A reader sent us a photo of a brown specimen on carpeting. The creature is light brown and has a distinct head with two small black stripes down its face. Since there is nothing to compare the creature to, and since the reader didn’t give us any measurements or estimates, we don’t know how big the specimen is. So, what is this brown worm-like organism?
We are confident that this specimen is a cutworm. Cutworm is the name we use to describe the larvae of a number of species of night-flying adult moths. In other words, a cutworm is a caterpillar. Cutworms get their name because of the manner in which they eat foliage, chewing through the stem and “cutting” the plant off near the ground. Cutworms are among the stealthier of larvae. They hide during the day and come out to feed at night, causing serious damage to young plants in no time!
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Since there are many different species of cutworms, there is also a large variety of appearances among the caterpillars. They range in color from pink to grey, and from green to black. Some of them have spots or stripes, and can be up to two inches long. When they aren’t moving, they tend to curl up, like the cutworm featured in the photograph our reader sent.
Usually these caterpillars live in the outdoor environment, not inside a carpeted home. Since they feed on the roots and foliage of young plants, we doubt they can find a suitable food source inside a home. This cutworm probably accidentally wandered inside through an open door or window. Our reader should dispose of the moth larva, or place it back outside.
To wrap up, a reader sent us a photo of a brown worm-like organism. We believe the creature is a cutworm, or a caterpillar.
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