How To Get Rid Of Bed Worms (Without Chemicals)

The unwanted bed mates are not only bed bugs that bite and have developed legs.

There are also worms that get onto your bed and cause damages on the bed linen. 

These worms are bed worms.

One of these worms can also cause intense itching and leave behind welts like bed bug bites.

In this guide you’ll know what causes bed worms, why they show up on your bed, and the best ways to get rid of them naturally.

Let’s dive in.

What Are Bed Worms Or Mattress Worms?

Bed worms is the collective term given to larvae of insects that show up on your bed.

The larvae venture out for food and crawl onto your bed.

For some larvae, your bed’s fabric can be the food source as well!

Bed worms don’t bite. They don’t cause any diseases either.

But the larva of one particular house beetle can cause itching. And their presence is a sign of an existing bug infestation that you’ve been ignoring. 

4 Types Of Bed Worms

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Sources of carpet beetle larvae in homes

Carpet beetle larvae are tiny brown worms with tan or yellowish stripes and hairy bristles on them.

These worms grow between 1/8 and 1/4 inches in size. 

Adult carpet beetles enter homes during the spring months to lay eggs.

They target the wall voids with dead insects to deposit their eggs.

But they also target furnishings and clothing made of animal fabrics like leather, fur, wool, silk, and feather. 

These natural fibers and the dead insects contain protein which is a food source for the carpet beetle larvae.

So, the adult beetles lay their eggs straight on the food source.

Other natural fibers such as cotton and linen can be food source for the larvae. 

The adult beetles can also lay their eggs in the stored food of the kitchen pantry. That’s why the carpet beetle larva is a potential pantry pest too.

The carpet beetle larvae will crawl onto the bed while scavenging for food. 

You can also see the larvae crawling on the walls when they venture out of the wall voids to look for food. 

Carpet beetle larvae cause damages on the natural fabrics by chewing on them.

That chewing causes holes. They also leave behind their fecal deposits and shed skin on the fabric. 

Carpet beetle larvae don’t bite. And they don’t get inside your ears.

But their hairy bristles can trigger allergic reactions if they crawl on to you. Intense itching, red welts, and rashes develop on the skin.

Those rashes look similar to bed bug bites. 

Clothes Moth Larvae

Cloth Moth Larva

Clothes moth larvae are the larval stage of clothes moths. 

Clothes are fuzzy white moths that enter homes to lay eggs on the natural fabrics. 

These moths prefer to lay eggs in the dark. So, they directly sneak inside the closets, dresser drawers, and wardrobe to lay eggs.

The clothes moth larvae is a tiny creamy-white worm with a brown head and they’re 1/2 an inch in size.

Clothes moth larva will feed on the fabric. And it’ll create holes on them. The larvae are also known as the fabric worms.

The larvae will also get onto your bed, especially during the winter, to feed on the bedsheets and blankets. 

As they feed, they leave behind trails of silk webbing and fecal deposits on the fabric. 

Over time, the larva develops a case back that it drags along with itself wherever it goes.

This case back looks like a threadbare shell at the rear end of it’s body. It’s made of the fibers that it fed on, and, most of the times, the color of the case is like the color of the fabric it ate.

Pinworms In Bed

Pinworms are parasitic worms that are present in the intestinal tract of humans. 

When the pinworm infection is severe, these worms will move to the anal cavity to lay their eggs.

That causes intense itching in the anus region.

Some pinworms can come out and land on your bedsheets.

When they do, you’ll notice these tiny white worms that are 1/2 inches in size. 

These worms can’t survive for long on the bed. And they appear as dead rolled little white creatures that many people confuse with dust mites.

Pinworm infections are easily treatable. If you’ve pinworms, then see a doctor. 

Flea Larvae

flea larva in bed

Flea larvae on the bed are common if there are fleas in your bed.

The most common way that fleas get onto your bed is when your pets bring fleas home and to your bed.

The flea eggs drop off the pet’s skin and fur. And when these eggs hatch, the larvae appears.

But the flea larvae don’t bite humans. 

The larvae feed on the feces of the adult fleas.

The adult fleas will hide in the cracks of the bed frame, headboard, and furniture nearby the bed.

They’ll feed on your blood and leave behind their feces, which is the food of the flea larvae, on your bedsheets.

The females will lay eggs in these cracks too. The eggs hatch between one and ten days depending on the moisture levels and temperature.

