Infested: Carpet Beetle Larvae Invading Your Scalp? Here’s Your Rescue Plan

Carpet beetle larvae are a common household pest, known for their ability to cause damage to fabrics, carpets, and furniture.

While these pests are typically found in our homes, they are usually not associated with living on human scalps.

However, if you suspect that they might be living in your hair, it’s important to address the issue as quickly as possible.

Carpet Beetle Larvae in Scalp

One reason for concern about carpet beetle larvae in your scalp is the potential for an allergic reaction.

Some people may experience itching or mild skin irritation as a result of the larvae’s hair or bristles.

Understanding the nature of these pests and taking appropriate measures to eradicate them from your home and hair can help you eliminate any discomfort and prevent potential damage to your belongings.

Identifying Carpet Beetle Larvae and Scalp Infestation

Physical Characteristics

Carpet beetle larvae are small insects that can infest various areas of your household. They are usually between 1/4 inch long or less and have a carrot-shaped, furry appearance.

A common type of carpet beetle larva is the varied carpet beetle larva. This larva is tear-drop shaped and covered with rows of light brown hairs.

Carpet beetle larva

Symptoms of Infestation

Carpet beetle larvae can infest your scalp and cause irritation. If you suspect an infestation in your hair, some key signs to look for include:

  • Itchy scalp
  • Brownish or reddish debris in hair

To identify carpet beetle larvae infestations, carefully examine your scalp and hair for any physical signs.

Comparing the features we mentioned above can help you differentiate between carpet beetle larvae infestation and other common scalp conditions like dandruff.

Once identified, seeking proper treatment can help alleviate itchiness and other related issues.

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Causes of Carpet Beetle Infestation

Home Environment Factors

Carpet beetle infestations can be influenced by several factors in your home environment:

  • Clutter: Accumulation of items like old clothes, books, and newspapers can provide hiding spots and food sources for carpet beetle larvae.
  • Poor ventilation: Humidity and lack of airflow can create favorable conditions for these pests to thrive.
  • Infrequent cleaning: Neglecting to vacuum or clean carpets, upholstery, and other areas can lead to an accumulation of lint, pet hair, and other materials that attract carpet beetles.

Sources of Attraction

Carpet beetles and their larvae are attracted to various items and materials in your home:

  • Natural fibers: They love to consume animal-based materials such as wool, fur, hair, feathers, and silk1.
  • Food sources: Carpet beetles also feed on dead insects, pollen, and food crumbs2.
  • Plants and furs: They may be drawn to indoor plants and furs as well.

 

For example, an infestation may begin when adult beetles enter your home through open windows or doorways, attracted by pollen or natural fibers indoors3.

Carpet beetle larvae can usually be found crawling along baseboards or hiding behind sofas, feeding on lint and pet hair4.

Remember to maintain a clean home environment, store animal products and natural fibers properly, and eliminate accessible food sources for carpet beetles to prevent infestations.

Treating Carpet Beetle Larvae in Scalp

Carpet beetle larvae are more commonly found feeding on materials of animal origin like woolen items, furs, and feathers, rather than a human scalp.

However, if you are experiencing a scalp infestation, here is how to deal with it.

Natural Remedies

  • Apple cider vinegar: Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and apply it to your scalp. Rinse after a few minutes. This can help balance the pH of your scalp and deter pests.
  • Essential oils: Mix a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto your scalp. These oils have insect-repellent properties.

Remember, natural remedies may help alleviate scalp irritation and discomfort, but their effectiveness in treating infestations is not guaranteed.

Adult carpet beetle

Over-the-Counter Treatments

You can use over-the-counter solutions meant for lice control as they may also work to remove unwanted pests from your scalp.

Prevention

To prevent future infestations:

  • Wash your hair and scalp regularly
  • Avoid sharing combs, towels, or other personal items with others
  • Keep your living space clean and free from debris
  • Store natural fiber items (wool, fur, etc.) in sealed containers or garment bags
  • Dry clothing and linens on high heat in a dryer to kill any potential larvae

Eliminating Carpet Beetle Larvae at Home

Cleaning Techniques

  • Vacuuming: Regularly vacuum your home, especially areas near wool, fur, and upholstered furniture to remove larvae, adult beetles, and their food sources.
  • Steam cleaning: Use steam cleaners on rugs, carpets, and furniture to kill any hidden larvae.

