How to Get Rid of Bed Worms

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Updated on August 3, 2022

Imagine, pulling down the sheets for a good night’s rest only to discover tiny little worm-like critters in your bed!

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While this sounds like the stuff of nightmares (and many who’ve encountered bed worms will say it was), these tiny pests are one of the creepiest things you’ll find hiding in the bed beyond a full-blown bed bug infestation.

Before learning how to get rid of bed worms, it makes sense to first understand what they are.

What Kind of Bed Worms Do I Have?

That said, the term “bed worm” is actually used to describe the larvae of several different pests. The larvae themselves are usually harmless (excluding any potential psychological damage), but their adult forms are another matter.

Let’s give a quick breakdown of some common bed worms and how to deal with each.

Related: How to Get Rid of Caterpillars

1. Carpet Beetle Larvae

carpet beetle larvae

Carpet beetles are a common pest, so it’s not unusual for their larvae to end up in your bed or clothing. These are usually carrot-shaped with brown, black, or yellow tones and long hairs. Some also have stripes.

These critters are tiny (between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long), but highly destructive. They love to snack on fabric, feathers, fur, leather, and wool; as well as crumbs and even the corpses of other insects.

Worst of all, they will often migrate from room to room in search of food, often going hungry for long periods of time along the way.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Bagworms

2. Clothes Moth Larvae

clothes moth larvae

Moth larvae love snacking on fabric, especially old clothes that have been put in storage for long periods of time. But that doesn’t mean they won’t pop up on your bed sheets. A few different common moths count as clothes moths.

These little bed worms tend to pop up in similar conditions that attract bed bugs. Their diet includes all sorts of organic debris, including: dust, feathers, fur, hair, leather, lint, and paper.

They don’t care if your sheets are natural or synthetic. Linens which have been stained by body oils, sweat, or spilled drinks are especially attractive to them.

Most clothes moth larvae tend to be a creamy white with a brown head and up to 1/2 inches long. Larvae of the webbing clothes moth leave trails of silk webbing and will line tunnels through your fabrics with silk. Note that some species of baby moths may have a more brownish appearance.

Obviously, the easiest way to identify your bed worms as moths is to identify a moth infestation. This greatly reduces the chances of mistaking the larvae for that of another critter.

See Also: Bugs the Look Like Bed Bugs

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3. Pinworm

pinworm

Heading into true nightmare territory, we run into the pinworm, which isn’t a larva, but an actual intestinal parasite. Being one of the most common parasites, they most frequently infest school-age children due to how easy it is to spread in a classroom environment.

Pinworms are thin and white, coming in at a mere 1/4 to 1/2 inches. Usually, there aren’t any symptoms of an infection. In fact, the first sign is often spotting a female that slipped out into the bed or your pajamas.

Pinworms live in the anal cavity, and females emerge when the host is sleeping to lay thousands of microscopic eggs in the soft folds around the anal opening. Symptoms include itching around the genital and anal regions, irritability, restlessness, and may even cause stomach pain or nausea.

Because they’re a parasite, you will need to see a doctor and your entire family may need to take antibiotics to eliminate the problem. However, you will also need to treat the bed space in the same way you would for other bed worms.

Getting Rid of Bed Worms

bed worm infestation

Even though there are different types of bed worms out there, they can all be killed using the same methods. Here are some quick and effective methods to employ against them.

Air Your Dirty Laundry

As with most bed infestations, heat is a quick killer. Run any infested linens through the dryer on high heat to kill any present larvae and eggs. You will then likely want to put them in the wash once the larvae are dead to get rid of the corpses and any feces they left behind.

Vacuum the Bed

Rent a commercial carpet cleaner or purchase a carpet/upholstery cleaner like the Bissell SpotClean if you don’t already have one. These tools are amazing, and can clean carpets and furniture far better than any other common cleaning method out there.

When you use one on your mattress and box spring, it sends hot water deep into the surface, then sucks up dirt, debris, and any critters such as bed worms, bed bugs, dust mites, or fleas. As a result, you not only eliminate part of the infestation, you also have a much healthier sleeping surface.

Investing in a waterproof mattress cover, such as those designed for bed bugs, are easy to clean and make it impossible for future infestations to get into the mattress. With a cover on, you can easily clean the mattress with a warm, damp cloth or regular vacuum cleaner.

Spray Down the Cracks

Small critters like to lay eggs in tiny cracks and crevices. You will want to use a thin pesticide spray or other product to get at these hidden caches.

We suggest mixing essential oils (peppermint and cedarwood work great) in a spray bottle and applying them over cracks, allowing them to soak in. These will usually not harm your surfaces and have a pleasant scent. Some of the places to cover include: baseboard, headboard, bedframe, and cracks in natural flooring.

Just be warned, many essential oils are poisonous to pets, so you will want to wipe the surfaces down afterwards to get rid of any accessible residue.

See Also: Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Eliminate the Host Infestation

Getting rid of bed worms isn’t enough. You will also need to get rid of the adult infestation and any young deposited elsewhere. This is why identifying the bed worms is important.

Once the rest of the infestation has been eliminated, be sure to take steps to reduce the risk of further infestations, such as cleaning regularly, washing bed sheets at least weekly, and closing windows at night if they don’t have screens.

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In the event you purchased secondhand furniture and discovered the infestation soon after, there’s a chance you don’t have an adult infestation. In such a case, check nearby just to be sure and perhaps use an insecticide or natural remedy to bug-proof the rest of the room as preemptive pest management.

40 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Bed Worms”

  1. I can’t afford to rent a Bissell carpet cleaner and I don’t have a proper vacuum. Is there anything else I can use to get rid of the bed worms?

    Reply
  2. I found a worm like thing in bed, can anyone tell me what it is?we have two cats who have fleas as well, how could they be the cause of the ‘worms’, we do not notice any on them? WE are struggling to get rid of the fleas and now we have these? HELP?!

    Reply
    • Hi Katie,
      You can once a year treatment for your animals. My brother does he puts it behind their neck and that’s it.
      Animals might have to have a bath with flea shampoo first before treatment. Good luck

      Reply
    • Treat cats. Fleas are only on cats while feeding. Fleas can cause anemia and kill cats and give them worms. Humans can get the worms too. Clean the whole house and treat.

      Reply
    • Idc your cats have fleas, they may have tapeworms. Fleas carry these parasites. To be 100 percent sure, have your veterinarian do a fecal to look for tapeworms. You really need to get flea prevention and keep your cats on it year round. This will save your cats from fleas and the host of problems they bring.

      Reply
  3. I recently moved into a wonderful teees historic neighborhood which I’ve noticed has insects I’ve not seen before. Yesterday there was a tiny work in me bed which freaked me out as my bedroom is spotless and tidy. I’ve read the suggestions to avoid future infestations but wonder if because of the season change the eggs were laid OUTSIDE of my bedroom windows?

    Reply
    • Depending on the temperature changes in your area and whether or not there have been previous reports of infestation, it may be possible the either invaders came through the window or were already there. Depending on the type of insect, it’s possible their eggs were already present and hatched when they sensed your presence (fleas can wait up to two years like this).

      It’s also entirely possible you had hitchhikers at some point, as that’s how many common bedroom pests (such as bed bugs) get a foothold.

      Reply
  4. i found larvae a while ago and got rid of them, or so i thought, i keep seeing small grey fluffy things in worm shapes and i’m not sure if they are larvae or if i’m being paranoid.

    Reply
  5. My husband and I live in a 100 year old tongue and groove house, I am a Professional Painting Contractors and I decided to tear down the old tile that was in the living room, when I did that their were 7 layers of wallpaper underneath the tile I released Pandora’s box, we have some kind of bugs that are attacking us, under the 7 layers was roofing paper and back in the old days they made a paste of flour and water mixture to make the wallpaper stick, there are rumors of the family that owned the house yrs ago the Mother hung herself, I can tell as I’ve been doing this job she put metal in the knot holes, Any help on what kind of creature this is would be a blessing.

