How to Get Rid of Bed Worms? (Everything you need to know)

Sleep is very important for your health and general well-being. However, it can be difficult to get enough quality sleep when you're dealing with an insect infestation. Most of you have probably experienced or heard of bed bugs and how these critters can cause havoc in your bedroom. 

But what about bed worms? Bed worms may not hog all the limelight like bed bugs, but they are a common problem and can rob you of your sleep. Below is an overview of everything you need to know about bed worms and how you can get rid of these crawly insects.

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What Are Bed Worms?

First, there is no specific insect or bug called a bed worm. It's an umbrella term that refers to the larvae of several pests that can infest your bed. They feed on natural fabrics, including silk, wool, felt, cotton, fur, leather, and feathers.

Bed worms can be frightening, but they do not bite humans or pets. They also don't carry any diseases. However, bed worms can cause allergic reactions.

They possess bristles on their skin that can cause itchy skin, rashes, or hives when they come into contact with your skin. You can also breathe in these hair-like bristles and develop reactions such as eye irritation, a runny nose, and gastrointestinal issues. As such, you'll want to get rid of bed worms as fast as possible.

Contrary to common belief, bed worms are not found exclusively on beds. They can spread to upholstery, closets, wardrobes, and other areas in your home. Below are some of the most common types of bed worms that you should be on the lookout for:

1. Cloth Moth Larvae - These are serious pests as they get nourishment from clothing, wool in particular, plus other natural fibers like hair, lint, paper, and leather. They also feed on stored food like grains.

Cloth moth larvae will show up in conditions that also attract bed bugs. They have a creamy white coloration and a brown head. The telltale sign of this type of bed worm includes trails of silk webbing in the fabric.

2. Carpet Beetle Larvae - Carpet beetles are quite common, and their larvae can end up in your bed. These bed worms have a carrot shape, long hair, and black, brown, or yellow tones or stripes. These bed worms usually move from room to room looking for food. As such, it's not unusual to find them in dark, undisturbed areas all over your home.

3. Flea Larvae - If you sleep with your pets, or they get on your bed frequently, they may transfer fleas to your bed. The fleas will lay eggs in the cracks and small gaps on your frame and mattress. Outcome flea larvae are difficult to find since they are tiny.

4. Pinworms - Pinworms are the stuff of nightmares. They are not larvae but intestinal parasites; They easily infect children and pets. Pinworms reside in the anal cavity. As such, the eggs can get on your bedding. Antibiotics help eliminate the worms, but you also have to treat your beddings as you would when dealing with other bed worms.

Where Do Bed Worms Come From?

A major part of getting rid of the bed worms involves understanding how they get into your home in the first place. Prevention is better than treatment couldn't be more relevant here. There isn't one source of bed worms.

A bed worm infestation can be accidental, or there could be factors that are attracting the critters. One of the most common attractions is a dirty bed. An unclean bed with dirt and food stains provides food sources for the adult bugs and their larvae, especially cloth moths and carpet beetle larvae.

Gaps and cracks in your door frames, windows, and walls introduce bed-worm-producing insects into your home. You can also bring these critters into your home accidentally. For instance, potted plants that you bring indoor may contain adult carpet beetles.

How to Get Rid of Bed Worms

1. Vacuum Clean Your Bed

Your vacuum cleaner can be a great tool to help you combat the bed worm problem. Vacuuming your bed will help reduce the number of bed worms. This is more so in locations where there are large clusters or groups of worms.

Granted, it is not 100 percent effective, but it's a great first step to help capture the little crawlers. Below are some tips that can help you make vacuum cleaning as effective as possible:

  • Ensure that you use as strong suction as possible. You can attach a crevice tool to your vacuum cleaner. Bed worms can cling to fabric and hide in between crevices and cracks (inseams, edges, and below furniture). Concentrate on these areas.
  • While vacuuming, avoid pressing too hard against the fabric. Doing this increases your chances of flicking off the eggs and larvae instead of capturing them.
  • Bed worms can survive the vacuum hose trip. Ensure that you remove them when you're done lest they escape. Seal the vacuum bag with tape and dispose of it with the trash.
  • Repeated vacuuming is pivotal to controlling an infestation. Note the major areas that you found bed worms and vacuum clean them again.
  • Don't just focus on your bed space. Remember also to vacuum clean upholstery, rugs, carpets, closets, wardrobes, and drawers. You can place mothballs once you've cleaned these locations to repel the adult insects.

