White worms may be a familiar sight to many with carpet flooring. They are small and white and can be too numerous to count. They may not seem to be a big issue, but how do you get rid of white worms in a carpet?
White worms in your carpet should be eradicated through cleaning thoroughly. This means vacuuming and using carpet cleaner as well as pest control methods. Make sure a wide area including dark hiding spots is cleaned consistently until there is no more evidence of an infestation.
I’ll show you how to identify what type of white worm issue you have, how to get rid of the infestation, and tips on how to prevent further issues. I’ve also got some tips on specific strategies targeted at stopping all types of white worm infestations.
What Causes White Worms in Carpets?
While it may seem you are dealing with worms, the little white worms are actually just larvae of assorted insect species. Worms, such as earthworms, can’t survive indoors. This includes in your carpet, furniture, clothes, or in boxes. What do survive in your house are moths, beetles, spiders, flies, and their larvae.
Wool rugs are particularly susceptible to moth larvae because they love to eat wool. Moth larvae infestations cause a slow disintegration of a wool carpet from the inside out. A moth infestation can also be identified by the sand-like particles of their waste and the presence of cocoons.
Larvae infestations require a food source to thrive. Old, rotten food or other organic matter remaining in the carpet will attract the pests. They also feed on carpets, clothing, and general debris in the household. Cotton is another preferred food but they will rarely feed on nylon, acrylic, or polyester.
They will continue their life cycle and if left undisturbed can reproduce like crazy. Cleaning the carpet and other affected areas will help stop the cause of the white worms.
What Do Carpet White Worms Look Like?
The carpet white worms will appear as small white worms, about half an inch in length. They may also be brown or have brown tips. Due to their size and color, they can be very hard to spot in a carpet pile or inside furniture.
Identifying you have an issue can be via looking at the evidence for the larvae’s existence. Damage is a good indication of an infestation. Check your cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, and storage areas. You should also inspect your carpeting (especially low traffic or hidden areas), behind and under furniture, and in stored linen.
Damage will take the form of holes, reduced carpet pile, or larvae waste.
How to Get Rid of White Worms in Carpet?
Cleaning the carpet thoroughly is your main strategy to eradicate infestations of the larvae. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, best done by first removing all furniture. Vacuum the carpeting every day, if not several times a day, until the problem has been resolved. You may want to vacuum other breeding grounds like couches or bedding as well.
Cleaning the carpet using specialty chemicals is an option. Carpet shampoo combined with hot water, which will kill the larvae more easily than cold water, followed by vacuuming will help destroy all traces of larvae infestations. Throw out the vacuum cleaner bag after use into an outside bin to avoid having another episode; resilient larvae can crawl back to the carpet.
Certain insecticides do very effective pest removal for larvae. One is diatomaceous earth, the skeletal remains of diatoms which is an ancient form of algae. It is deadly to insects and worms as when it comes in contact with an insect, the silica removes the waxy outer coating from the insect’s exoskeleton. Even better, diatomaceous earth is nontoxic to humans and other mammals.
Linen cupboards can be heaven for certain larvae and so you should dry-clean or launder woolens and other susceptible fabrics before storing. Dirty fabrics, such as fabrics soaked in perspiration and urine are particular favorites. Cleaning these fabrics before storing actually kills any eggs and larvae that may be present. Once cleaned, as the moth cannot penetrate plastic, seal all clothing in bags, preferably vacuum sealed. Special mothproofing liquids are also available for susceptible fibers.
It is important to look for nearby sources of infestation such as clothing or fabric furniture. Brush any items outside, particularly under collars, inside pockets, and other dark hiding places. Freeze-treatment is also an effective way to kill larvae. Put small objects into a freezer bag and leave it to freeze for a week to kill all larvae and eggs.
Given their reproduction rate, it is best to remove pests like these larvae as quickly as possible through meticulous cleaning. Bright light and lots of movement are shunned by these larvae, as well as not wanting to ever be near any type of synthetic fibers.
Are Carpet White Worms Harmful?
Most of these larvae are not directly harmful to humans but should still be eradicated from human-occupied areas. Their life cycle involves feeding on certain materials such as carpet wool which means damage to your property as well insect waste. Being inside means that instead of one or two life cycles a year outside, they can manage eight or more indoors.
Moth larvae that feed on a wool carpet can be very damaging to the carpet and the surrounding objects. Their incredible reproduction rate combined with the many life cycles means they munch their way through wool carpets at remarkable speed.
Apart from moth larvae, although carpet beetle larvae are not particularly dangerous, their small hairs can cause skin irritation, as well as damage to fabrics in your house.