    Reply
  6. We recently purchased an RV trailer that had been sitting in field for 7 years. We understood it having had mice but we’re not prepared for all the little brown hairy worms that seem to be everywhere! Even in our light sockets. We have shampooed vacuumed removed existing old mice homes sprayed pesticide but that didn’t even kill them. It is next to impossible to remove the ceiling as the way these rvs are out together. The local pesticide fellow has never heard of this. Is there any help???

    Reply
    • That’s definitely carpet beetle larvae. The adults fly but it’s the larvae that are destructive, the adults and larvae can live in walls and will enter any way they can even through sockets etc. I live in an old house 200+ Years old and I get them regularly. Common pest tbh and really disgusting but it’s so hard to get rid of them.

      Reply
      • I have recently seem the flies on our ceiling, a few days later it felt like it was raining fiber glass all over my body, now I have an infestation under my skin, painful bugs hatching tiny little eggs.( Puts me in mind of a bot fly, but a fraction of size) what can I use to get them out of me, quickly preferably, and out mattress is gonna be thrown out. I’ve never in my life had anything like this and now I’m the “hostess with the most-est”. They are on my face legs back, everywhere. It doesn’t Look or act like scabies! And very painful. Seen online Windex kills them, well I’ve had two issues, windex is wonderful for relieving the pain and inch. But they don’t come out and under my skin. Please keep me in your thoughts, I’m being feasted on!!

  7. Robin Pruitt
    If you find out anything please please let me know. My family think I’m crazy cuz it’s not happening to them.

    Washing your body with bleach or alcohol will bring the eggs out but It’s time consuming and they just crawl back in.

    Reply
    • Yes I would def want to no as my loved ones think I’m crazy too. Same symptoms. Do pest exterminators rid them in the house. I would think they can inhabit a house if they can inhabit us too. I’m desperate for relief.

      Reply
    • Hey i, having the same thing i been to doctors 4 times and its related to this i can take a scab off one of the sores and they are a moving creature under the scab in my skim under it my socks have lint but they are moving things i say things because i have several issues. I am a clean person i have done every recomendation on the internet to get rid of these i have no kids or pets ay home i vacuum 24/7 clean everything. Daily im about to flip out on myself and its getting scary

      Reply
      • I have the same issues. I just bought some Hibiclense, good stuff. I got the generic cheap stuff online from Walgreens. It’s what the hospitals and doctors use on their skin and ppl before a surgery. I’ve been told to take neem, all kinds of stuff, I tried it all. The insualtion thing I said myself. Ppl keep telling me its morgellons. Find these weird bug things that feel like static all the time in my socks and pants. Here’s a link: https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-dye-free-antiseptic-skin-cleanser/ID=prod6051051-product

      • You have morgellons disease/parasites. Incurable, doctors won’t help people but only tell them it’s all in your head.
        This is contagious to other people!
        Youtube – find channel Richard Kuhns. He has the King Diet, a very strict food system that will help you tremendously. Also buy the Nature’s Gift he sells. It’s expensive but in the bath helps the parasites to exit the body. Take 3 baths per day, each one-hour. It is the only program I have found that will help.

    • try soaking in bath tub of ebson salt and peroxide, have it between fairly warm and hot, that opens up the pores and then I used epholiating pads to help get them out. then go to a GNC store and get a bottle of Paraguard and take amount listed on bottle about half an hour before eating. Good Luck

      Reply
    • I’m experiencing the exact same thing! I’ve been to the DR several times these past few months and was prescribed three different anti-parasitic medications and it still hasn’t stopped! I even took all three medications at once! And just like you, I’m getting zero support from my family and they wrote me off as crazy!

