Enough sleep is vital if you want to maintain your health and well-being in general. And that’s why it’s recommended that an adult should sleep for at least seven hours a day. So for your health, sleep is as essential as routine physical exercise and a balanced diet.
But what if you can’t have a quality sleep because of heavy insects infestation?
You must have heard if not experienced the menace of bed bugs, bed worms, and the likes. These insects love invading clothes, beds, and other things made of natural fibers. What’s worse, their reproduction rate is relatively high if the condition is favorable.
An adult female moth, for example, can lay 40-50 eggs in one reproduction cycle, in a clothing and bedding environment, which offers them enough food during the moth’s larvae stage.
That said, let’s list some of the quick ways to get rid of bed worms:
- Use hot water to wash all your bedclothes, then use high heat to dry them
- Freeze any bed materials that you can’t wash for at least 48 hours
- Thoroughly vacuum-clean, dust, and mop your bedroom space using cleaning solution products or just mix vinegar and water
- Seek pest control services from professionals
In this post, we’ll focus on everything you need to know about bed worms and how to get rid of them on your mattress. But first, let’s look at the types of bed worms that might be troubling you.
Different Types of Bed Worms
1. Carpet Beetle Larva
Carpet beetle larvae flourish in clothing items made of animal products such as silk, wool, fur, and feathers. They can thrive in leather shoes and upholstery as well.
Carpet beetles use open windows to fly into your home. Subsequently, the adult carpet beetles secure accommodation on your mattress to lay eggs.
The eggs take two weeks to hatch into the carpet beetle larvae. The larvae then crawl up on the bed to feed on the fabrics. Carpet beetle larvae are about a quarter-inch long and can be brownish or black.
The main signs of carpet beetle larvae presence are moth-eaten marks on your fabric. You can also notice molted (shed) skin on the surfaces of the infested fabric.
People often confuse molted skin of carpet larvae with the bed bug shell. However, the molted skin of carpet beetle larvae is brownish, while the bed bug’s shell is whitish and transparent.
2. Clothes Moth Larvae
Clothes moth larvae love to feed on old and stuffed clothes. However, they can also hang around your bed sheets and covers.
This bed worm can thrive in the same conditions that attract bed bugs. They feed on dust, hair, fur, lint, paper, leather, and other organic wastes.
Additionally, they’re easily attracted to any linens stained by body oil, sweat, food, and spilled drinks, as these offer them a good food source.
Most clothes moth larvae are half-inch long and are creamy-white with a brown head. However, some moth larvae species tend to have a more brownish appearance. Another sign of their presence is the silk webbing trails on the infested fabrics.
Pinworms are intestinal parasites but can also cause nightmares. Being a common parasite, they often infest school children as they can be easily spread in a classroom setting.
Pinworms are white and a quarter to half-inch long. They leave no traces, so without spotting them slid out of your bed or pajamas, it won’t be easy to detect them.
This parasite resides in the soft folds of the anal cavity, and the female ones come out when the host is sleeping to lay eggs. Its symptoms include an itching around the genital and anal areas, restlessness, irritability, stomach pain, and nausea.
To get rid of them, you’ll treat your bedroom the same way you would to other bed worms. However, since they’re intestinal parasites, you and your entire family need to see a doctor for proper diagnosis.
What Causes Bed Worms on Your Mattress?
There are hundreds of ways that a bed worm may end up in your bed. Some can infest your bed because it’s conducive for their survival, while others can be accidental intruders. Here are some of the common reasons why a bed worm may invade your bed:
1. A Dirty Bed
Let’s face it; a dirty and messy bed creates a conducive environment for bed worms to survive and thrive—otherwise, they wouldn’t invade at the outset. Beds stained by body oil, sweat, and spilled drinks are more attractive to bed worms as these are their food source.
Unfortunately, most of us have a habit of eating on our beds. This leads to food crumbs dropping on the bed, and drinks can spill as well, leaving stains that attract bed worms, especially the carpet beetles’ larvae, and the clothes moth larvae.
Once these parasites invade your bed, they’ll chew through the bedsheet’s stained regions, causing severe damage to your bedding. If your bed sheet is made of animal products such as silk, the damage will be more extensive.
2. Damp Kitchen & Bathroom
Damp kitchen and bathroom are among the top things that attract bugs and pests inside our homes.
A damp kitchen and bathroom provide an unlimited food supply for all types of bugs. Such environments are characterized by food wastes, organic wastes, and high dampness, which a bug needs to prosper.
Bugs such as weevils and flour beetles love invading the kitchen pantry and bathroom. They can hang around bedrooms as well—especially if your bed has food and drink stains on it.
3. Hiding Fleas
Pets can be excellent at transferring fleas in your bed. If your pet has a habit of jumping onto your bed to play with you or even sleep with you, then it can quickly transfer the fleas to your bed—if it’s infested.
