Common household parasites such as fleas or bedbugs can account for small, worm-shaped animals found on fabrics including bedding, mattresses and carpets. Both the flea and the bedbug have worm-shaped larval stages.
The most common type of flea is the cat flea. As its name suggests, its primary host is the cat, although it can feed on the blood of dogs, wildlife and even humans. It, like most insects, including the bedbug, passes through four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larval stage is notable for its resemblance to a worm. Measuring at 1/4 inch, flea larvae feed on the waste matter of adult fleas and live in bedding or other surfaces where an infected animal may rest. Fleas are not tolerant to hot, well-lit areas, and so they reside in cool, shaded places where a potential host may appear. According to Texas A&M University, the best method of removing a flea infestation is a combination of rigorous cleaning of the resided area and treatment of the host animal. Vacuuming removes a sizable portion of flea eggs and larvae from affected surfaces. Fabric exposed to pets must also be changed regularly. Finally, combing a pet's fur and applying flea medication has best results.