The last thing that you’d like to see before sleep is a crawling bed worm on your bed.
The very sight of a bed worm on the bed terrifies you and robs you off your sleep.
In this post, you’ll get to know how to get rid of bed worms once and for all.
And that too without spending a dime on a pest control specialist!
But before that, let us clear a myth surrounding bed worms.
What Are Bed Worms?
Many people assume that bed worms are some specific bugs that are infesting your bed.
It’s not true.
There’s no bug known as bed worm.
Bed worm is a collective term given to the larvae of a few bugs that you come across in bed.
Many people also call them as maggots on bed, which also means worm like bugs crawling on the bed.
Most of the bed worms that you see are larvae of either carpet beetles or moths.
But there are some adult worms and insects that can be in your bed too.
These adult worms hide in places like below the mattress, in the headboards, and your bed frame.
Being nocturnal, they can pop out during the night and loiter on your bed.
So, do you want to know what types of bed worms can be on your bed, on your upholstery furniture and why?
If yes, then read on our next section.
Types Of Bed Worms
As we said, there’s nothing known as bed worm per se.
Bed worms are larvae that crawl up to your bed searching for food: the bedsheet’s fabric and the dirt on it.
So, here are the two most common bed worms that you will come across.
Carpet Beetle Larva
Carpet beetles are pests that infest fabrics made of animal products like wool, silk, and fur. They can infest leather shoes and leather upholstery too.
Adult carpet beetles fly into your home through open windows to lay eggs on stuff made of animal products.
It’s the carpet beetle larvae that come out from these eggs, crawl up on your bed to feed on the bed’s fabric.
The carpet beetle larvae are tiny and they’re ¼ inches long with fine bristles on their bodies. They can be black or brownish in color.
The tiny black (or brownish) worms in bed are the carpet beetle larvae.
Some carpet beetle larvae can also have an orangish color mixed with brown or black.
The significant signs of carpet beetle larvae infestation are threadbare spots on the fabric and molted (shed) skin on the infested fabric.
Many people confuse the molted skin of carpet beetle larvae with the bed bug shells.
But there’s a stark difference.
The main difference between the molted skin of a carpet beetle larvae and a bed bug’s shell is that the bed bug’s shell is whitish and transparent.
In contrast, the skin of the carpet beetle larvae is brownish.
Carpet beetle larvae don’t damage synthetic fibers like polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc.
Synthetic fibers are immune to carpet beetle larvae.
But they can damage natural fibers like cotton and blended fibers.
That’s why many people observe these larvae on beds with cotton bed sheets.
Another way that carpet beetle larvae can land up on your bed is from your clothing that already has these larvae.
Carpet beetle larvae infest wool, silk, and fur clothes that you don’t wash and wear often.
You’d also find carpet beetle larvae as little black or brown worms in the carpet made of wool, silk, or woolen and silken blends.
These larvae can also get into your wardrobe and start damaging your expensive fabrics.
Cloth Moth Larva
Cloth moth larvae are creamy white worms with a brown head. As the name suggests, these are the larvae of cloth moths.
Cloth moth larvae have trails of silk webbing on their abdomen.
The webbings look like cases or a tunnels that the larvae drag with themselves as they crawl.
These larvae are adept climbers on the walls too. And they’re also known as bagworms or case bearers.
Cloth moth larvae are more dangerous bed worms than carpet beetle larvae.
Not because they carry any diseases or bite humans and pets.
But because the scope of damage of clothes moth larvae goes beyond just fabrics.
Cloth moth larvae also infest stored food grains and cereals. That’s why many categorize them under pantry pests too.
Including fabrics made from animal products, clothes moth larvae (also known as clothing worms) can destroy even synthetic and blended fabrics unwashed and dirty.
You really don’t want the cloth moth larvae sneaking in your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers.
They can easily damage scarves, woolen and fur coats, clothing made of feather, blankets, rugs, comforters, upholstery, and decorative items like taxidermy mounts.
Like the adult carpet beetle, adult cloth moths enter your home to lay eggs and to eat clothes made of animal fibers.
They not only lay eggs on animal fibers but also on open jars and containers containing food grains.
But why do they get into your bed?
Adult cloth moths also enter your home like the adult carpet beetles through open windows and doors.
But they get onto your bed by simply following its food source.
Most natural fibers, including animal fibers, have keratin.
Keratin is a fibrous protein that is the primary food source of both carpet beetle larvae and cloth moth larvae.
