One of our readers recently reached out to us after discovering a worm-like organism on her bed blanket. She is curious if this creature could be dangerous, and also wonders if there could be others lurking around. This is the picture she took of the organism:
The worm in question is light brown with some patterning on its body. It appears to be segmented, and it might have a distinct head and legs. We don’t know the exact size of the specimen since there is nothing to compare it to in the photo, however we reckon it is fairly small. We believe that this creature is a caterpillar!
Despite the wonderful photograph that our reader sent, we aren’t sure what kind of caterpillar she discovered. Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies, and there are more than 20,000 species of caterpillars around the world. Identifying a caterpillar can be tricky because two caterpillars of different species might look nearly identical. In addition, two caterpillars of the same species might not look much alike at all. We know the caterpillar our reader discovered is brown, but so are hundreds of other caterpillars. Since caterpillars of different species eat different plants, often the plant that a caterpillar is discovered on can be a huge hint in identifying it. However, this caterpillar was discovered on a blanket, not a plant!
We also can’t determine why it was on our reader’s bed. We think it probably crawled inside through an open window or door, or got dragged in accidentally by a pet or on a shoe. Caterpillars aren’t common household pests, so we don’t believe our reader will discover a colony of these caterpillars lurking under her bed. Even if she does discover one or two more of these larvae, she doesn’t need to worry. Caterpillars are not dangerous! Some caterpillars with horns might sting or cause skin irritation, but the caterpillar our reader found doesn’t appear to have horns.
In conclusion, one of our readers discovered a brown worm-like organism in her bed. We are confident that the creature is a caterpillar.