Bed Bug hysteria leads to misidentified Carpet Beetle Larvae

Possible Bedbugs?
Location: San Diego, Ca
October 24, 2010 2:53 am
My fiancee and I found these bugs in our bedroom and are afraid that they are bedbugs or at the very least harmful to us and our family. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Thank you in advance!

Carpet Beetle Larvae, NOT Bed Bugs

These are Carpet Beetle Larvae, NOT Bed Bugs.  While it is true that there is cause for concern regarding Bed Bugs, we believe the number of requests we are receiving recently from people who believe they have Bed Bugs is being fueled by media coverage.  Infestations of Bed Bugs are on the rise, especially in crowded urban areas, and an infestation of Bed Bugs can be extremely difficult to eradicate.  Unscrupulous exterminators will separate you from your money should you place paranoid calls for every unknown creature you find in your home.  While these Carpet Beetle Larvae are unwelcome visitors in the home, and while the exterminator may be able to kill the individuals currently present, that will not prevent future generations of Carpet Beetle Larvae from appearing in your home.  Carpet Beetles will feed on many types of organic material, including pet hair.  They are cosmopolitan and they may appear anywhere organic fibers may be found.  Carpet Beetles and Pantry Beetles are among the most frequent identification requests we receive, and our archives are filled with information on how to control their numbers.  Unlike Bed Bugs, Carpet Beetles and Pantry Beetles will not harm humans, and exterminators may claim to be able to eradicate them, but they will return unless the underlying problems are located.  Bed Bugs are a totally different matter, but we would strongly urge that the presence of Bed Bugs be established conclusively before any fumigation program is initiated.  BugGuide has many excellent images of Bed Bugs for comparison.

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