And how do the cloth moth larvae look like?
Cream or off-whitish in color, these tiny worms grow up to ½ to inches long.
With time, these larvae build an open-ended tubular case at the lower end of its body.
It drags this tubular cocoon-like case no matter where it crawls. This case is made of materials that it has fed upon.
That’s why it looks like a jumbled-up thread.
Unlike carpet beetle larvae, the cloth moth larvae prefer to infest dark and undisturbed areas like closets, wardrobes, and drawer chests.
Clothes moth larvae have an unusual pattern of feeding too.
They feed on the folds of the fabric and the concealed areas like edges and underside of rugs.
They’re more likely to infest the rug or carpet area that is underneath the furniture.
You’ll also observe its brownish feces droppings on the fabric or clothing they’ve damaged.
They keep away from clothing that you use regularly, nor do they infest rugs or carpets that get frequent footfall or vacuumed regularly.
Pinworms In Bed
Ever wondered what are those tiny white worms in your bed? Those worms are pinworms.
And how pinworms show up on your bed?
Well, the reason is not that appealing to hear, but still we’ll reveal it.
Pinworms, also known as threadworms, are parasites in human body. They reside in the large intestines of human bodies.
At night, while you’re asleep, these worms can come out of the anal cavity and end up on your bed.
They look creamy white and these worms are contagious.
They can transfer from one person to another if they’re using the same beds and towels.
A typical sighting of pinworms will be tiny white worms crawling on the bed sheets.
Seeing a doctor is the best option to cure oneself of these parasitic worms in the body.
Wash all the clothes, bed linen, and towels in warm water to get rid of pinworms in bed.
Flea Larvae In Bed
Your pets can transfer fleas in bed if they’ve got a habit of getting onto your bed often or sleeping with you.
The adult fleas from your pets’ skin will drop off, and they’ll take refuge in the bed.
These fleas will hide in the tiny gaps and cracks on the bed frame and the mattress.
Fleas are bloodsuckers of animals mostly, but they won’t shy away from biting you if they don’t have access to a host.
And the more blood meals fleas will have, the faster they’ll breed.
These biting fleas will lay eggs in the bed. And when these eggs hatch, you’ll find larvae of the fleas on the bed crawling like a worm.
Flea larvae, which are very difficult to spot, also come across tiny worms on bed.
What Causes Bed Worms
The cause of bed worms in bed isn’t one. There are many.
It’s because worms on your bed can be accidental intruders, or there’s something in your bed that is attracting them.
Here are the top causes of bed worms in bed –
A Dirty Bed Is The Major Cause Of Bed Worms In Bed
Let’s face it, most of the bed worms wouldn’t have been in your bed if they don’t have reasons for being there.
And the main reason is dirt and food stains. It’s because these are the food sources for the bed worms.
Many of us have a habit of eating on the bed. While eating, food crumbs drop on the bed.
That’s not all. Sometimes food stains also get on the bed.
These are food sources for the bed worms, especially for the carpet beetles’ larvae and the cloth moth’s larvae.
Once in your bed, they will chew through the bed sheet’s stained area, causing holes in it.
If it’s a carpet beetle larva, then it can severely damage the bedsheet too.
If your bed sheet is expensive, made out of products like silk, then the damage will be more extensive.
A dirty bed attracts not only bed worms but also adult bugs that can be a nuisance. And they’re not limited to just your beds.
If your couch, carpet, rugs, and other soft furnishings are dirty, then these worms will be attracted to these furnishings too.
That’s why, worms on the couch are possible, especially when the home is cluttered and dirty.
A Dirty And Damp Kitchen And Bathroom
If you were to ask the top two things that attract bugs and pests inside your home, our answer would be high dampness and a dirty kitchen and bathroom.
A dirty kitchen and bathroom with food wastes, organic wastes, and high dampness are prime real estate with unlimited food supply for all sorts of bugs.
Some of the bugs, like weevils and flour beetles, invade the kitchen pantry and bathroom. They also sneak into bedrooms.
Even though the larvae of these kitchen bugs prefer to infest stored food, you’d come across them in your bed if your bed has food stains on it.
Cracks And Gaps On The Walls, Windows And Doors Frame
One of the major ways the bed-worm-producing bugs enter your home is through open doors and windows, and cracks and gaps on the walls.
You may also bring them in your home accidentally.
For example, adult carpet beetles can be in your potted plants that you bring inside your home.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Worms Forever
Fortunately, getting rid of bed worms is an easy task.
