“This morning I found these on my floor”, states this reader regarding the black and reddish creatures pictured below. “Do you have any idea what they are?”
“No clue what these are”, she continues in her submission. “I do have 2 cats but they are regularly treated for worms and parasites, so I doubt it is that. I have potted plants that are situated above the spot I have found these.”
From the pictures, it almost looks like these larvae might be shedding their skin, particularly in the second photo below. Our guess is that these are some type of larvae, and that they are currently molting, which is the process of shedding skin to grow larger before eventually pupating.
What species of larvae they are specifically, we are not sure. We have never seen any creature quite like this.
Now, it is good that our reader is constantly checking her cat for parasites and that she has been able to rule out that possibility. Nonetheless, if she has not already, we advise that she send these pictures to her vet to let them know about this situation, just in case her vet does identify the worms as a problem.
In any case, if these are coming from her potted plant, then there are a couple things she can do to keep them off the plant and to dissuade them from staying on the plant and in her home.
Firstly, she can spray her plants with soapy water, as this causes the stems and leaves to be slippery, making it hard for creatures to get a grip when they are climbing.
Secondly, when watering her plants, putting some cayenne pepper in the water can help eliminate pests in the soil and on the plant.
Next, any potted plants that are infested with any type of creature should be isolated from all the other plants, so as to avoid a spread of the infestation.
Additionally, we advise moving any roaming larvae that she finds outside. Likewise, we recommend avoiding skin-to-skin contact and instead gently scooping them onto a dustpan to move them, as one should be careful of unknown species of worms. Contact may result in an allergic reaction, or perhaps the larvae are able to sting or bite.
To conclude, we are not sure what it is our reader found. Our guess is that they are some type of larva. Since she found them on one occasion, and has not been finding them regularly, it is not certain that they are coming from her cats or her plant: they could have wandered in through an open window or door, or perhaps they came in on the fur of one of her cats (if they are outdoor cats, that is). That said, they may also be coming from her plant, in which case we advise following the steps listed above to control and eliminate their population. We hope this article helps and we wish our reader the best!
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.