end of the world, but it could mean the start of a long battle with a carpet beetle infestation. Carpet beetle larvae feed on organic materials, particularly animal-based textiles and substances. This includes leather/cotton/wool clothing, carpets, feather-stuffed pillows, satin sheets, pet fur and human hair, among other things. They have also been known to get into pet food, but we are guessing this is not what this little critter found in our reader’s bedding. When left unattended for a long time, they can cause significant damage to the items in one’s home, especially as their numbers grow. Now, we are not saying that our reader definitely has an infestation, as he only found one larva, but what we do recommend doing is searching the rest of his home for more larvae. The photo below is a picture of a mature carpet beetle larva that a past reader sent in, which we have included so our reader can be on the lookout for larvae of this description and knows that they are of the same species. We will also link to the article on carpet beetle larvae that this photo is from in the case that our reader does find more larvae and needs advice as to how to handle the situation.
In conclusion, the “worm” our reader found in his bedding is actually an immature carpet beetle larva. Again, we urge our reader to do a thorough search of his home for more larvae and to then apply the advice outlined in the article linked above so that he can deal with the infestation as soon as possible (this is in the case that he does find more larvae). That said, we sincerely hope our reader does not find more larvae and that this was a one off thing!
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