Follow
Share

I’ll start by saying I don’t know what else to do. I live in another state and my mom has been seeing what she calls carpet beetles now for about 8 months. Multiple people have been in there to look, and nobody sees anything. Nothing, much less an infestation.


The apartment complex sprays each month, the property manager was up there with two maintenance men and did not see anything. A carpet cleaner saw nothing, I hired an outside pest control to come and he saw nothing. She says, they’re in her food now, her clothes, and in her body now. She’s mad I won’t believe her and that no one is sticking up for her. She wants to report the apartment complex for not doing anything about the problem, but I told her they will terminate her lease and she’ll have to have a plan B.


As for a doctor? I’ve tried several times to get ahold of them leaving several messages. I realize she needs a diagnosis. But with me out of state, and her with little money, I’m not sure she’ll go to the doctor to get the diagnosis she needs, take any medication they may give, or have this delusion of bugs ended once and for all. Has anyone had a loved one create this type of thing? How did you deal with it? I do have medical POA. If she gets a medical assessment, how would you proceed? Is it safe for her to even live alone?

This is going to sound snippy, for which I apologise in advance, but it is such a common problem: you have medical POA, but you're nowhere near your mother and you can't get her to a doctor. Why accept the responsibility if there's no way you can fulfil it?

Your mother could be perceiving these creepy-crawlies for any number of reasons - neurological, psychological, eyesight-related. She needs to be examined by a qualified medical practitioner. Make it happen. Can you visit, if that's the only way? If not, is there anyone local you can delegate this to?

Until you know what's going on - which might be the beginning of a downhill slide or might be easily explained and treatable, you just don't know - there is no way to answer your other, very natural concerns.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
Pandabearmama Oct 11, 2019
I had my mom living with us in her 70’s after my dad died. I was POA during that time. I thought she would be with us for the remaining of her life. She lived with us for 1 1/2 yrs. she hated it and wanted to move back to her current state 2000 miles away. She created a lot of chaos for me and my family, and like most caregivers on this site, several medical issues for me. I had to let her go, as she was not deemed cognitively impaired. I did get ahold of her doctor and spoke to them about these issues, so hopefully she’ll follow thru with any tests.
(1)
Report
Before my daughter got carpet beetles none of us believed it either but then I moved into an apartment with them and they are these little beetles that lay eggs which become larvae which is what most mean when they say carpet beetles.
After long research on these there are three kinds of beetles which lay eggs on your clothes in flour and other foodstuffs they are what we called clothes moths and the larvae weavles and there are real things like that too but it’s usually carpet beetle larvae. Look them up on line they are the freakiest things I’ve ever seen and my bug man knew exactly what they were and how to treat. They need treatment like bedbugs and are almost impossible to get rid of. Vacuuming several times a week is needed and a thorough cleaning of drawers and closets and the whole house must be done aggressively. Sometimes apartment complexes are in denial. Bug guys where there is not a widespread infestation may not be up to date. Mothballs in clothing areas are necessary and I put cedar, mothballs and citronella candles in my drawers.
The larvae look like land locked leeches and come in huge bunches. I didn’t see anything either until my daughter used a lint roller on the floor where she saw some. I was terrified they were everywhere and they will be if you don’t aggressively treat. Read up online and call your mom’s area companies until you find one that knows about these they can spray specifically for them. You need to put a bedbug proof zipper bag on the mattress and box springs too. They’ll die inside and fewer will get in her bed. I’m in Arizona and I thought scorpions were bad (they get inside here) but these are small and brown from thread size to maggot size but flat as they mature then they become beetles, very small ones looking like ladybugs or just black bugs as there’s three kinds. White flowers and pyracantha bushes attract them and the adults lay eggs then gather in the windowsills. These used to be a big problem in days past so older folks do know what they’re talking about and they can’t handle them alone now a days. She must be so frustrated and feeling alone and who could cope with things that get on you and look like leeches. My daughter found one in her undies and nearly had a coronary! One person said the only way to get rid of them was to strip, jump in the car that’s over 220degrees inside and leave all your belongings behind. They can even infest cars!!! They fly around lights outside at night and once you look them up you’ll start to recognize them. Usually they just eat a few clothes, you find dead larvae in the flour, no big deal but since the onset of less pesticide use we got bedbugs and carpet beetles back. Go see your Mom take help and take her to a hotel for stress relief and scrub the house, wash clothes in lots of soap and hot water clean out drawers and mothball closets and vacuum a lot. Then spray the vacuum and change the bag taking all trash outside. She may not be able to keep things as clean or be able to see as well as she used to.
After tons of research I finally got rid of mine I hope! They are under the carpet around the edges. Any spray you want to use has to say specifically it kills carpet beetle larvae.
Search amazon for carpet beetles and just google them there’s a ton of information. They are real.
Good luck with this it’s a horrible thing to happen! Be sure you don’t bring them home to you. I didn’t see them until someone pointed them out so it’s not unusual if they’re not an infestation, to see any and know what you’re seeing . After the clean up hire a cleaning company to come out and vacuum especially. Your Mom must be frantic!
C DeLacey RN
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AngelofSprings7
Report
TekkieChikk Oct 11, 2019
Wow, very informative! I may not sleep well tonight after reading about those creepy crawlies, but very educational indeed ;) OP might want to share this with mom to try and gather some actual proof (like using the lint roller idea). Mom must be so frustrated since no one believes her if this is an actual infestation and not delusion.
(1)
Report
See 3 more replies
Hallucinations like these can sometimes occur with urinary tract infections. She should be tested asap. It may not be dementia.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Bigsister7
Report

