Pink Worm Might Actually Be Palm Flower Moth Larva

A reader recently sent us a picture of a specimen she discovered. She explained that she found one specimen in a cork board hot pot holder and another on her dish mat. She wants to know what the creatures are, how she can get rid of them, and if she should be worried since she has two immune suppressed family members and two small children living in her home. The photo she sent shows a pink worm-like organism in a plastic bag. The specimen is smartly arranged right next to her finger, so we can easily estimate the size of it. The creature has a pink segmented body with a brown head:

Based on the appearance of this specimen, we think it might be a palm flower moth larva. Just like the creature in the photo, palm flower moth larvae have pink segmented bodies and brown heads. They aren’t the most common household pests, but readers do find them in their homes from time to time. Palm flower moth larvae live in and eat plants in the palm family. However, sometimes they get knocked out of their trees and so they sneak into a house to build a cocoon out of bits of carpet, or maybe cork board or dish mat material in our reader’s case. These larvae aren’t considered to be household pests, which means that although there are a few physically in her home, they won’t breed or excessively destroy household items in the same way carpet beetle larvae might. We think our reader should sweep these larvae outside and focus on sealing up the entryways through which they came. She should check to make sure all of her windows and doors are properly sealed, and also check for cracks or gaps in the ventilation system. As long as they don’t have a way to get in, our reader shouldn’t have any more issues with these larvae in her home.

Before we sign off, we do want to note that palm flower moth larvae are only found in select areas in the United States: California, Arizona, and Nevada. So, if our reader isn’t from one of these states, then she is probably dealing with a different organism than palm flower moth larvae. If this is the case, we recommend she thoroughly clean her house and investigate her kitchen for more of these creatures and their potential food source. Removing the food source, cleaning her house, and sealing up entryways to prevent more from getting in will be crucial to keeping her home bug free.

To sum up, one of our readers sent us a photo of a pink specimen she found in her kitchen. We think this creature is probably a palm flower moth larva. We don’t think these creatures should be a source of concern for her or her family.

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Pink Worm Might Actually Be Palm Flower Moth Larva
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Pink Worm Might Actually Be Palm Flower Moth Larva
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One of our readers sent us a photo of a pink specimen she found in her kitchen. We think this creature is probably a palm flower moth larva. We don't think these creatures should be a source of concern for her or her family.
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