How nice would it be to sleep with a clew or squirm of worms?
For many, that would be one of the grossest things on the planet.
However, bed worm infestations are quite common. Depending on which kind of worm it is, getting rid of these bed worms can either be easy or tough.
In this article, we’ll look at the easiest, cheapest, and most effective strategies to get rid of mattress worms.
But first, let’s get this out of the way:
What Are Bed Worms?
However, many people all over the globe use the term, “bed worms,” to refer to the juvenile stage of certain species of insects.
Oftentimes, these insects lay their eggs near the bed. At maturity, these eggs would then morph into worm-like larvae. These larvae are what people call bed worms.
In most instances, common bed worms are the larvae of insects like Carpet Beetles, Cloth Moths, and houseflies. Although in some cases, you can also find pinworms near the bed. Hence, they are also known as bed worms.
How Do Bed Worms Get inside the House?
Well… the entry modes of different bed worms vary.
However, since all bed worms are insect juveniles, anything that can attract insects to your house are the major cause.
It is when adult female flies get in that they have the chance to lay eggs. Once the eggs are laid, worms are the by-products. So, to help you identify the major attractants for bed worms, here is a quick list of some of them:
1) Dirty Housepets.
As adorable as they are, our pets can be carriers of nasty bugs like fleas and lacewings. These bugs hide under their skin hairs and on their clothing. In most cases, our pets have access to our beds and bedrooms.
So, if you’re among those dirty owners who rarely bathe their pets with shampoo, these insects tend to thrive till maturity on your pets. Once that happens, the bugs will lay their thousands of eggs in batches. And voila, here come the bed worms.
2) House plants.
Remember the golden biology that insects are flower pollinators? Well… house flowers also attract insects like lacewings too. Since female insects are the mothers to baby bed worms, your house plant is a perfect attractant.
Once the insects see your plants as welcoming, they come in to hide on the stem and beneath the leaves. If they get comfy, the female insects would begin to lay eggs. Within a day, these eggs would hatch into worms. If the plant is placed near your bed, then there you have it, your new visitors – bed worms.
3) Flea Infestation.
Pets are not the only ways that fleas can get into your bed.
Even you, yourself, can bring them into the house via your clothing. When the fleas get inside, they can easily colonize a dirty or urine-soaked bed.
Now, with a flea infestation, your bed will become nurturing grounds for their eggs. If the eggs grow up, the resulting larvae can be your new bed worms.
4) Unkempt Beds.
A dirty house is the root of all pest infestation. This is because such environments tend to encourage the conditions that insects need to nurture their juveniles.
For instance, a urine-soaked bed is more likely to attract bed worms than a dry one laced with good scents of essential oil.
- READ MORE: How To Get Rid of Maggots.
Why You Have Bed Worms in Your Bed.
There are several reasons why you have worms on your bed. But truth be told, everything boils down to personal hygiene.
This is because almost all types of bed worms (cloth moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae, maggots, and so on) are caused by insects and fleas.
Now, the thing is, a lack of personal and environmental hygiene tends to attract these insects. For instance, if you keep a dirty bed near an untended houseplant by the window sill, there’s a high chance that your room invites more insects.
When these insects come, their females tend to lay eggs. The eggs serve as the primordials for the worms that infest your bed. But not every time.
Some bed worms are attracted to the materials used to make your bed and bed clothing.
In fact, some bed worms are not the larvae of insects. Instead, they are either flea worms or pinworms; aka, threadworms.
Oftentimes, we see these pinworms as some whitish or creamy worms crawling on the bed.
Unlike the other insect larvae on the bed, pinworms are parasites; not pests. These parasites often tend to colonize the intestine of mammals. This condition is called Enterobiasis.
At maturity, pinworms lay their microscopic eggs near the anus of the host. In most cases, they do this at night and would need to sneak out of the anus to do this. While laying eggs, some of these pinworms get displaced. It is those ones that we wake up to see as white worms.
Since their eggs are so tiny that we can’t see them with our naked eyes, we don’t get to catch the worms in the act. Because of that, many people tend to believe that pinworms are just another pest that they brought in from outside.
However, pinworms are communicable. That means, they can be transmitted from an infected person to a normal individual. From towels, wrestling, infected bedclothes, and even mere touching, you can contract pinworms. Once you have it, expect to see bed worms.
What Are the Different Kinds of Bed Worms?
As said earlier, bed worms are larvae. Since larvae of different insects vary, then, each bed worm is unique. In this section, we’ll look at the different kinds of bed worms. Simply put, these bed worms include:
Pinworms are endoparasites that infest the intestine of their hosts. Their hosts are often humans. These human pinworms cannot be transmitted to other animals.
Oftentimes, human pinworms are whitish, transparent, and about the size of a staple. At maturity, human pinworms tend to lay eggs near the anus.
