Are you spooked by tiny brown worm-like bugs in your house? These creatures will nibble on your food, create cavities on your walls, and expose you to the deadly pathogens they carry.
The good news is eliminating these bugs is entirely possible. However, significant efforts are required on your part.
This article discusses these tiny brown bugs in detail, the places they are most likely to inhabit in your house, and how to get rid of them. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Exactly Are The Little Brown Worm-Like Bugs In My House?
- 1.1 1. Carpet Beetle Larvae
- 1.2 2. Millipedes
- 1.3 3. Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)
- 1.4 4. Drain Flies/ Moth Flies/ Drain Moths
- 1.5 5. Centipedes
- 1.6 6. Booklice
- 2 Conclusion
What Exactly Are The Little Brown Worm-Like Bugs In My House?
Identifying the bug can help you formulate an all-out elimination strategy against it. Here is a list containing the most common culprits inhabiting homes.
1. Carpet Beetle Larvae
Carpet beetle larvae (carpet beetle worms) are tiny tan bugs often found in the bathroom and under the carpets. You are most likely to spot them around spring.
The tiny creatures pack a range of colors from white to brown to black, measuring a few millimeters long. Their bodies are covered by protrusions of long hair.
Carpet beetle worms love natural fibers, which explains why they quickly infest carpets and other home fabrics.
Their larval stage is the most harmful as they feed on almost any organic material, such as feathers, lint, pet hair, dead insects, and plant matter.
The tiny creatures can affect the respiratory tract in some people and cause eye irritation. Surprisingly, they can live up to three years without food.
You want to get rid of them before it’s too late.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetle Larvae?
Locating the source of infestation is the first essential step to getting rid of the tiny bugs. Scout the most prone areas of your house for larvae or adult insects.
- The vicinity of your windows and doors could be infested as these bugs can quickly fly in when they are open. Your carpets are the most vulnerable.
- Use a powerful vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to pick up debris, eggs, and larvae around your doors and windows.
- Vacuum your carpet thoroughly once or twice a week.
- As a preventive measure, wash your linen or soft furnishings at a temperature of 49 degrees Celsius to eliminate the larvae.
- Install fine bug nets all around your house as entry barriers. Look for cracks and gaps around windows and seal them completely.
- Finally, keep your home tidy and clutter-free. Keep food in sealed containers.
- Ensure that carpets, rugs, furnishings, and curtains are well maintained and free from food or hair debris.
We don’t advise spraying insecticides to eliminate the tiny brown bugs as they can be harmful and unsuitable around pets and children.
Also referred to as little brown worms, these segmented creatures belong to the Diplopoda class of the arthropod. Millipedes love dark, warm and moist indoor environments, which explains their fondness for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
Naturally, you’ll find them in gardens, woodlands, and littered patches of forests. Millipedes are harmless to humans, and you shouldn’t be worried about their sting or bite.
However, the tiny worms release a foul-smelling liquid that causes skin irritation when provoked. Millipedes are more problematic when in large numbers.
How To Get Rid Of Millipedes?
First, you want to reduce the moisture levels as much as possible. Reduce the usage of dehumidifiers and fix any leaking pipes in your bathroom or kitchen. Ensure to keep all damp areas of your house dry.
You also want to seal any cracks or gaps in your walls, foundations, and floors to prevent millipedes from crawling in.
Another way to get rid of the little worms is by vacuuming them. However, if you’re dealing with a large infestation, don’t risk doing it yourself.
Contact a reliable pest control service to help you get rid of the insects.
3. Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)
The Indian meal moth or pantry moth is a worldwide pest commonly found in households and food stores. The moth appears as a tiny white-winged insect attracted to processed food when adult.
The larval stage is the most destructive since it can devour food grains, bird seeds, dog biscuits, dry fruits, and chocolate chips— making them a big menace in kitchens.
Female moths can lay 60 to 400 eggs on food. The eggs are 0.5mm and non-sticky, hatching within 2 to 14 days.
Their tiny nature makes it difficult to spot them. The larval stage lasts 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature in the house.
Indian meal moth infestation causes food contamination and spoilage. The larvae can potentially transmit food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and E.coli.
How To Get Rid of Indian Meal Moth?
Silk webbing in food products is the clearest sign of their presence. It is created by the larvae as they move through.
You also know they have invaded your kitchen when you spot tiny, white moths flying around. Follow either or all of the methods highlighted below to eliminate the pests.
Double-check all stored food products you’ve bought from the grocery store for any webbing and tell-tale signs of these worms. Discard the infested items immediately, as they cannot be salvaged.
Keep your pantry super clean and store perishable foods in air-tight containers.
2. Use Soapy Water
Use soapy water to clean your kitchen compartments and other infested areas to remove any remaining eggs and larvae.
3. Pheromone Traps
Some homeowners use pheromone traps to trap adult moths to prevent them from laying eggs, thus depopulating them.
If neither of the above methods works, you may want to call a professional pest control company to get rid of the moths.
4. Drain Flies/ Moth Flies/ Drain Moths
Drain flies (aka moth flies or drain moths) are fond of moist places such as sinks, shower drains, septic tanks, and toilets. The flies have a distinct body pattern and measure about ⅛ inch in length.
Some homeowners mistake them for fruitflies and fungus gnats. The adult drain fly breeds only once in its 20-day life cycle.
