One of our readers recently discovered a worm-like organism on her kid’s bed. She asked us to identify the creature, and also wondered if she should be worried about finding more of them. Finally, since the critter was on her child’s bed, she asked about a possible infection from the specimen. She sent us this video of the organism:
Unfortunately, we can’t determine much about the appearance of this organism beyond noting that it is small and brown. Luckily, even without a clear image of the specimen we still think we know what it is. We believe this is a carpet beetle larva!
Carpet beetle larvae are small, brown, and the most common larvae that are found in beds! We hear from readers all the time who have discovered these larvae in their bedding, on their carpets, under their couches, and in other various nooks and crannies around their homes! Our reader shouldn’t feel too stressed about discovering these larvae. While carpet beetle larvae are certainly annoying houseguests, they are generally not harmful to humans or pets. Some people, especially those with weakened immune systems, might experience Carpet Beetle Dermatitis, which is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to carpet beetle hair. If our reader or her child develop a rash, we encourage them to see a doctor.
Carpet beetle larvae eat animal products, wool garments, linens, felt, feathers, fur, pet hair, and other particles that are found around a house. To get rid of the larvae, our reader needs to find the primary food source for the larvae and remove it from her home immediately to be professionally cleaned. Since she only found a single larva, there might not be that many carpet beetle larvae to get rid of. We think the primary food source in this case is probably bedding (perhaps a wool blanket or a feather-stuffed pillow or mattress). In addition to removing the damaged item, our reader will need to start a cleaning routine to eliminate any other potential food sources for these larvae. She should do laundry, sweep, vacuum, and dust every day until she is confident there are no more larvae in her house!
In summary, a reader sent us a video of a small worm-like organism she found in her kid’s bed. We believe the creature is a carpet beetle larva.