“Worm” on Rug is Carpet Beetle Larva, Not Wasp

We recently heard from a reader who discovered a worm-like organism on her daughter’s rug. At first she thought it might be a wasp, since she had previously found a dead wasp in the room, but after closer inspection she wasn’t so sure. Now, she believes it is probably a carpet beetle larva and wants to confirm this identification with us:


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She wrote, “I know you get a lot of carpet beetle requests, but is there any easy way that I can get rid of all the carpet beetles or do I have to clean every single item in her room and/or get pest control? My daughter does have stuffed animals on her rug and a bookshelf full of books but no animal products. Is her room ideal for carpet beetles?”

We can start by confirming what she already suspected: she is definitely dealing with carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are the most common specimen we write about, and we can certainly offer our reader some advice and answer her questions. Before we begin, our reader should hopefully find a glimmer of a silver lining knowing that while they are surely annoying, carpet beetle larvae aren’t considered dangerous or harmful. In other words, they aren’t known to carry or transmit human diseases, so she doesn’t need to worry about how her daughter’s health will be affected by these specimens.

Carpet beetle larvae are especially obnoxious household pests because they can eat almost anything and they can travel among rooms looking for new food sources when they run out. This means that virtually any room can be suitable for a carpet beetle larvae, though of course they would likely prefer a closet full of wool coats to a mudroom containing only rubber boots. We aren’t sure how ideal her daughter’s room is for these larvae since they have such a wide range of potential food sources. Carpet beetle larvae are known to eat dried goods, upholstered furniture, towels, linens, pet hair, pet food, carpets, animal products, and other small particles found throughout a home. So although stuffed animals aren’t typical carpet beetle larvae food, they might be eating the cotton stuffing as a last resort.

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We don’t think our reader will need to clean every single item in her daughter’s room, but cleaning is a huge part in saying goodbye to carpet beetle larvae, and the easiest way could be for our reader to hire pest control to take care of it. We will leave that decision up to her. If she decides to tackle the task alone, she will need to investigate to find and remove the primary food source for these larvae. Based on what we have heard from our reader, it sounds like it could be the carpet itself. Our reader can have the carpet professionally cleaned to eliminate any larvae/eggs  that she can’t see. In addition, she should look in other areas of her daughter’s room for additional larvae. Even if she can’t see any larvae, there might be eggs that haven’t hatched. This is why cleaning is so crucial. She must continue to eliminate larvae, eggs, and potential food sources in order to stop the cycle. We recommend she stick to a daily cleaning regime of doing laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting for at least 2 weeks, or until she is confident her home is free of carpet beetle larvae. Unfortunately, there isn’t an “easy” way to get rid of these larvae, which is why they can be such headache-inducing pests. In addition to cleaning, our reader can also try sprinkling diatomaceous earth (D.E. for short) around her daughter’s room. D.E. is a natural powder that kills carpet beetle larvae upon ingestion but is harmless for humans and/or pets if they consume it or are around it.

To wrap up, one of our readers found a carpet beetle larva in her daughter’s room and asked if there was an easy way to get rid of these creatures. Getting rid of carpet beetle larvae requires a lot of cleaning and dedication, but we believe our reader can conquer this task! We wish her the best of luck.

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"Worm" on Rug is Carpet Beetle Larva, Not Wasp
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"Worm" on Rug is Carpet Beetle Larva, Not Wasp
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One of our readers found a carpet beetle larva in her daughter's room and asked if there was an easy way to get rid of these creatures. Getting rid of carpet beetle larvae requires a lot of cleaning and dedication, but we believe our reader can conquer this task!
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Author: Worm Researcher Dori

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