“I have found over 15 of these caterpillar-looking things crawling along my carpet and baseboards,” states this reader in his submission. The organisms he is referring to appear to be a dark green color, with brown speckles on their patterned backs.
Additionally, the caterpillar-like creatures appear to have small, stubby legs along their undersides, and they also have bulbous, brown heads. Our reader found the caterpillars within the span of a few days, and they were all concentrated around his sliding glass door. He asks that we help him identify them, and to answer his question, we think these are armyworms.
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Armyworms are the caterpillars of the armyworm moth. There are several species of armyworms, the most notorious ones being the fall armyworm (commonly abbreviated to FAW). We are not entirely sure what species of armyworm these are, but they could very well be fall armyworms. In any case, armyworms are not notorious because they pose a health threat to humans or animals, but because they are one of the worst crop pests.
As the name suggests, these caterpillars travel in large groups (armies), and as such will swarm farms and eat the crops. On top of that, they have no real preferences for what plants they eat, so they have become an international threat to all types of plantations/cultures.
With all of that in mind, armyworms have no real business inside a household, and they do not infest homes on purpose. What we think happened is that one armyworm had the bright idea of wandering into our reader’s home, and, as is their nature, the rest of the armyworms followed. Alternatively, it could be that our reader has a lot of plant debris resting against the outside of his glass door, which drew the armyworms to this area. Regardless, we do not think our reader has much to worry about. We recommend that he scoop these caterpillars up on a dustpan (gently) and move them outside. Any other armyworms he may find around his home should be moved in the same way.
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In conclusion, the caterpillar-looking things our reader found in his home are armyworms. They are not dangerous, and they are not trying to infest his home. We wish our reader the very best!