We recently received a picture and this message from one of our readers. “What type of creature is this? I found this crawling on my sons leg. At first I thought this may be a pinworm, but now I am thinking it is some form larvae. Any help would be appreciated.” This is the photo he sent us:
The creature is small and shaped like a teardrop. It is an orange/light brown color, and appears to have a segmented body. Could it be a pinworm? We don’t think so. Pinworms look like small pieces of white cotton thread and are so small that they are difficult to see. This worm is clearly visible to the naked eye, and it bears no resemblance to white cotton thread. We agree with our reader’s other idea, we think this is definitely some type of larvae.
We believe this specimen is a carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are common household pests. They feed on a wide range of items found in a house including carpets, upholstered furniture, animal products (felt, fur, wool, and feathers), pet hair, pet food, and even dust! Carpet beetle larvae can survive for long periods of time without food, and they can sneakily move from room to room in search of food. Therefore, they can be quite tricky to get rid of. Since this carpet beetle larva was found on a human rather than a clothing or bedding item, our reader will have to do some detective work to find their primary food source. Our reader should check bedding and clothing items for signs of carpet beetle larvae and remove anything that has been disturbed. He should also begin a vigorous cleaning regime to eliminate any additional food sources that these larvae are feeding on. This can include vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and doing laundry daily!
To wrap up, one of our readers discovered a worm-like organism on his son’s leg. We are confident that the creature is a carpet beetle larva.