Wireworms or Carpet Beetle Larvae in the House

larvae in vacuum

A reader wrote to us a couple of days ago about some brown worms that she vacuumed off of her carpet. (Actually, it isn’t clear if the brown worms were on the carpet, but the picture she sent us shows the vacuum on carpet, and that’s why we make this assumption, which may be is relevant.) Unfortunately, we weren’t given any information about creature, but, as mentioned, we were sent a photo, and this photo may depict a wireworm (sometimes spelled as “wire worm”). However, she might have also found a carpet beetle larvae, so we detail both possibilities below.

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Are Wooly Bear Caterpillars Safe to Touch and Hold?

woolly bear caterpillar

A couple of days ago a reader asked us one simple question: “Are wooly worms ok to hold?” “Wooly worms” is one of the names of wooly bear caterpillars, and in fact basically any worm or caterpillar that has “wooly” in their name is generally a wooly bear caterpillar. The reader’s question is slightly ambiguous because it isn’t clear from what perspective (the human’s or the caterpillar’s) the question is being asked, but we are assuming that the reader is curious if it safe to hold wooly bear caterpillars, which is of course related to whether wooly bear caterpillars are harmful or dangerous in anyway. So, we will address all of these questions as we proceed.

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Small Black and Brown Larvae on Cats’ Blanket

black and brown larvae

A couple of days ago a reader found some small black and brown larvae on the blanket her cats sleeps on. The cats’ blanket (and therefore the larvae) is lying on a hardwood floor in an undisturbed corner that hasn’t been cleaned for a while. The larvae appear to be limited to this corner, and they aren’t found anywhere else the cats go in the house. The reader was wondering what the black and brown larvae are, and specifically indicated that they might be carpet beetle larvae.

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Mystery Bug in the Bathroom

mystery bug

A reader wrote to us recently about some “things” she is finding in the bathroom, although they are occasionally found in other parts of the house as well. The reader only refers to the things in the bathroom as, well, “things,” but she presumably is finding some sort of worm, larvae, or other bug, or else she wouldn’t have written to us with her question. The reader provided us with a bizarre description of the bug in question, which we quote in full below, and then asked us if the bug could be harmful or dangerous to herself or her animals. What could this mysterious bug in the bathroom be?

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Tiny Black Worms on the Carpet

black larva with red head

A reader wrote to us recently about some tiny black worms he has found on the carpet in his house. So far, the reader has found about five of the tiny black worms, and they have been spread across two different rooms of the house, both of which are carpeted. The worms appear to be “solid black,” except for their heads, which are a “reddish, brownish” color. The worms also have “tiny hair-like legs.” The reader has several questions about these black-bodied, red-headed worms with legs: where are they coming from? Are they going to grow and multiply? Are they poisonous or harmful? What is the best way to get rid of them? Before concerning ourselves with these questions, though, we must first try to figure out what the tiny black worms are.

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