      Reply
  8. I also have them and yes they are painful, my family also thinks I’m nuts I was almost convinced. Does anyone know what they are and how to get rid of them please

    Reply
  9. I am having a major worm issue. I have taken the pinworm drink, cleaned the house, cleaned bed. They keep coming back. They get into skin I believe by the shoe sole. Very thin and look like cat hairs. Can live anywhere even in floor boards. I know I’m not going crazy I just need to know what they are and how to get rid of them for good

    Reply
  10. Ive had this “bug” problem for over a month now. I maybe had Scabie mites at first then something came after I sprayed, it seemed. Recently found a worm like well that’s what it was and it had like silk looking webbing around it. I think that I caught it getting ready to get into the lining of my pants where in all my clothes now it seems I have a whole new seam lining by time I am wearing whatever I’m wearing for a period of time. Is it cloth moths or carpet beetles in their larvae stage or could it be something else? I have done everything I can think of. I keep finding these Lil white lint looking things too in my covers after I sleep. Also the holes that have been caused by these bugs will later have something black and spikie like in them. I need answers and help!!!! Its a nightmare!

    Reply
    • Sounds like possibly clothes moth larvae. The silk is spun around the larvae to protect it until its metamorphosed into an adult moth.

      Reply
  11. Please let me know what you find out because I’m going crazy because of This issue! They have infected my clothes, my shoes. My bathroom, my bedroom and everything else and my hair is falling out, my nails and feet have hair looking fibers coming out witch I can see them moving they are very hard to see and blend in with what ever color of clothe or hair that they attach to

    Reply
    • If you go to Dermatologist in US it is a waste of time. Only Drs used to working with tropical diseases will know how to test for it and what med to use.

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    • In bed: lightly shake powder over the sheets: FOOD-GRADE diatomaceous earth. Buy at Home Depot or Walmart (garden section) for about $12 for 4 pound bag. Keeps the bugs out of bed. It kills them but is food-grade so not harmful to humans.
      Also sprinkle it around the floorboards of your house, anywhere really.

      Reply
  12. I have this and bad! They are in every part of my body. They use camo likes a single hair will pop up and it’s them. They are very small like pinhead size. The adults are 1/2 to 1inch long and have usually 3 spike that will break skin and leave small sores. Think is Schistosomiasis. Have not been diagnosed. Went to 5 dermatologists in May and all said I was delusional. I am now taking Praziquantel. Take a bunch in 1 day. Then wait few weeks and take other bunch. Don’t expect regular dermatologists to find it. I had stool test and blood work and both were negative. Later I found out these things are hard to test for and the 2 big labs in Us don’t use enough time and effort to find them. Like multiple stool tests etc. If it’s what I have Don’t wait. I found what I’m sure I have by watching parasite videos until I finally saw exactly what I had been dealing with. I can sit and watch babies pop out of my arms or my muscles will twitch. I have had for a year and I am surprised I am sane. These things can do major damage to organs.
    Good luck. Its hell!!!

    Reply
  13. No one seems too know what they are, I went to see a dermatologist who thought they wee fibers but these fibers move, it’s your hair they are attracted to and they literally stuck all the nutrients out them your hair falls out, they are on your nails because you scratch your head and that’s how you spread them, they leave particles everywhere. I don’t know what they are but they are very real and is a nightmare, I’ve tried everything bit nothing works not even heat, just hoover, clean change your bedding often and comb your hair with a lice comb all you can do is keep the numbers down, any info on how to get rid would be so appreciated

    Reply
    • Richard Kuhns, find him on youtube. He has the cure for morgellons and parasites. Start IMMEDIATELY on The King Diet he talks about. NO: sugar, honey, alcohol, fruit, corn, yeast, oats, barley, wheat, dairy. YES: Okay to eat meat, but not processed meat like bacon, etc. Buy and spray your house daily with the special cleaner he talks about. You can also call in to his weekly conference phone call to ask questions.
      Don’t wear clothing more than one time. Wash everything immediately in washing machine, add one cup ammonia in washer with your laundry detergent to kill parasites. Wash bed sheets EVERY DAY.
      Get rid of your indoor dogs and cats – they can pass morgellons to us and we pass it back to them, over and over.
      Stay away from bird nests that carry all kinds of these types of parasites.
      So many things we can do to cure and prevent morgellons.
      Stay indoors away from the geoengineering being sprayed in the skies worldwide. Morgellons also live in the dirt – gardening, etc. is risky now.

