What bug is this?
January 14, 2021 3:30 AM   Subscribe

Last night I found a few bugs on a sock somewhere in my daughter's room. Can anyone identify this bug? How do I best check for more and how do I get rid of them? (The coin in the image is a Euro, for size, my guess is the bug is about 3.5 mm/0.14 inch?)
posted by Ms. Next to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
Best answer: Looks like a furniture beetle larva to me.
posted by Flock of Cynthiabirds at 3:50 AM on January 14, 2021

Best answer: yep, carpet beetle or furniture beetle larva. You may see the occasional adult, which is a small brown beetle with a sort of checked pattern. If you have wool carpets or other natural fibres around, you'll attract a few.

In my experience, regular vacuuming is enough to control them. I don't worry too much if I find the occasional one. If you find a lot of them in a particular room, it might be worth working out what they're using as a food source. Fabrics that have been stored or left undisturbed for a long time undisturbed seem to be hotspots.
posted by pipeski at 4:23 AM on January 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Definitely carpet beetle larvae or something closely related. They will do lots of damage to woolen items and silk items and other stuff made from protein based fibers. Regular vacuuming may or may not be enough to control them, they can survive in tiny crevices between floorboards and under baseboards that vacuuming does not fully reach. Regular vacuuming will help with the size of the infestation but they are persistent little jerks and you may continue seeing them for years if you are not supremely vigilant.
posted by fancyoats at 4:51 AM on January 14, 2021

Best answer: Carpet beetles! We had these once! The little hairs on their carapace get left behind on things and can be a skin irritant. Not the worst bug around but really unpleasant if your skin is sensitive.

They eat hair and natural fibers. We deep cleaned the room, got all the cat hair out of corners and crannies, and bagged or froze all the wool fabrics we could. That seemed to do the trick.
posted by Wulfhere at 5:01 AM on January 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My husband had an infestation of these in his car and it was a nightmare to get rid of them -- we probably went to the car wash to vacuum the car thoroughly about 5 times and he repeatedly filled a spray bottle and sprayed down all the cloth in the car with isopropyl alcohol. It did the trick but they were really bad and we probably had them for about 6 months before we stopped finding them.
posted by jabes at 7:29 AM on January 14, 2021

Best answer: I heard a solution of vinegar and rubbing alcohol will deplete them or alcohol and lemon juice.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 9:33 PM on January 15, 2021

Response by poster: Thank you all for responding! It looks like they are carpet beetles indeed. I have thoroughly vacuumed the whole area and will do frequent checks to see if they return.
posted by Ms. Next at 4:16 AM on January 18, 2021

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