Bed Worms | 10 Easy Ways To Get Rid of Worms in Bed

If you’ve ever experienced worms in your bedding, you may know that it’s not just bed bugs that can infest your sleeping space.

In fact, there are a variety of creatures that can take up residence in your bed. One such pest is the bed worm (which is actually the larvae of certain insects), and they can be a real problem if you’re dealing with them.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bed worms, including how to identify them, potential health risks, and practical tips for getting rid of them from your home and bedding.

What Are Bed Worms?

What Are Bed Worms?

Bed worms are a collective term used to describe the larvae of various insects that can be found in bedding and other fabrics.

Although there is no actual species of worm called the “bed worm,” bed worms are generally classed as the larvae of fleas, moths, carpet beetles, and larvae of other species of insects. These larvae have similar characteristics and habits, often leading to them being grouped together under the umbrella term of bed worms.

The term “bed worms” is commonly used when referring to the presence of certain types of larvae in bedding, even if they are not true worms.

The larvae of fleas, moths, carpet beetles, and other insects that fall under the category of bed worms share common traits. They are typically small, elongated, and have soft bodies.

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Bed worms are primarily active during the night and seek out organic matter as a source of food. They can be found hiding in the seams of mattresses, upholstery, and other fabric-based items during the day, coming out at night to feed.

Dead skin cells, hair, fabric fibers, and other organic debris commonly found in bedding serve as their food source.

It’s important to note that there are also other types of worms that can be found in beds, such as pinworms, hookworms, and roundworms.

However, these worms are distinct from the typical bed worms mentioned earlier. When these different types of worms are discovered in bedding, they are often referred to as bed worms simply due to their presence in that environment.

Types of Bed Worms

If you’re dealing with worms in your bedding, it’s important to identify which type of worm you’re dealing with in order to effectively treat the infestation.

Here are some of the most common types of bed worms that you might encounter, along with their unique characteristics.

Bed Worms: Types of Bed Worms
  • Carpet beetle larvae
    • Carpet beetle larvae are small, elongated larvae that are known for feeding on natural fibers, such as wool and cotton.
      • They can infest bedding and cause damage to fabrics if not addressed promptly.
  • Flea larvae
    • Flea larvae are the immature stage of fleas and are typically found in areas where fleas reside, such as pet bedding or carpets.
      • While they are not commonly found in human bedding, infestations can occur if pets are allowed on the bed.
  • Clothes moth larvae
    • Clothes moth larvae, also known as woolly bears, feed on natural fibers, including wool and silk.
      • They can infest bedding and cause damage to fabrics if left untreated.
  • Indian Meal Moth Larvae
    • Indian Meal Moth larvae, commonly found in stored food products, can infest bedding if food crumbs or infested materials are present.
      • They can cause contamination and should be addressed promptly.
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Bed Worms: Types of Bed Worms
  • Pinworms
    • Pinworms are tiny, white worms that often infect the intestines of humans. Although they usually stay in the digestive system, their eggs can be present in bedding.
      • These worms can cause itching and discomfort, particularly in the region around the bottom.

What Cleaner Kills Pinworm Eggs?

To effectively kill pinworm eggs and disinfect surfaces such as bedding and furniture, there are various options available.

One highly effective cleaner that we recommend is Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner. Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner is a powerful disinfectant that can help eliminate pinworm eggs from surfaces.

To use Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner, simply follow the instructions on the bottle. It is important to allow the cleaner to remain in contact with the surface for the recommended amount of time to ensure maximum effectiveness in killing the pinworm eggs.

  • Hookworms
    • Hookworms are parasites that can infect humans and animals. These worms have hook-like mouthparts that attach to the intestinal walls and feed on blood.
      • It is possible for hookworms to live on bedding, but it is not likely. severe infestations can lead to eggs being passed through feces, which can contaminate bedding materials.
  • Maggots
    • Maggots are the larval stage of flies. While not technically worms, they are often referred to as bed worms when found in bedding.
      • Maggots are commonly attracted to decomposing organic matter and can infest bedding if proper hygiene practices are not followed.
By becoming familiar with these different types of bed worms, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate them from your home and bedding.
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How Did I Get Bed Worms?

