Strange Worms found in apartment #370901 - Ask Extension


Strange Worms found in apartment #370901

Asked October 18, 2016, 10:23 AM EDT

I have found tiny, almost invisable to the eye black worms on top of my white bedspread. They are not much wider than my pinky, and move as though it was a worm, they curl into a ball and do not seem to have legs.
They were not present the day before, as I had changed my sheets, and were on on top of the bedspread, not underneath the sheets, on the mattress, or anywhere else. I have treated my cat for fleas recently, but this does not seem related to him.
I had a house plant nearby that was knocked over, perhaps the cat tracked soil insects on top of the bed?
I also had an old oriental carpet below the bed that I thought may have the worms, I have now thrown it out thinking of carpet beetles, but I am unsure that their larvae look like this.
Is it connected to my cat's fleas?
Any help would be much appreciated!

Harris County Kentucky

Expert Response

The insects you have found are most likely the larva of fabric pests but identification without a sample is almost impossible if you want a definite answer. You are welcome to bring in a sample of the 'worms' you are seeing for us to identify. If we cannot ID them here we will send them off to the entomology lab. Put several of the insects in a small container with alcohol to preserve them and we will take a look!

In the mean time launder the bed clothes including the spread. The following link has more information on fabric pests and will help you control the likely problem:

Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!

Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
810 Barret Ave
Louisville KY 40204

Carol Wilder Replied October 21, 2016, 8:31 AM EDT

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