I know that feeling...
You're minding your own business when all the sudden you see something tiny crawling in your carpet.
You get close to see if that really is what you think it is... And then...
I'm sorry... I know it sucks.
Take a deep breath and relax. You can take care of this mess and we're going to learn how on this post.
Just to be clear, what you're seeing aren't actually worms. In 99.99% of cases, those tiny worms are actually larvae. They could be spider larvae, moth larvae, fly larvae, beetle larvae, etc. And when they grow up, those worm-like looking things will turn into insects.
Depending on the type of larvae that we're encountering, we're going to take a different approach to get rid of them.
But don't worry it's not that complicated. We have two main scenarios:
1. Those are carpet beetle larvae. This is the most likely scenario. And because of that reason, we're going to talk about this scenario more specifically than the second scenario.
2. Those are any other types of larvae. One of the millions of insect species in the world.
In this post, we're going to learn how to identify beetle larvae from other types of larvae. We're also going to learn how to remove both the beetle larvae and any other type of larvae.
As we just mentioned, we're dealing with two possible scenarios: carpet beetle larvae or any other type of larvae.
Let's take a look at what Carpet Beetle Larvae look so we can know what scenario we might be dealing with.
There are currently 3 main species of Carpet Beetle in North America. Of those 3 species, they all have pretty different larvae. And this is what they look like (both the beetles and their larvae):
If the worms on your carpet look like any of the three larvae in the above picture, you're dealing with Carpet Larvae. If not, then you're dealing with other types of larvae.
It's hard to say, because so far we only know whether or not that larvae are carpet beetle larvae or any other type of larvae. But we'll try to explain to get as much explained as possible.
1. Carpet Beetle Larvae. Carpet beetle's larvae aren't dangerous to humans. They don't bite (we explained that thoroughly in a post: The Danger of Carpet Beetle Bites. It's not what you think!). And they aren't known to carry any disease that might be contagious to humans (grown or larvae).
Some people are allergic to larvae. Especially, to larvae's dead skin. They can cause a lot of pain. This is a picture of someone who suffers from carpet beetle larvae allergies:
But as a rule of thumb, we can say that carpet beetles aren't harmful to humans.
2. Other Larvae. It's impossible to know whether or not any other larva is dangerous to humans. That's why you have to be careful!
1. Carpet Beetle Larvae. Carpet Beetle Larvae are scavengers. They feed on dead animals (humans aren't on the menu, fortunately). That means that they will eat animal-based materials such as feathers, silk, leather, fur, wool, etc.
Because of that, they could eat anything from your sweaters to your scarfs, to your suitcase... and of course, your carpet!
They won't eat synthetic carpets unless they're blended with wool. Sometimes manufacturers do this to make them softer.
2. Other Larvae. They could be harmful too! Maybe not to your clothes carpet or bedding, but to anything else (like wood, for example).
The fact that you're actually seeing the larvae, means that you already have an infestation. They are soooo tiny, you've probably had them for a long time and haven't realized until now.
But that's ok! In this post, we're going to show you how to take care of the Carpet Beetles in your house (beetles, larvae, and eggs) and how to kill any other larvae (from any other insect species).
Carpet Beetles are terrible! They can cause a lot of damage to your stuff. And if just a single egg survives, they reproduce so quickly that your whole house could be infested again in just a couple of years.
Because it's such a big issue, we decided to write a post titled: You can get rid of Disgusting Carpet Beetles. This is How! In that post, you'll learn everything you need to know on how to completely remove carpet beetles.
You will need a couple of things in order to do it yourself. These are the most important:
If you have larvae from any other insect besides carpet beetles, the following method will only work to kill the larvae. But it doesn't guarantee that it will completely kill the adults and the eggs. You can first try this method to kill the larvae, and if the infestation persists, you should call a professional to help you identify what type of larvae it is and what's the specific way of removing it completely.
We're going to sprinkle diatomaceous earth over your carpet. If you don't know what this is, its a natural product that comes from the remains of diatoms (ancient algae). Diatomaceous earth is not toxic for humans (nor pets), but will kill insects.
Don't just sprinkle on the affected area! There could be more even if you don't see them! So
You can buy it online! It's very inexpensive:
The second step is to steam clean the carpet and to wash all your clothes, bedding, and towels at a high temperature. Those clothes that can't be washed should be dry cleaned.
If you don't yet own a carpet steam cleaner, it's time you bought one! I honestly think that owning a good carpet steam cleaner is the wisest investment a carpet owner can make. We have a buying guide where we try and review the Best Carpet Steam Cleaners of 2021 So be sure to check it out!
If you don't own a carpet steam cleaner
If you don't own a vacuum steam cleaner get one! You won't be disappointed. But if you really can't get one right now, at least shampoo your carpet and vacuum every day thoroughly for a week. It's the only way you'll be able to remove all the larvae and eggs that may be inside your carpet still.
Also... If you're not going to steam clean your carpet, you should be at least using a good and powerful vacuum cleaner. You probably know that vacuum cleaners (like most electronics) lose vacuuming strength as they get older. So if you were thinking about getting a new vacuum, this might be the moment you were waiting for.
We have a post with Best Vacuum Cleaners 2021
And that's it! Your problem should be solved by now!
And that's it! I really hope you can take care of your worm/larvae problem.
I know it's very unpleasant. But you have to take it seriously, or else the problem could become bigger every week. It's the only way you'll actually solve this issue.
And if you've tried the DIY method and nothing seems to work... call a professional. I know professional services can be quite expensive, but if you don't call soon, the damages caused by the infestation could be way more expensive than the cost of removing it in the first place.
I really hope you can take care of it!
Hello, I'm Jeremy. I used to own a blog about pest control until Jimena found me and asked me to join the Carpet and Rug World team. I'm passionate about carpet beetles, bed bugs, moths, etc. A lot of people don't understand how that's possible. I always say that the smile on a person's face when they get rid of the problem is worth it!