Google

By: Chad Melius

Multi Purpose Sprayer

I am writing this article in response to the many viewers who have found this blog by searching Google for the phrase, *tiny brown worms on clothes*. As of this writing, Clothing17.info ranks on page 1 of Google for this phrase, out of over 13 million results. With all of this hoo-hah about these little worms, I decided to do a bit of research into this topic.

There are three groups of articles on “tiny brown worms”, each group containing 3 or more identical articles.

Group 1: “tiny brown worms on clothes”

This question was first posted in 2005, on the E-Bug.net Forum: “I have these small brown worms about the size of the tip of your fingernail in my bedroom. They have been on some of my clothes and stuffed animals. I would like to know what they are and how I can get rid of them. Can anyone help me?? Thanks!!”

Two other identical articles appeared in 2010, one of them in Yahoo Answers.

Group 2: “What are these tiny brown worms found under clothing on floor?”

219 websites, including this blog, have identical copies of this question, which was first posted on Yahoo Answers in 2008:

“I have had a pile of clothing on my bedroom floor for a few months now and today I finally started going through them. First I found what looked like a shell/skin left from tiny brown worms, and then I actually found one crawling on a small hand towel. The clothes (and towel) were all clean. What kind of worm is this, and how can I make sure there aren’t any more? Does regular bug spray work?”

Group 3: “I found small brown worms in my clothing and bedding.”

Canadian Yahoo Answers first published this question in 2010. According to Google, there are 8 other copies published. It is a rather long question, so I will only give the first few sentences.

“I keep finding these small brown worms, the length of a fingernail tip. I find them in my clothes and sometimes on my bed. I think they get onto the bed from the clothes though …”

Other articles

My research, which is by no means exhaustive ( I got bored ), found 9 other articles on this topic, from 2001 – 2011. 5 of these were published by Yahoo Answers, and others were in the E-Bug.net Forum, Mamapedia.com, and Snippets.com.

What might these tiny worms be?

There were a good many answers to that question, including some wildly speculative possiblities, like “flea poop”, maggots, and millipedes. The majority of opinions seems to favor some kind of larva – carpet beetles being the most commonly-named variety.

How can you get rid of them?

In some reported cases, the worms were not alive, so simply throwing away the remains solved the problem. In the case of living worms, almost any bug killer, such as Raid or borax, was sufficient to kill them. Of course the clothing should be thoroughly washed before being reused, and the area in which the worms were found should be thoroughly cleaned and fumigated. Further infestations can be prevented by properly storing the clothing, and not allowing it to sit unwashed for long periods of time.

Being a scientist myself, I find that NONE of the articles I read were answered by a person qualified to analyze the nature of the “tiny brown worms”. In addition, there were NO PICTURES offered to show others exactly what the worms looked like.

So, in conclusion, I need to say that this article is offered purely as an historical document. Please do not act on the advice of unqualified “experts”. You are welcome to try out any of the solutions offered, but if you are really worried about these “tiny brown worms”, please call an exterminator!

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Comments

5 Responses to “Tiny Brown Worms on Clothes”

  1. Apparel, Apparel - Babies and Kids, Apparel - Men’s Clearance on January 21st, 2012 5:59 am

    I’m enligtened about something new every time I come here.

  2. Chad Melius on February 9th, 2012 1:05 am

    Sounds like spam to me, but I like it!

  3. Nicole on March 18th, 2016 12:39 am

    They are moth larvae. You have to clean out your closet, drawer or whatever eoth disinfectant and vacuum it. Then wash your clothes in hot water or put them in an air toght bag and freeze them. Check out this website for more info: m.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Moth-Worms

  4. shar57 on March 19th, 2016 2:02 am

    you are all wrong
    they are bird mites
    goodle birdmites and read away this becoming an epidemic

  5. Parvani on August 17th, 2016 1:38 pm

    I actually read into this quite a bit because I had the issue that most people were describing. Every person who got an answer pretty much got a wrong one. Many of the people who experience this mention that there is no damage done to the clothing, bedding, or toys; so there’s no way it is carpet beetles or clothing moths because they actually do damage. I started noticing this problem once my parents’ cats had a bad case of the fleas (and we have a lot of cats). Some of the cats were suffering from the passing of worms; and I mean the live, little white ones; they could stay alive for a while though and eventually turned brown. So, I started to do some research about why the cats had worms and how that worked; and of course, it was all related to fleas. It has been a while since I looked into all of this, but my cats did commonly sleep in my room. Sometimes they’d get into my closet, or onto my shelves where I had some stuffed animals. And those were the common places where I started to find these “little brown worms.” I couldn’t really tell if they were shells that were left behind, or if they were just dead. After seeing so many of these (and I have seen them move), I have reason to believe that they share some relation to the fleas. I could be wrong, of course, but this is just me trying to make those connections. Also, a lot of the instances where I found these involved stuff that was put away in plastic tote containers. So…unless there were eggs somewhere for them to arrive, I don’t see how they could just show up in a container like that. Just a thought; I know for a fact it is not clothing moths or carpet beetles though, because I never ever run into those, and I would if I had them, based on how many of those worms I used to find.

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