Chemical Treatments

  • Insecticides: Apply insecticides such as boric acid or diatomaceous earth as a desiccant to infested areas.
  • Foggers: Use foggers containing pyrethroids or pyrethrins to kill active larvae and adult beetles.

DIY Solutions

  • Cedar oil: Mix cedar oil with water and spray it on infested areas to repel beetles.
  • Neem oil: Apply neem oil onto affected fabrics and furniture, as this natural insecticide is effective against various pests including carpet beetles, fleas, and bed bugs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while carpet beetle larvae are common household pests known for damaging fabrics and causing skin irritation, cases of them infesting human scalps are not common.

Nonetheless, understanding their characteristics, habits, and attractions is crucial for effective home management.

Employing preventive measures, maintaining a clean environment, and utilizing both natural and chemical treatments can aid in controlling and eliminating these pests, ensuring the preservation of your belongings and a comfortable living space.

Footnotes

  1. University of Maryland Extension 2
  2. Purdue University 2
  3. USU Extension | USU
  4. Oregon State University

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

18 thoughts on “Infested: Carpet Beetle Larvae Invading Your Scalp? Here’s Your Rescue Plan”

  1. I wanted to thank you for this site. I saw one of the above bugs on my windowsill and later under my bed (ie 4 weeks later) and was worried about the adult bed bug but when I looked closer at the bugs, it was IDENTICAL to the one up above–mostly black and white thought. Any ideas on how to get rid of the carpet beetles without bringing in a pesticide companY?

    Reply
  2. I have carpet beetles in my house. Though they do not bite they are incredible destructive to favorite cashmere sweaters… And, some of us happen to be terribly allergic. When I woke one morning with about 10 PAINFUL, burning, itching red welts I panicked, thinking I might have bed bugs. After several, late night, repeat attacks, the loss of multiple beloved wool and cashmere items from around the house, an extensive home recon mission and hours of on-line research, I have finally identified carpet beetles. As I do not wish to live in a den of conventional toxic “residual” insecticide, I have become an OCD cleaning machine and my house reeks of rubbing alcohol and essential oils. Apparently, this obsessive process of heat and natural (or less toxic to humans) insecticide will need to be repeated regularly for months as the eggs are rugged and cannot easily be killed until they hatch.

    Reply
  3. I have them in my nose , hair, everywhere & found a LOT in my house! I’m researching ALL I can to find help and answers. There is not a lot online about people being infested with them, but if it happened to you, you would be searching as much as me! I have found cases where they were documented by medical professionals to have been in the live intestines, ears, and also dead human bodies.I found that they had been eating turkeys LIVE! I could go on, but everything eventually evolves, especially bugs! These bugs are being sold by the hundreds to anyone who wants them. The ones born in the wild may not be such a problem for the most part, but the ones that are fed meat, skin, tendons, & hair their entire lives are much more likely to evolve into predatory type beetles. Oftentimes they are simply released into nature when no longer needed. Now, if they’ve been fed their whole lives, they’ve been warm, given water, bedding, etc.. and now they are loose & hungry, what would the natural thing to do be? Find food and shelter. What is food to these bugs raised in such a way? Meat, skin, hair, etc.. dog, cat, dead rat, dead Joe, or LIVE Joe! It makes so much sense to me that I cannot understand why doctors will not even consider that such a flesh eating bug would, surprise! … EVOLVE! I realize you may not add my comment, to most it would sound crazy & scary, trust me when I say, IT IS! That doesn’t make it any less true! If only I could find someone that would help me, so many lives could be changed, saved, & truly healed! Like the revelation of the bot fly maggot or the scabies bug, knowledge can be revolutionary and miraculous! I believe that most people that think they have morgellons actually have black carpet beetles. I also believe that they produce bacteria that make the problem of infestation even worse by causing infections . I myself had a staff infection that I think came from them, but at least came from the itching & scratching because of them. I lost over 30lbs before I realized that they could’ve also given me another parasite. I treated for worms & found tape worms in my stools. After treating that ( successfully I hope) I went from being under 100lbs to gaining about half of the 30lbs back. This is a very long story & has been one of the worst things me & my family have ever gone through! I have 2 aunts, an uncle, my mom, and my daughter who all have similar symptoms. I also had 2 sons that had it, but caught it early in them and we’re able to treat it successfully with ivermectin and lotion with colloidal silver & lotion with tea tree oil. As I write this, the other 6 of us have had it for over a year. August was a year & it’s now December. I only wrote all that in the hopes that there are others willing to also testify about human beetle infestation, that some may come to look more closely and realize this is the cause of their own or another’s (family, friend, patient) infestation, to find a medical professional willing to help, & most importantly to bring awareness if possible! May God have mercy! Idk if I’m allowed to leave my email address or not, but if so & there is someone that would like to share their beetle infestation story with me or someone that is a medical or scientific doctor/entomologist that would be willing to help get rid of and/or prove this horrible infestation, then PLEASE email me cherrilu1978@yahoo.com