The flies typically feed on the decomposing waste found in drain pipes. This causes a slimy build-up, resulting in clogged drain systems.
Drain moth infestations also trigger asthmatic reactions and can be an opportunistic agent of myiasis.
How To Get Rid Of Them?
Depending on the degree of the infestation, you can get rid of drain flies in your home through natural or chemical means.
1. Boiling water
Boil and pour water inside the drains or pipes infested with the flies 1-2 times a day for one week. This will ensure that any population that is residing inside gets eliminated.
The organic waste entrapped in the pipes the flies feed on is also flushed out for good.
The preparation process isn’t as complex as it may sound. All you need to do is to add a few drops of soap to a bowl containing sugar, water, and apple cider vinegar. Place the bowl near an infested drain.
The mixture will attract the flies and trap them in soapy water. Once trapped, discard them at a safe distance from your home.
3. Using Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar
A mixture of baking soda, salt, and vinegar creates a natural cleaning agent that you can pour into your drain. The mix expands and covers a more extended area than water.
Let the solution sit still in the pipe until morning, and flush it with boiling water.
The first precaution when using chemicals is to follow the labeled instructions thoroughly. You want to avoid mixing chemicals with natural cleaning products for effectiveness.
1. Chemical Sprays and Repellants
Choose chemical sprays that have proven effective against drain flies. What works well against fruit flies and gnats should also be handy in eliminating them. Some suggestions include the following:
- Natural Armour: The gel-based drain cleaner works well on the most challenging infestations. It’s a typical powerful insecticide.
- Green gobbler: The formulation works best in septic systems, drain pipes, and garbage disposals. Its primary function is to unclog drains by digesting organic waste and oils.
- American Bio Systems: It is once again a waste digester that helps remove fat, grease, and oil from your drains. As per the company’s claims, the product can eliminate flies and gnats owing to this ability.
2. Traditional Drain Cleaners
Traditional drain cleaners are handy when you use them together with warm water and metal brushes. Common examples include products such as Drano and Bio-clean.
Another common tiny brown worm you’re likely to encounter in your home is the Centipede. They belong to the animal class arthropods and have an elongated segmented body with many legs. Over 3000 species of centipedes exist worldwide and vary in size from 1 – 30 centimeters.
While millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment, centipedes bear one pair per body segment. Centipedes have an intimidating look but are harmless to humans. They attack or defend themselves by injecting venom into their prey.
Centipedes are nocturnal creatures that prefer dark and damp areas to live in. Familiar places in your house include basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. Centipedes can also be found in kitchens— under sinks and behind appliances.
Other places to check for them inside your house include the attic, garage, and closets. Centipedes feed on tiny crawling organisms such as insects and spiders.
How To Get Rid Of Centipedes?
A large infestation of centipedes in your home could only mean one thing— they have a lot of prey to feed on. Secondly, damp conditions in your home could be attracting them too.
You can eliminate centipedes in your home by taking the measures below.
1. Eliminate Their Food Sources
If your house is full of small insects such as ants, termites, cockroaches, and other pests, be sure to eliminate them. This will make centipedes look for some other place to infest.
2. Fix Leaks/ Cracks And Ventilate Damp Areas
Leaks and cracks are the perfect entry points for centipedes into your house. Fix leaks in drainage systems and seal any holes, cracks, and gaps in your walls.
Ensure adequate ventilation in humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
3. Sprinkle Salt Around Infested Areas
Another way to eliminate centipedes in your home is to sprinkle salt in the infested areas. Salt also works quite well when sprayed directly on cracks and moist areas.
4. Use Mothballs
You can place mothballs around areas infested with centipedes. Mothballs produce naphthalene gas that centipedes find poisonous, thus eliminating them.
5. Capture Them
You can also eliminate the pesky creatures using sticky traps and glue boards. Place the traps in areas where they are active.
Once trapped, collect and dispose of them.
Booklice also go by the name psocids. These are small wingless insects measuring about 1/16 inch. They are flat and grayish brown, resembling lice, and prefer to feed on fungi, molds, and other organic matter.
You will likely find them feeding on flour, cereals, and crackers.
Booklice like to inhabit areas with warmth and high humidity, particularly kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. You’ll also find them in books, where they typically feed on the binding glue.
The bugs are harmless to humans and pets but can generally be a nuisance in the house.
Getting Rid Of Booklice
Controlling booklice in your home boils down to following general hygiene and cleanliness. You do not need to deploy specialized chemicals as there aren’t any.
- Get rid of molds, fungi, and organic waste around the kitchen, bathrooms, and other damp places. Use borax for cleaning, ideally.
- Reduce humidity and the amount of moisture in your home. This involves fixing leaks, increasing ventilation, and using dehumidifiers. Fans also help to increase airflow.
- Always store dry food in sealed containers.
- Dust diatomaceous earth or boric acid in non-food areas to keep them dry and free of bugs.
- Spray or dust-infested areas with pesticides that contain pyrethroid and pyrethrin. Always ensure to follow the instructions on the label.
Living with tiny brown worm-like bugs in your house can be frustrating, but there are multiple ways to get rid of them. You first want to identify the bug and the attractants.
Once identified, use a combination of preventive, natural, and commercial measures to remove them from your property. If using pesticides, always remember to read the labeled instructions carefully before applying.
We advise consulting a professional pest control service for assistance if nothing seems to be working.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.