Bed worms can find their way into your home and bedding through various means. Here Here are some ways they can enter your living area:

  • Contaminated bedding
    • Bedding that has been exposed to infested areas or items can harbor bed worms.
      • For example, if you have used or purchased second-hand bedding, it may already contain eggs or larvae of bed worms.
  • Infested furniture
    • Bringing in infested furniture, such as mattresses, couches, or chairs, can introduce bed worms into your home.
      • These worms may already be present in the fabric or crevices of the furniture.
  • Pets
    • Some types of bed worms, such as fleas and their larvae, can be brought into your home by pets.
      • These parasites can hitch a ride on your pets’ fur or bedding and eventually infest your own bedding.
  • Infected clothing
    • Bed worms, like clothes moth larvae and carpet beetle larvae, can enter your home through infested clothing.
      • These larvae can hide within the fabric fibers and transfer to your bedding.
  • Poor hygiene practices
    • Inadequate cleaning and hygiene can create an environment conducive to bed worm infestations.
      • Lack of regular cleaning and failure to wash bedding regularly can lead to the accumulation of organic matter, providing food sources for bed worms to thrive.
  • Outdoor exposure
    • Bed worms, such as maggots, can enter your home if there are dead animals or decaying organic matter near windows or doors.
      • Flies may lay their eggs on these materials, and the resulting larvae can make their way inside.
  • Contaminated food
    • Indian Meal Moth larvae, commonly found in stored food products, can infest your home and bedding if contaminated food crumbs or infested materials are present.
      • These larvae can spread to nearby areas, including bedding.
By being aware of these potential sources of infestation, you can take preventative measures to minimize the risk of bed worms entering your home and bedding.

Are Bed Worms Harmful?

Bed worms, in general, are not harmful to humans as they do not bite or cause diseases. However, their presence in your bedding can be unpleasant and may lead to some issues.

Let’s explore the potential effects of bed worms:

  • Discomfort and irritation
    • While bed worms themselves may not harm you, their presence can cause discomfort and irritation.
      • For example, pinworms can cause itching around the anal area, which can be bothersome and disrupt sleep.
  • Allergic reactions
    • Some individuals may develop allergic reactions to certain types of bed worms.
      • The allergenic proteins present in their bodies or waste products can trigger allergic symptoms such as skin rashes, redness, itching, or respiratory issues in sensitive individuals.
  • Damage to bedding
    • Certain types of bed worms, like carpet beetle larvae and clothes moth larvae, can cause damage to your bedding and other fabrics.
      • They feed on natural fibers such as wool, silk, or cotton, leading to holes, fraying, or discoloration of the materials.
  • Secondary infections
    • Although rare, excessive scratching due to the presence of bed worms can break the skin and create openings for bacteria to enter.
      • This can potentially lead to secondary infections if proper hygiene practices are not followed.
  • Psychological impact
    • Dealing with a bed worm infestation can cause stress, anxiety, and a sense of uncleanliness.
      • The mere thought of having worms in your bedding can be distressing for some people and may impact their overall well-being.

While the immediate health risks associated with bed worms are minimal, it is important to address any infestation promptly to prevent further damage to your bedding and alleviate any discomfort or concerns.

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How to Get Rid of Bed Worms

Dealing with bed worms in your home and bedding can be a bothersome situation. To help you effectively eliminate these pests and prevent future infestations,

Here are practical tips and strategies to follow:

