Carpet Beetles: Bed Bug Paranoia spawns cleaning frenzy

So you think you’ve got bedbugs? Don’t jump the gun.
February 3, 2010
Dear Bugman,
Thank you for just being you. This is a wonderful blog. I will spare you my gushing, but suffice it to say that this experience has turned me from a bug hater to a bug enthusiast! Here’s my little story:
I was doing a little(overdue) cleaning under my bed last Sunday, and pulled out a cotton sock that had little bugs on it. I admit, I panicked. I found more in and on a broken umbrella that I meant to throw away, and immediately ran to bag those things and put them outside. I have noticed that bedbugs have been getting a lot of press these days, so I assumed that’s what they were. I completely flipped out and commenced to cleaning my whole room top to bottom, baseboards first. I found another smaller nest of them under/behind st of drawers on a couple of cotton balls in a little nest of cathair, human hair, and dust. I have two cats that live indoors, so my bedroom had quite a bit of cathair on the floor. Gross, I know, but these bugs were loving it I guess. It’s like a Vegas buffet in there!
Anyway, I did a lot of internet research after I flipped out (bagging my mattresses and boiling my sheets) and began to think that maybe I had something that’s not a bedbug.
I hadn’t gotten any real bites that I was aware of, but I deduced the ‘bedbugs’ must be feeding off my cat, Prissy, who happens to have a bald, itchy belly right now. I also found one, lone bug between my boxpring and mattress. I found a few more around the plastic reinforcing corner on my boxspring. That was my confirmation that I needed to evacuate. Besides that, I was itching like crazy just thinking about them.
Today I finally found a few that I had not yet dispatched (sorry) so we had a little photoshoot. They are either very sleepy or dead, because the ones that were not just casings (or skeletons) don’t move a lot that I can tell.
While I was under my chest of drawers (also wood, like my headboard, and used) I saw a brighter, more active bug with orangey black striped/spotted wings. Again, I was freaking when I saw that, so into the trash it went.
After I looked at the pictures I took, I thought I may have carpet beetle larvae instead of the dreaded bedbug. I am praying that you can confirm this! Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work.
Jen in TN
Pulaski, Tennessee, USA (Mid-South USA)

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Good Morning Jen,
It must give you such pleasure to awake in such a clean bedroom.  If only we would be similarly inspired to thoroughly clean our own room, we would probably find some Carpet Beetle Larvae as well.  Goodness knows how many we would find in our own cat’s favorite hiding place in the back of the closet.  You are correct that these are Carpet Beetle Larva.  We wanted to direct your attention to another letter from our archives, and we couldn’t locate it, so we are transferring the information from our old computer to the new computer and reposting as it seems to have gotten lost in the site migration.  Thanks so much for your highly entertaining contribution.

Carpet Beetle Larva

13 thoughts on “Carpet Beetles: Bed Bug Paranoia spawns cleaning frenzy”

  1. so I have a question as well. I’m probably freaking out nite then I should since I have just been attacked by mosquitos I’m pretty sure but in the past week I have found three black bettles and one very small worm thing on my pillow….i figure they can’t be bed bugs because the beetles are very black and have wings unfourtunatly have no pictures because I flushed them but any insight as to what they are and how I can make them go away would be great

  2. At least they were larva from your cats and not bedbugs. My friend has a few cats and shes been talking about larva lately, she says she gets them because of her cat. She uses Demon WP to get rid of them. That stuff also gets rid of bedbugs, ants, spiders and cockroaches. Pretty much every insect you could think of. This post makes me want to go seriously clean my bedroom and hope I don’t find anything.

  3. So i found a black and white catapillar looking bug on my bed very tiny kinda looks like this but not hairy looking and in freaking out please tell me its not since type of bed bug i hate bugs they freak me out i won’t be sleeping in my bed tonight

  4. I hope I don’t get these creepy things. I recently bought a carpet and I’m looking for helpful articles to prepare myself. This one is really one of them. Thanks for sharing and helping me 🙂

  5. .I am going to the same thing I have black spiky things they in my hair .They in my bed they are allover my house they don’t move they be sticking medon’t know what they are but they look just like the picture of black spiky things

  6. I have this tiny furry hairy beetle like bug that been sticking or biting us. I am trying to figure out what it is. I have a picture of it that I can send to you. I am exhauted and tired if getting bit . It leaves tiny hair particles on bed.

  7. You had a funny story once about a woman who kept sending you pieces of fuzz and thought they were bugs. could you publish it

  8. My mom actually had something really similar happen – she was convinced she had bedbugs, and for a couple months was asking me to inspect and photograph her “bites,” but I wasn’t convinced. I did some research and came to the same conclusion OP did. Our family has always has weird allergy/autoimmune stuff going on (ex I get rashes and have asthma attacks when i do cardio) so irritation from the larva hairs when rolling over in bed seemed like it’d make sense. After the pest control company came and put a cover on her mattress, the larvae moved elsewhere, and she hasn’t had any “bites” since.

    tl;dr you better be sure it’s bedbugs before you act on it! call a pest company or try and snap up some samples yourself.

  9. We found about ten of these bugs in our bedroom and are worried they are bedbugs. Could you please give us your opinion? We found two on our bed, two in our overnight bags and the rest on the carpet. Help.


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