To do this, these worms need to crawl out in the opening. Now, that’s when we see them on the bed as bed worms.
2) Flea Larvae.
Like pinworms, flea larvae have parasitic adults. Adult fleas even suck blood and cause severe irritations.
However, the flea worms themselves are not vampires. Instead, they prefer to eat flea eggs and adult fecal blood.
Oftentimes, flea larvae appear like off-white threads. And it’s most likely that your pets, like dogs, are the medium to which flea larvae crawl into your bed. So, take note.
3) Housefly Larvae, aka, Maggots.
Maggots are the larvae of houseflies. Like pinworms, they also appear whitish. Though sometimes, maggots can appear creamy or off-white.
Oftentimes, they prefer to feed on rotten plants and animal matter. So, it’s most likely that maggots are attracted to your bed because of unattended baby urines and pet poops.
READ MORE: Why Are Flies Attracted To Me?
Bed Worm Vs. Grub Worm.
Bed worms are larvae of insects like cloth moths and carpet beetles. Whereas, grub worms are specifically the larvae of scarab beetles.
Oftentimes, scarab worms, aka grub worms, are found among grasses. Bed worms, like the name, are pests of beds.
So, if you’re looking to eradicate worms from your flower bed or garden soil in general, take a look at one of our articles on grub worms. The answers you seek lie therein.
READ MORE: What Do Grubs Turn Into?
Are Bed Worms Dangerous?
The thing is, most species of bed worms aren’t all that dangerous. Other than the creepy and retching feeling you get from seeing them, bed worms (like cloth moth larvae) are harmless.
However, we can’t say the same for pinworms and flea worms. This is because adult fleas are generally considered to be ectoparasites.
That is, they attach themselves to the body of their host. From there, they suck as much blood as they can.
Although according to Fleascience, flea larvae are merely pests. So, unlike adult fleas, they are not blood-sucking parasites.
Instead, flea larvae prefer to feast on the fecal blood of the adults (aka flea dirt) and eggs. But then, when these flea worms grow up, the adult fleas are a menace.
Unlike fleas, pinworms are endoparasites. They colonize the intestine of their hosts and can live up to 3 months in there. At maturity, they sneak out to the anus to lay eggs. These eggs are microscopic and can cause severe itchiness.
How to Get Rid of Bed Worms?
While bed worms can be of different species, the same removal techniques can be applied to all.
In the following steps, we’ll look at how you can get rid of bed or mattress worms naturally and overnight:
- Heat Up All Infected Clothing.
All bed worms are soft-bodied. As such, they are susceptible to dehydration. So, to kill off bed worms, pack all infected clothing into a dryer. The heat will kill off both the worms, feces, and eggs. You can then wash the clothes with detergents.
- Clean Your Bed With a High-power Vacuum.
Now, your bed clothing might be clean and worm-free. Your bed is next in line.
So, turn on your vacuum cleaner and run it through the entire bed. This will help suck up the remaining worms, the fleas, the clover mites, bed bugs, and other critters.
However, remember to empty the vacuum bag. Before that, you can also freeze the contents and then dispose of them in a trash can.
- Spray Essential Oils to Bed Crevices.
Essential oils include peppermint oil, lemon oil, and lavender oil. These oils are often used as pest repellents.
If you mix them with an equal amount of water and bottle them in a spray can, they become excellent insecticides.
Spray the homemade insecticide to all cracks near the bed. This will help kill off the eggs and other future bed worms.
- Seek and Destroy the Adult Pests.
Remember that most bed worms are insect larvae. That means, as long as the adult insects that laid the primordial eggs are still around, your bed worm infestation isn’t over.
So, try to scout for the adult pests and eliminate them. If your worms are carpet beetles, cloth moths, fleas, or pinworms.
READ MORE: Does Lysol Kill Fleas?
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Larvae?
First, let’s get this out of the way; the juvenile stage of bed bugs aren’t worms. Neither are they larvae. Instead, the bed bug babies are called nymphs.
Oftentimes, these nymphs resemble the adult bed bugs, in both structure and habit. In fact, they even feed on blood like adults. The only difference is in their wings and sexual apparatus.
This means that the bed bug nymphs have legs; six of them. And other structures as well. On the flip side, bed worms have no legs.
With that said, we can all agree that there’s nothing like getting rid of bed bug larvae or bed bug worms. However, if you want to get rid of a bed bug infestation, you can check out a comprehensive article we prepared for you right here.
Summarily, we say that bed worms are often larvae of insects like cloth moths (orange) and carpet beetles (brown). Sometimes, pinworms (transparent white), flea, and worms (off-white) are also bed worms.
To remove these bed worms naturally and overnight, start with good laundry. Then, vacuum your bed, spray essential oils, and kill off all the adult pests.