How to Get Rid of Bed Worms
  • Thoroughly clean and vacuum
    • Start by thoroughly cleaning your bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers.
      • Vacuum the mattress, paying close attention to seams, crevices, and tufts where bed worms may hide.
        • Remember to empty the vacuum cleaner outside to prevent reinfestation.
  • Wash bedding in hot water
    • Washing your bedding in hot water is essential for killing bed worms and their eggs.
      • Set the water temperature to at least 130°F (54°C) to ensure effective elimination.
      • Consider using a detergent with enzymatic properties that can help break down organic matter.
  • Dry bedding on high heat
    • After washing, dry your bedding on high heat. The heat will further eliminate any remaining bed worms or eggs.
      • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying your specific bedding materials.
  • Treat infested items
    • If you discover bed worms in specific items, such as stuffed animals, curtains, or clothing, isolate them in sealed plastic bags and wash or dry-clean them promptly.
      • Freezing infested items can also be an effective method to kill bed worms and their eggs.
  • Steam clean upholstered furniture
    • If you suspect bed worms in upholstered furniture, consider steam cleaning it.
      • The high temperatures generated by steam can help kill bed worms and eradicate their eggs.
      • Pay close attention to seams, cushions, and other hidden areas.
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  • Maintain good hygiene practices
    • Regularly clean and vacuum your bedroom, paying attention to areas where bed worms are likely to hide, such as under the bed, along baseboards, and in closets.
      • Minimize clutter and keep the room well-organized to reduce potential hiding spots for bed worms.
  • Seal cracks and crevices
    • Close off any entry points bed worms can use to access your bedding and home.
      • Seal cracks, crevices, and gaps in walls, floors, and windows using caulk or sealant to prevent future infestations.
  • Practice proper food storage
    • To avoid attracting Indian Meal Moth larvae and other food-infesting bed worms, store food items in airtight containers.
      • Regularly check for signs of infestation in pantry items and discard any compromised products.
  • Consult a professional pest control service
    • If the infestation persists or becomes unmanageable, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a professional pest control service.
      • They can assess the situation, identify the type of bed worms, and provide targeted treatments to eliminate the infestation.
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By following the above methods, you can not only prevent bed worm infestations but also reduce the chances of other parasites and pests in your bed. 

This helps create a clean and healthy sleeping environment.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to understand that bed worms are different from bed bugs. Bed worms are actually the larvae of various insects, such as carpet beetles, fleas, and moths. Additionally, there are other types of worms like pinworms and hookworms that can also be found in bedding.

By staying informed about the nature of bed worms, practicing good hygiene, and taking proactive measures, you can create a clean and comfortable sleeping environment that is free from the annoyance of these larvae and the potential health issues they may cause.


Can parasites live in mattresses?

Yes, certain parasites like bed bugs, bed worms, including carpet beetle larvae and flea larvae, can infest mattresses if there are favorable conditions and sources of food present.

Can worms spread in bed?

Yes, worms can spread in bed. Bed worms can be introduced into your home and bedding in several ways, including laying eggs on the bed and bedding or being carried to the bed by people or pets.

How big can bed worms get?

The size of bed worms can vary depending on the specific type of worm. While some larvae may be small and barely visible to the naked eye, others can grow to a size of several millimeters or more.

Can you get worms from dirty bedding?

It is possible to get worms from dirty bedding if the bedding is contaminated with eggs or larvae of worms. Maintaining good hygiene and regularly cleaning bedding can help prevent such infestations.

How long can worms live on bedding?

The lifespan of worms on bedding can vary depending on the specific type of worm. Some worms can survive for a few days to weeks, while others may be capable of surviving for several months in favorable conditions.

Can I get worms from my cat sleeping in my bed?

It is possible to get worms from your cat if they have a worm infestation. Cats can shed eggs or larvae of worms in their feces, which can contaminate bedding and potentially lead to human infection if proper hygiene measures are not followed.

How do I get rid of pinworms in my bed?

To get rid of pinworms in your bed, it is essential to thoroughly clean and sanitize your bedding. Wash all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and blankets, in hot water. Vacuum your mattress and surrounding areas to remove any eggs or larvae. It is also crucial to treat the infected individuals with appropriate medication as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

What temperature kills pinworm eggs?

Pinworm eggs are sensitive to high temperatures. Washing bedding in hot water, preferably above 130°F (55°C), can help kill pinworm eggs effectively.

Resources – (for further reading)

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health – Pinworms, Roundworms, Hookworms

University of Kentucky – Carpet Beetles | Entomology, Facts about Fleas

University of Florida – Indianmeal moth – Plodia interpunctella (Hubner)

I'm Ernest M Noah, the founder of I have years of experience as an exterminator in Texas and Idaho, and I'm passionate about educating people on how to deal with pest problems effectively and safely.