Woman gets carpet beetles from thrifted sweater


‘I wish ppl knew just how often bed bugs and carpet beetles show up’: Influencer faces infestation after failing to wash thrifted sweater

'So much money and time and stress.'


Jackie Ibarra


Posted on Sep 12, 2023

A woman’s warning to the thrifting community has gone viral on TikTok after she shared her experience with carpet beetles. 

The saga started after fashion TikToker @amberweibe said that she was wearing an unwashed item from the thrift store. 

“The more you wear an unwashed thrifted item the cleaner it gets,” she joked, “and that’s thrift girl math for you.”

Her video is one of many explaining girl math, the trend in which users share their twisted logic behind using money. For example, users say that according to girl math, anything bought with cash is free.

Amber’s video not only sparked debate about wearing thrifted clothes that haven’t been washed but also a response—and a warning—from another fashion influencer, Lindsey (@lindseyrem).

Lindsey explained that after she thrifted a sweater and wore it a couple of times, her room became infested with carpet beetles

“Similar to bed bugs, they get in your sheets, they reproduce very quickly, but instead of biting you, they bite your clothing,” Lindsey said in the video, which by Tuesday had over 267,000 views.

@lindseyrem #stitch with @Amber Trust me I never thought it would happen either #thrifttips #vintageclothing ♬ original sound – Lindsey

According to Assured Environments, a pest control website, bed bugs and carpet beetles are similar in most things, including size and color. The most notable difference is that carpet beetles will “eat organic matter in the form of wool, fabric, carpet, leather and feather.” 

Lindsey explained that similar to a bed bug problem, carpet beetles can cause expensive damage and a massive headache. She said she had to spend $50 on an exterminator and hundreds more dollars on dry cleaning her other clothing. 

“[I] will absolutely, never, ever do this again because it costs just so much money and time and stress,” she said. 

She warns at the end of her video to buy a steamer, and to “please, please just don’t” wear thrifted clothes without santizing them first.  

The Daily Dot reached out to both TikTok creators via email and Instagram.

Commenters expressed mixed feelings about wearing clothes straight from the thrift stores. Some users said that they understand the “thrift girl math” and have worn unwashed thrift finds. 

“This is so real it replaces the thrift germs with my own,” one user commented under @amberweibe video.  

Others were been shocked that people can wear clothing straight from the stores. 

“Y’all are foul,” one user wrote. 

“I would NEVER wear a thrifted item without washing,” another said. “I even wash brand new clothes from the stores sometimes.”

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*First Published: Sep 12, 2023, 5:27 pm CDT