      Reply
  14. Did anyone ever get help? I have been taking baths in peroxide and vinegar antiseptic safeguard soap soaking in the tub while it’s running so it dissolves a little also baking soda and I noticed that Borox mixed in or bleach seem to help a little but the peroxide is what really seems to kill them. But it hurts like hell putting it straight on the spots where they are the worse which is usually in the face and mouth and eyes and ears that’s why it’s so hard to get rid of these things. And also obviously if every doctor on every state says we’re all delusional then it’s def something the government and healthcare have known about and why not when they’ve releases every thing else under the sun to kill lots of us off without us knowing or at least sicken and weaken us and keep us preoccupied while they are doing whatever it is they’re doing. All I know is I’ve had it going on three years that I know of and almost died and have fought it buying meds and and essential oils like clove and peppermint. Lemongrass with noxema or coconut oil is great for the skin but the hair mouth ears and eyes are rough as hell and I use a lot of garlic oil for the eyes which you can’t even tell your totally infested till you start to notice and feel them.

    I also take a lot of garlic oil and oil of oregano and coconut oil grape seed extract in coffee and even skin helps too but unless you want major problems then don’t try killing them off fast with too many meds cos I tried that and had a hyper infection from them dying inside the body leaving so many toxins. You can die fast as hell and they’ll do nothing or give ya more antiphonal which would kill even more of the damn things and make you die for sure cos that’s what almost happens to me. Except I was told I had nothing even as they were crawling outta my forehead and eyebrows and under my breasts. Literally falling off my skin in front of him and he said I was delusional and I was ready to start swinging but I was too sick and so my adhd Dr who knows I’m not crazy and clearly saw the trails on my skin and hairlike things I was showing her. She gave me albenzodole once but not enough so I had to order it online. I’m praying for a miracle cos i refuse to let them get back to where they were two years or more ago and its happening fast since I can’t even take the natural oils and stuff I need let alone money for any kind of worm meds .. I can’t take it again!

    Reply
    • A lot of people on this thread seem to be suffering from Morgellons. There was a paper published recently associating it with Lyme disease. Another paper showing that Japanese knotweed and Cryptolepis helps eradicate it. Also look up protocol for chloride dioxide baths.

      Reply
  15. Hi,

    So on two websites now, there has been a picture like the very first photo at the top of this page (the reddish brown skinny, no hair worm), and no name has been provided for it, but THAT is the exact one I have seen in my room and in all the dusty areas. Does anyone actually know what that one is? It doesn’t look similar enough to the two that are named, and I would really like to know.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  16. It’s pyemotes aka hay mites. They feed on mouth larva beetle larva magical larva and cicada larvae they also feed on mold mildew fungus pantry food and stored grains. They Will burrow into your skin and feed on the fluids

    Reply
  17. Hi, I found the worm you used for the cover picture (picture before the article begins) in my laundry bag. It doesn’t really look like any of the other ones pictured. What is it? What am I suppose to do to ensure no more of it comes?

    Reply
    • It looks like some type of carpet beetle larvae. Harmless but creepy. One of my tenants (apartment complex) had them. Turned out an old wool blanket was infested with them. Regular cleaning, dusting and vacuuming seems to work well but no guarantees. You may want to rent a commercial carpet cleaner as the heat will kill any remaining eggs or larvae in carpet.

      Reply

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