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    • My name is Linda Luker and I am experiencing this and have had it since June of last year. I would love to talk to you about it, I have no hair left, and the doctors say that they don’t see anything but they don’t even look. My number is 817-812-4433

      Reply
    • Did you ever have any luck ridding yourself of this nightmare? I’m almost 1 year in and I can’t live like this anymore. 2 urgent care visits, dermatologists, several ENT visits followed up with a brain MRI that came back with just some slight hearing loss and TMJ. I’m 28. My pain and hearing get worse everyday and I lost my job of 3.5 years because of this. And now I fear my 2 year old is suffering too. I’m hopeless.

      Reply
  4. I have what I think are carpet beetles and I am also very allergic but there’s something airborne when I vacuum it gets all over me and makes my skin dehydrated it’s a horrible feeling does anyone no what this is

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  5. I too have this problem, I can’t sleep because they fly into my mouth. In my hair, I swallow them just by breathing they even cause bleeding and bumps on my tongue. I’ve tried every remedy I can think of. We’ve had a professional to spray our home. Essential oils, and candles also. They are miniature monsters that we’ll have to the end of this system of things. I wonder why God made such destructive creatures. They eat everything. I wish sometimes I could just die. I haven’t been the same since we’ve had them. I was told that be careful of what we buy, especially grains. You can introduce them into your home. One store to watch is Walmart. I purchased Kale full of carpenter beetles, tea bags and have seen them on their clothes in store. Believe me I have become so familiar with these beast, I sometimes feel I have become one. I’m allergic to them they make my throat swell. I don’t think we can get rid of them because they constantly make new members. Throw your clothes away. Bombing helps a little, but if you have a mate that is bent on saving their old clothes because they aren’t allergic to them, and are left in the stone age with thirty yr old carpet they finally decided to remove you are doomed like me. Eventually they will eat the remains of their clothes. Please pray for me as I will continue to suffer, I’ll do the same.

    Reply
  6. I too live with this nightmare. I moved into an apartment the end of Feb. 2018. Six to 8 weeks later I start seeing signs of them. Apartment manager will not help. They are spreading. They are in my hair, my nose and intestines. I am also allergic to them. I have been told by someone who worked with an exterminator you have to shave your head if they are in your hair. You need to do this and leave ALL PERSONAL BELONGINGS BEHIND!

    Reply
    • I have recently been under attack too. What I’ve switched to from ivermectin and some vitamin shop tincture is cellcore (brand) para 1,2 &3 carboxy (a toxin binder) and the difference is immediate. They aren’t the cheapest but they’re the best.

