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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/small worms in my home


I have found small 1/2" worms (sort of like worms, but only maybe 1-2mm wide) in two places in my home. They are brownish in color, and they curl up. I have found them in my bathroom under some items on the floor - probably due to some water getting trapped under there. The second place i find them is NOT a moist environment, however. I will find them in my bedroom under piles of clothing that I have left sitting for some time. Also, they seem to shed (molt?) and I find casings.
Do you have some idea of what they may be? I am aware that I should thoroughly clean the clothing, floor and/or carpet, but other than that, should I do anything? Are they dangerous at all?
Thank you.

Dear Jan - There are at least a couple of possibilities, but I would need to see an image in order to make a determination. The only one that would be of concern would be larvae of carpet beetles. Look at the images at,, and to see if any resemble your unwanted 'guests.' If you think they are similar, see for detailed control recommendations. However, if you believe that you have something different, please try to obtain a clear, close-up image of one or more of them and attach that to a follow-up question.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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