2. Use Heat to Kill the Worms

Strong heat is a very effective agent against nearly all kinds of bed infestations. There are several advantages of using heat for pest control. First, heat is not toxic. Secondly, it can kill insects through all life stages, including adults, larvae, and eggs.

Set your dryer to high heat and run all the infested linens and fabrics. Once all the present eggs and larvae are killed, pass the linens through your washer to eliminate the dead matter and any traces of feces left behind.

You can also use heat in the form of steam to kill off bed worms and their eggs behind the head and baseboards, as well as in carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Other options include DIY heat chambers and portable heating devices.

3. Use Soapy Water

Start by removing all your beddings, the mattress, and the rugs in your bedroom. Next, fill a large bucket with water and add around 2 cups of soap. Soak your beddings in soapy water for up to an hour; This will kill any eggs and bed worms by blocking their pores. Rinse the beddings thoroughly with clean water and air dry them.

To get rid of the infestation on your mattress, make a concentrated solution of water and soap (a gallon of water to a cup of soap). Dip a clean towel in the solution, wring it to remove excess water, and wipe down your mattress to kill and remove larvae and eggs. Focus on the seams and edges, as these are the common hiding locations.

4. Clear and Clean the Entire Bedroom

Extra clean bed space is among the best solution for a bed pest infestation. After vacuum cleaning mentioned above, ensure that you dust and wipe down all surfaces.

You can use an effective homemade cleaning solution comprising vinegar and water. You can also repel bed worms and other pests with essential oils. Essentials oils have insecticidal properties and a strong methanol smell that is repugnant to bed worms.

Mix cinnamon or eucalyptus essential oils with water and spray around your bed frame, upholstery, and carpeting. Note that some essential oils may be harmful to pets, so be sure to keep them off your bed.

5. Freezing the Larvae and Eggs

If you carry it out correctly, freezing will kill bed worms and insect eggs. It is a cost-effective and straightforward way of dealing with an infestation. Note that the eggs and larvae will remain on the fabric even after you've killed them.

You will want to follow up this step with cleaning the particular beddings. First, identify and isolate the infected bedding items. Then, place the items in a sealed and airtight bag.

Shake the beddings or garments and clean them according to their specific care labels. Next, deep freeze the items for at least 3 days (ideally, aim for about a week). After this, thaw out the bag outside and remove the bedding items.

6. Clean and Treat Your Pets

You have to treat source points if you seek to eliminate bed worms in your home. Your pets are a common source point and migratory agent for bed worms, especially flea larvae. Therefore, ensure that you clean your pets regularly if they frequent your bedroom. You should also apply insecticide to all your pets as well as the indoor and outdoor play areas. You will need a repeat treatment to eliminate all critters from the environment successfully. Also, wash and aerate your pets' beddings regularly to keep bugs away from your bedroom.

7. Deal with the Host Infestation

It isn't enough to get rid of the bed worms. It would help if you also tackle the adult insect infestation around your home; This is one of the reasons why it's important to identify the bed worms detailed before.

Once you've eliminated the worm infestation, you should take measures to reduce the chances of further infestations. Seal any crevices, cracks, and gaps in your home so that the critters don't sneak in. You can use a reliable sealant to seal off these common entry points.

You can also use a weather-stripping door seal to reduce floor gaps and door bottom edges. Avoid bringing potted plants from your garden or yard into the house. Adult carpet beetles are often hiding in potted plants and flowers.

Conclusion

Overall, a bed worm infestation is not just an inconvenience; it can damage your beddings and cause allergy problems. The good news is that you can get rid of bed worms with the simple DIY solutions detailed herein. In addition, natural prevention steps are also very effective in the long run. However, suppose you want to save time and effort. In that case, there's always the option of hiring pest control professionals (which will cost you, of course).

Additional Resources

https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/flea-control.html

https://smartsleepingtips.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bed-worms/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/house-and-home/household-advice/a665191/the-best-pest-advice-clothes-moths/

https://www.healthline.com/health/do-carpet-beetles-bite

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