      Reply
  7. Omg guys I have them too!!! Hair, mouth, throat, coughing them up! I’m absolutely terrified. My chest feels right. I asked for a chest X-ray at the ER and they said no. A culture and they said no. When I cough now it’s little yellow blobs (larvae?) and some little white eggs and some WORMS! I have found them full grown in my hair after thinking it was head lice. God help us all. Please tell me if any of you have tried Albena (Albendazole)? Please email me any time. Good luck everyone. I am glad I’m not alone but sorry this is happening to you too. Xo

    Reply
  8. For the last two years I have been in a similar hell. I had desperately searched the Internet, doctors offices, urgent care, even emergency room, and have been referred to a psychiatrist and then therapist because it was concluded that nothing was wrong with me and it was all mental. I only yesterday discovered what this was and am at the store stocking up on supplies to try to get rid of the problem.
    I too have had had them in my sinuses, lungs, on my scalp, and obvious skin conditions from them.
    My chest is always feeling tight, I have constant headaches, and I can feel them in my mouth, throat, and can feel them getting sucked into my mouth when I am breathing. It is so disgusting! My daughter is always having Horrible allergies.
    Has anybody had any success getting rid of the dang things?
    Please contact me at kolson481@gmail.com or 734-351-9191.
    Any advice would be appreciated!!!

    Reply
  9. Hi anyone. I’m currently as well as my 4 kids and husband (even though he won’t admit it) are suffering tremendously from this. My email is lakinandbaby@gmail.com. Please contact me if you have found a cure or some type of relief!

    Reply
    • I also have been living with these disgusting things. They are native to the middle East in countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia. My hair is getting thin with bald patches everywhere. I put the clothes I want to wear for the day in a plastic bag and pour boric acid in the bag and shake the bag so it gets in my clothes with hopes of killing them. It itches when you wear clothes that are full of the larvae. I heard the heat treatment for bedbugs exterminators do is also the treatment needed for a carpet beetle infestation. My husband doesn’t believe me how bad it is which I don’t understand. But I am miserable since I go through a huge box of q tips a week just trying to remove them from my eyes and nose and ears. I blow my nose and it’s milky green. I pour peroxide in my ears first the one and I hold it up towards the ceiling and let it sit in there for ten minutes and then the other ear. The ears are where viruses and bacterial infections really live, not the nose and throat like we’ve been led to believe. But I do it to kill off any infections the larvae may be causing and to kill any larvae hanging out in my frickin ears. I’ve never seen an insect so nasty and disgusting in my entire life. I’m trying to talk my husband into a heat treatment or something to get rid of them in our home while I still have
      hair and clothes to wear that aren’t full of holes. They’ve also gotten into our refrigerator and clothes dryer. I can’t go on like this much longer. I am finding them at the place I work at. I bought black berries from Meijer a few weeks ago and they were infested with carpet beetle larvae. The container said it was a product of Mexico. I hope you can use this information to help yourself. I know I have to do something soon, myself!

      Reply
  10. I too am having the same problems. I think it’s a environment issue because as soon as I moved into the current apartment in which my family is living in, that’s when it all began. Starting noticing tiny black specs on my skin, and my skin began to itch, shed,change and all these brown spots started showing up everywhere. Now I’m waking up with tiny cuts and holes on my body, head to toe. My hair is falling out, facial hair just all turned white within less than 6 months, i have this horrible taste in my mouth/smell that is bug like, musty disgusting, makes me nautious daily. The symptoms are just getting worse, and thanks to our broken medical system who only gives fucks about covid symptoms and of course if your positive, you can’t go to the dr, ( perfect storm), I’m seriously out of ideas to help myself. I got denied a appointment with an infectious disease doctor because my primary care physician’s notes on my symptoms weren’t adequate to see the specialist with a referral. I never knew that a dr can refuse to see you if they believe it isn’t life threatening, dire, or necessary. I feel like I’m drowning and every night I literally fear going to sleep because I know when I wake up all my limbs hurt, I feel terrible, eyes burn, face burns, sinuses clogged, throat clogged and dry, headache, along with my everyday symptoms from Anklosing Spondylitis, Scoliosis, blown discs, Neuropathy, Sacrilloitis, nearly paralyzing me. This country’s medical community is failing the people it’s claiming is saving. Parasites will be the next pandemic, as it’s already in the process due to lazy drs passing the truth down to your local psychiatrist ready to diagnose you with the latest condition cure-able with the newest anti psychaotic drug to sedate you unrelated. ‘Next patient’,already hated… health care shouldn’t be a lottery, but that’s exactly what this spastic democracy has tainted the red white and brainwashed people of its aristocracy of hypocrisy gentrified generations on repeat to retreat and take

    Reply

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