You can easily get rid of them, and stop them from reappearing, without hiring a pest controller or by using a any insecticide spray.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the process.
Step#1 – Apply Heat To Your Bed To Kill The Bed Worms And To Eliminate Eggs
Heat is an instant bed worm killer. Applying heat to your bed by using a steam cleaner is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of bed worms.
Steam cleaners produce high heat starting from 130 degrees Fahrenheit and upwards.
Heat from the steam cleaner is unbearable for the larvae of bugs, bugs’ eggs, and even for the adult bugs.
Exposure to high heat kills the bed worms in seconds. And it also eliminates the eggs that these bugs lay in your bed.
Start with cleaning the bedsheet. It’ll remove all the dirt and dust from your bedsheet.
Take the bedsheet off your bed. And now clean the bed mattress with the steam cleaner thoroughly.
Ensure that you use the steam cleaner on the threading work on the bed mattress, on the seams on the edges of the mattress, and also on the headboard.
Bugs that cause bed worms will lay eggs on the seams, folds, and gaps of the bed mattress.
Heat from the steam cleaner will eliminate those eggs.
After cleaning, wash the bedsheet, pillow covers, and other bed linen in hot water.
Washing the bed linen in hot water will eliminate and destroy any bug eggs stuck on these fabric.
Step#2 – Stop The Adult Carpet Beetles And Cloth Moths From Entering Your Home
Bed worms will keep showing up if you don’t stop adult carpet beetles and cloth moths from entering your home.
You can’t seal off the doors and windows all year round.
But if you know when both carpet beetles and moths are most active, you can use measures to stop them from entering your home.
Both carpet beetles and cloth moths are active during the spring and summer months.
That’s the time when they breed, and they look for places to lay their eggs.
Starting from March to the end of August, use window screens to stop both carpet beetles and cloth moths from entering your home.
There are a few other ways that carpet beetles and cloth moths enter your home.
It’s from the plants and the stuff that you bring inside your home.
Adult carpet beetles can be present in plants and flowers that you move into your home from your garden.
Cloth moths can be present in any fabric or furniture you buy from clogged stores like thrift stores and garage sales.
So, before you bring anything inside your home from your garden or thrift stores, make sure you check for both beetles and moths.
Chances are, you’ll find at least a few.
Step#3 – Seal The Cracks And Crevices In Your Home To Prevent Them From Sneaking In
Cracks and crevices in your home are common entry points for cloth moths, carpet beetles, and many bugs.
Use a reliable quality sealant to seal these cracks.
Check for cracks on the exterior portion of the walls near the home’s foundation.
If you find any, seal it because it’s also an entry point for both roaches and termites.
Also, use a good quality weather stripping door seal strip to reduce the floor’s gaps and the door’s lower edges.
That’s the place from where many bugs crawl in from your yard or garden.
Check the windowsills, too, for any gaps and cracks. If there is any, seal them off.
Step#4 – Vacuum Clean Your Bed And Bedroom
Now you’re approaching the final steps of getting rid of bed worms.
The previous three steps did the heavy lifting to eliminate the bed worms from your bed. Now it’s time to remove any hidden worms from your bedroom.
And do that there’s no better way than a thorough vacuum cleaning.
During spring, there can be clover mites in bed and vacuuming is the best way to get rid of them as well.
So, vacuum your bed, carpet, upholstery, and rugs to remove any possible hiding bed worms in these places.
Make sure that you’ll cover the edges and corners of these soft furnishings.
Many larvae hide on the carpet area that’s underneath the furniture.
So, it’d be best if you pull the portion of the carpet or rug that’s below the furniture and vacuum that area too.
Edges and inseams of carpet, rugs, and bed mattresses are also hiding places.
Vacuum those areas slowly to remove bed worms and eggs.
Make sure to discard the dirt bag from the vacuum cleaner outside your home.
If you keep the dirt bag in a trash bin inside your home, then the bed worms might crawl back to from where you’ve removed them.
Step#5 – Dry Clean Your Clothes Made Of Animal Fabric
As you know by now, bed worms (larvae of carpet beetle and cloth moths) prefer clothes made of fur, wool, silk, and leather.
Dry clean these clothes to get rid of any larvae or bed worms hiding in your expensive clothing.
Make sure that you vacuum your wardrobe, closet, and chest drawers to remove any bed worms hiding there.
Put a few cedarwood balls inside the closet and wardrobe. Cedarwood’s smell keeps moths and bugs away from closet.