The adult fleas will drop off your pets’ skin and take haven on your bed. These fleas will hide in the tiny cracks and gaps of your bed frame and mattress.
The fleas sack their hosts’ blood and the more they sack your blood, the faster they’ll breed and multiply. Therefore, it’s essential to get rid of them as fast as possible before things get out of hand.
Can Bed Worms Bite?
Yes, bed worms bite to cause itchy bumps on the skin. However, the bite can lead to more severe consequences than just an itch. According to the U.S Public Health Service reports, some bed parasites such as bedbugs can carry tons of contagious diseases such as smallpox and flu.
Most bed worms are not after biting humans. Nevertheless, their presence can cause other forms of inconvenience. Adult moths, for example, are harmless, but their larvae feed on fabrics ruining your beautiful bedsheets and bed covers.
7 Amazing Ways To Get Rid of Bed Worms on The Mattress
1. Air Your Laundry
Airing your laundry will expose bed worms to the heat, which kills them fast. Run the infested bed linen through a dryer on high heat, killing any larvae and eggs present. Then wash them to get rid of the corpses and any feces they may have left behind.
2. Vacuum Your Bed
Vacuum cleaning will help you get rid of these tiny insects fast. If you’re a real DIY enthusiast, you can buy carpet and upholstery cleaners such as the Bissel SpotClean and do the cleaning yourself. The Bissel cleaners are very effective and help you clean your carpet and furniture better than other cleaning techniques.
These cleaners (Bissel) on your mattress or furniture work by directing hot water into the deep surfaces of the bed and furniture and sucks up small critters such as bed bugs, bed worms, and fleas. Other tiny things such as debris and dirt are also sucked in the process. This will not only eliminate the insects but also give you a healthier sleeping environment.
Alternatively, you can buy a waterproof mattress cover that is easy to clean and prevents the tiny critters from infesting your mattress. This cover allows you to clean the mattress with a warm, damp cloth or regular vacuum cleaner.
3. Spray Between the Cracks
Small critters typically live and lay their eggs in the tiny cracks and holes. Therefore you’ll need a thin pesticide spray to reach these tight hideouts.
Be sure to spray the baseboard, bed frames, headboard, and all the cracks on your bed. You should mix essential oils—peppermint and cedarwood would be more effective—and apply them over the cracks. Such mixtures will not harm your surfaces and have a sweet scent.
However, you should wipe off the essential oils residue after some time—most essential oils are poisonous to pets.
4. Clean the Entire Bedroom
One of the best ways to get rid of bed worms is by thoroughly cleaning your room. Use eco-friendly cleaning products or make a solution with vinegar and water to vacuum, dust, and wipe down surfaces of your room.
Use a thick and robust brush to clean your mattress, and it’ll remove all the bed worms and their eggs. Furthermore, you can apply small amounts of baking soda to the mattress, leave it for 24 hours and thoroughly vacuum it.
For thick carpets, you can use a carpet steamer. You can also hire a dry cleaning company regularly to clean sweep over these tiny nuisances.
5. Sprinkle Essential Oils
Essential oils are excellent bed worm repellents. Some of the most effective essential oils can be extracted from lemongrass, clove, cinnamon, peppermint, thyme, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus.
For example, mix one-to-two drops of eucalyptus or cinnamon condensed natural essential oil with a spoon of distilled water and spray it along your bed frames.
The essential oils have a strong scent of methanol smell and insecticide properties, repelling bed worms from your bed.
6. Dry Clean Your Clothes
As you may know by now, bed worms, especially larvae of carpet beetles and cloth moths, flourish in clothes made of wool, fur, or leather.
So to get rid of these critters, you need to dry clean the infested clothes. Dry cleaning will expose worms to high temperatures, killing them immediately.
Remember to vacuum your closets, wardrobe, and chest drawers to eliminate any worms taking refuge there. Then put some mothballs in the vacuumed areas. The mothballs are effective repellents to adult cloth moths, carpet beetles, and their larvae.
7. Eliminate Host Infestation
Getting rid of bed worms is not the ultimate answer to your problem. Ensure that you eliminate the adult, young, and eggs deposited elsewhere.
After doing away with the rest infestation, ensure to minimize the risk of further infestation by regularly cleaning, closing windows at night, washing bed sheets weekly, among other precautions.
If you purchase secondhand furniture and notice the infections soon, it’s possible that you don’t have an adult infestation. However, you need to take precautions by applying pesticides before installing the mattress in your bedroom.
The bed worm problem comes with severe consequences such as damaging your bedding, discomfort as they crawl on you, and posing health issues. Therefore, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.
You can implement the do-it-yourself approaches such as cleaning, spraying, and airing your fabrics for a trivial pest problem. You also can buy natural cleaning solutions from local stores to eliminate bed worms and other small critters residing in your home.
However, if your endeavors are futile, it’s time to contact professionals to help you out.