Worm in Bathroom with “Strange Tail and No Legs” Is Carpet Beetle Larva

A reader recently sent us a photograph and a short message. She explained that she found a worm-like organism in her bathroom. The creature in question is about a quarter of an inch long. It has a “strange little tail” and no legs as far as she could tell. She would like to know what the specimen is and if she should be worried about its presence.

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 We can see from the photograph she sent us that the specimen is an orange or brown color. The “strange little tail” she referred to appears to be a tuft of long hairs. Based on the picture and the description, we are confident that this specimen is a carpet beetle larva, which is an extremley common household pest. There are three different species: varied carpet beetle, furniture carpet beetle, and black carpet beetle. We believe the larvae our reader found is a black carpet beetle larvae.

Now that we have identified the specimen we can move on to our reader’s next question: Should she be worried? No, she doesn’t need to be stressed out, but she shouldn’t ignore this larva. While carpet beetle larvae are not dangerous from a health or safety standpoint (they aren’t known to transmit or carry human diseases) they can be quite a headache to deal with. Since our reader only found one larva, we reckon she is dealing with a minor problem and not a full blown infestation.

To get rid of carpet beetle larvae in her home she will need to follow a few steps. First, she will need to identify and get rid of the food sources for the larvae. She should look around her bathroom (which is where she found the larva) for anything that shows signs of damage: towels, linens, toilet paper rolls, woven baskets. Once she has found the source she needs to get it out of her house ASAP since it might be full of additional larvae or unseen eggs. Next she will need to thoroughly clean to eliminate any other unseen larvae and eggs. She should continue this cleaning regime until she is confident that her bathroom is carpet beetle larvae free! This cleaning regime should include vacuuming, doing laundry, sweeping, and dusting every day. Not only will this eliminate eggs and larvae, it will also clear away any other potential dust and small particles that could serve as food for the larvae.

To conclude, one of our readers discovered an orange creature in her bathroom with a strange tail and no legs. We believe the specimen is a carpet beetle larva.

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Worm in Bathroom with "Strange Tail and No Legs" Is Carpet Beetle Larva
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Worm in Bathroom with "Strange Tail and No Legs" Is Carpet Beetle Larva
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One of our readers discovered an orange creature in her bathroom with a strange tail and no legs. We believe the specimen is a carpet beetle larva.
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