And it smells better than mothballs.
Step#6 – Wash Your Dirty Laundry To Repel Bed Worms
Don’t let dirty laundry pile up for long.
Remember that even synthetic fibers, if dirty, attract bed worms and play a significant role in causing worm infestation in your home.
Also, it’d be best if you don’t eat on your bed.
Food droppings and edible oil stains on bed sheets attract bed worms too.
Keeping your bed clean will go a long way to prevent bed worms.
Step#7 – Spray Essential Oils To Prevent Bed Worms From Crawling Into Your Bed
When it comes to repelling bed worms, essential oils are a great option.
And you’ve a ton of option to go for. Eucalyptus, cinnamon, and peppermint are the most common.
However, we highly recommend peppermint spray to deter any bug or pest crawling onto your bed.
The strong methanol smell and the insecticidal properties of peppermint do an excellent job in repelling bed worms from your bed.
Alternatively, mix 1-2 ounces of eucalyptus or cinnamon cold condensed natural essential oil in a cup of water.
Spray it around your bed and bed frame.
Many people prefer to use a mixture of white vinegar and water as a spray to keep the bugs and worms off of bed.
However, the acidic smell of vinegar is quite pungent and you might not like it.
Do Bed Worms Bite?
Except the flea larvae, the rest of the bed worms don’t bite. Neither do they carry any diseases.
However, the carpet beetle larvae has bristles on their bodies. Those bristles can cause skin rashes and itching if they crawl on to your skin.
Do Bed Bugs Start Out As Worms?
No, they don’t. Baby bed bugs are not worms.
Neither they’re larvae, as many people believe wrongly.
Worms don’t have legs, they crawl. Or their legs are so tiny that it serves only the purpose of gripping the surface while crawling.
In contrast, baby bed bugs, which are known as nymphs, are minor version of adult bed bugs.
They’ve got six legs, just like the adult bed bugs.
Baby bed bugs are extremely tiny, and they’re transparent. They’re not brownish red like the adult bed bugs.
The first thing that a baby bed bug does after hatching from the egg is look out for a human host to get it’s blood meal.
Without blood meals, the baby bed bugs won’t grow. And they die if they don’t get blood meals for a considerable period.
Other Types Of Insects and Worms That Can Land Up On Your Bed.
It’s not only the bed worms that can be on your bed.
But just like bed worms, these insects, too, are accidental creepers into your bedroom.
Millipedes enter your home when the weather outside gets too wet or too dry.
So, it’s common to see millipedes inside your home after heavy rains and during summer.
But millipedes are outdoor bugs. They don’t want to remain inside.
During summers, millipedes get inside your home in search of water and dampness. That’s why they tend to gravitate towards the bathroom, laundry room, and basement.
But they can creep into your bedroom, too, especially when you’ve got a bathroom near your bedroom.
Millipedes don’t bite humans. But when poked, they emit a stenchy fluid that can cause severe irritation on your eyes and skin.
On the other hand, centipedes enter your home during winters to escape the cold.
They come looking for warmth and food, which are other bugs living inside your home.
Do house centipedes bite humans? Yes, they do but their fangs can’t penetrate your skin.
So, their bites are not painful. They are not venomous either.
And finally, crickets, the bed hoppers.
But your bed isn’t their preferred place. Crickets also prefer damp and dark areas.
But why do crickets get on the bed?
Crickets, like cloth moths, eat fabric.
Dirt and food droppings on your bed attract crickets. Once on your bed, they’ll chew on the bedsheet and leave small holes on it.
But they won’t jump on to you while you’re sleeping with the lights off.
Millipedes, centipedes, and crickets are not the kind of insects that infest beds. They land up on your bed accidentally in search of food.
Bed worms are larvae of beetles, bugs, and moths that end up on your bed either accidentally or your bed has elements that draw them.
A dirty bed with food crumbs, grease, and food stains attract bed worms.
However, these worms can also end up in your closet, dresser drawers, and wardrobes too.
This guide revealed the larvae of bugs that are commonly known as bed worms.
It also has a 7-step guide to get rid of bed worms in your bed and also to prevent them showing up in the future.
Heat is a powerful bed worm killer. It also eliminates any eggs hidden in the bed mattress and bed frame.
That’s why we strongly recommend using a steam cleaner to clean your bed.
Steam cleaners produce heat and you will not need any harmful insecticide sprays to get rid of them.
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.