Flea larvae are creamy white, translucent, 1/2 inches long, and they’ve got a thin distribution of long hair on their bodies.

There’s also a black digestive track in their bodies which you can clearly see under a magnifying glass.

4 Steps To Naturally Get Rid Of Bed Worm Infestation

Eliminating bed worms is quite straightforward. And you can do it without hiring a professional pest control company.

It’s essential that you eliminate these larvae from your bed and home. 

If you don’t, then these larvae will proceed in their life cycle, turn into pupae, and from pupae to adults.

The worst part is that adults that emerge out of the pupae, or cocoon, are ready to breed. And they can worsen the infestation.

Wash The Bed Linen In Hot Water

Take off the bedsheets, pillow covers, and other fabrics from the bed.

And wash them in hot soapy water. Then put them in the dryer and dry them at the highest possible heat which is safe for the fabrics.

Exposure to high heat will kill any bed worms and possible bugs eggs.

Vacuum Clean The Mattress

Take your vacuum cleaner and thoroughly clean the bed mattress without skipping over the mattress seams, product labels, and the mattress’s undersides.

Bugs and insects hide in the mattress and vacuum cleaning it will remove them. 

Follow it up by cleaning the entire bedroom, including your dresser drawers, closet, wardrobe, and other furniture.

Use Bug Proof Mattress Encasements

Anti allergic bug-proof mattress encasements are prevents many types of insects, including dust mites, from hiding and nesting in the mattress.

It’s a great way to negate any possibility of adult bugs to lay eggs in the mattress. 

Clean Your Entire Home

If you’ve noticed bed worms on your bed, then there are more.

And they can be spread out everywhere in your home, including in places like kitchen and bathroom.

So, it’s vital that you do a thorough cleaning of your home, especially your kitchen and kitchen pantry. 

Larvae of pantry bugs like rice moths and grain beetles might be in your kitchen. These larvae can also end up on your bed when their numbers shoot up.

Also, don’t forget to check your clothing storage areas. Chances are there are beetle and moths larvae in these areas.

How To Prevent Bed Worms?

You don’t want the bed worms to come back. So, you’ll need to take preventive steps. 

Use Window Screens With Fine Mesh

Install window screens with fine mesh during the spring on the windows of your home. 

Moths, beetles, and other flies that are attracted to light, fly in through the open windows.

The mesh of the window screens doesn’t block the air. And it prevents the flying bugs from flying inside the house.

Seal Gaps And Cracks On The Windowsills

The cracks on the windowsills are entry points for many bugs and flies.

Clothes moths and carpet beetles can also sneak inside the house through these cracks.

Plus, the wall voids, crevices on the furniture and bed frame, and floor gaps are also hiding places and egg laying grounds for insects.

Seal those gaps with a quality sealant. 

Use Repellants Like Essential Oils

Essential oils, like peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are bug repellants. 

Bugs hate the scent of these oils. 

Put a few drops any one of these essential oils in a spray bottle full of water.

Shake the bottle well. And spray the mixture around your bed to keep the bed worms away. 

Treat Your Pet For Fleas

If there are flea larvae on your bed, and you’ve got pets in your home, then it’ll be best to take your pets to a vet for flea treatment.

Pets are the main carriers of fleas in the house. 

Keep Your Bed And Home Clean

Bed worms like the carpet beetle larvae are attracted to dirt and stains on the fabric. 

So, don’t eat on your bed. Eating will cause food stains on the bedsheets and food crumbs can also fall over.

These will attract the bed worms. 

Carpet beetle larva also chew on the stained portions of the fabric causing holes on them. 

Are Bed Bugs Nymphs Bed Worms?

Bed bug nymphs, or baby bed bugs, are translucent white miniature bed bugs. 

These are not worms because they’ve got well developed legs. And baby bed bugs bite humans to feed on their blood.

So, bed bugs nymphs are not bed worms despite the fact that they molt and shed their skin before turning into a adults.

Another important difference is that bed bugs are parasites that survive on human blood. The bed worms don’t bite humans.


Bed worms are the larvae of adult bugs like carpet beetles, fleas, and clothes moths. These larvae get onto your bed searching for food and to feed on the bed linen.

The presence of bed worms on your bed signify that their adults have laid their eggs inside your home. And there’s an infestation. 

Washing the bed linen in hot water and preventing the adult bugs from entering the house are the best ways to eliminate and prevent bed worms.

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