My mom, who is 101 and does not suffer from dementia, was seeing green and black mold and little bugs all over her bathroom floor. Once we ruled out a uti, dehydration and other medical issues we narrowed it down to Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This is common in people with vision loss. The doctor explained that the brain makes up it own pictures. It usually takes the form of colors or spider webs but could also be insects, animals or people. There is no medication and it comes and goes. My mom has macular degeneration and is blind in one eye with limited vision in the other. This started about one month ago and it comes and goes but now that she knows what’s causing it she is not as bothered by it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Stulenko
Report

It’s very difficult to handle something like this from afar. It sounds like your mother has reached the point in her disease where she has begun to hallucinate. My mom was the same way and I can say that her hallucinations and delusions got worse as time went on. Is it possible that Mom should no longer be living alone?

How understanding is your boss or supervisor? Because, you really need to take some time off to handle this. It’s not something you can do over the phone. Find out when you can get some time off and make a bona fide doctor’s appointment, face to face with her doctor. Get her there somehow, even if you have to fib to her. She needs to be evaluated for possible placement in a facility. Do some online research about the facilities in her, or your area if moving her closer to you is an option.

Unfortunately, if she has dementia, there is no reverse gear. She will develop more and more issues as time goes on, and st some point you will have to face the upheaval of placement. It’s better to have a plan in place sooner rather than later.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

It might be delusional, and make sure that you have all of the POAs in order (medical and also for financial affairs) and also medical directives (living will). More important, is she able to live on her own? Can you talk to her doctor? What does the doctor think? You may have to move her to an assisted living facility or get a caregiver for her. If it comes to this, think about moving her close to you. It will be much easier to visit and oversee her care. Moving will be difficult in any case.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NancyIS
Report

Another poster mentioned Charles Bonnet syndrome, which comes from vision loss. Could she be seeing floaters? I mention this because I saw the strangest things when I had a spontaneous retinal detachement, and even after vision was mostly restored by surgery these visions would pop up out of nowhere, mostly evenings. There are many things that could be causing the visions, so I would start with the doctor, test for UTI, Parkinsons, and there is always the eye doctor. My mom would see awful things, like a woman's head spinning around on top of her TV when she had a UTI. These went away after antibiotics were given. Best of luck in finding out the source of the visions and getting things straightened out.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Katie22
Report

Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Invisible
Report
Pandabearmama Oct 11, 2019
I went to this link and found it VERY helpful in explaining things. Thank you so much!
(0)
Report
I'd be looking for a different place for her to live....like Asst. Living. I'd also be taking her to the doctor and stating what you have seen/heard and asking for tests to confirm/deny what is going on with her. Take it from there while following the doctor's suggestions.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to debbiesdaz
Report

The one possibility I’m not seeing in responses here is dehydration. My mom hallucinates when she hasn’t been drinking enough water for a few days. Bugs is not an uncommon hallucination in the elderly and while yes it can be a sign of several different things it could also be as simple as not drinking enough water. Whatever the reason and whatever your solution I wouldn’t contradict your mom I would go along which what she is seeing. I don’t mean encourage it but if you are trying to get her to the doctor a good reason for it is to find out how to get rid of the bugs, if you want her to drink more water perhaps telling her it will help get rid of or prevent the bugs from staying in or getting into her body...you get the idea. But her cooperation is going to be helpful maybe even required to get to the bottom of this and put you both out of your bug misery! Good luck I know how hard this is from a distance.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Lymie61
Report
Pandabearmama Oct 11, 2019
Thank you for your response. It seems like contradiction is a no win situation. I wondered about that. She is one of those people that doesn’t like to take liquids, so I will keep asking her about drinking.
(0)
Report
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter