“I found this little guy on my kitchen hardwood, near the cat bowl, and was wanting to know what he was,” states this reader about the segmented, brown-gray larva-like creature in the photo below. “If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.”
Simply from looking at the photo, it becomes clear that this is a caterpillar of some sort. Its girth, stubby legs and segmentation give it away. To be more specific, we think this is a cutworm, though given the poor resolution of the photo, this identification has not been made with absolute certainty, which we implore our reader to keep in mind.
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Cutworms are moth caterpillars (of species such as the turnip and dart moth) and are known as some of the most troublesome garden pests. These naughty critters will infest various species of plants, burrow into the soil and eat the stems of the plant, thereby cutting it down (hence the name).
What makes this so irritating for a gardener, besides the fact that they are killing the plant, is that they cannot easily be plucked off the plant like so many other species of caterpillar, but instead gardeners will often have to dig around in the soil to search for these creatures.
With that in mind, cutworms are not harmful to human beings or pets, so our reader needs not worry for herself or her cat; cutworms are not venomous, parasitic or dangerous in any other way. That does not mean we would recommend eating them, or touching them with bare fingers, as unforeseen allergic reactions can occur.
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When it comes to this cutworm in particular, we would presume that it wandered into our reader’s home through an open window or door. It may also have come in through a tear in a window screen, and we recommend that our reader check her windows for this possibility. If it turns out that one/some of her window screen(s) are faulty, then it might be a good idea to have them replaced. There are plenty of bugs and creepy crawlies that can enter one’s home in such a way.
Either way, all our reader needs to do is move this cutworm outside using a dustpan or gardening gloves (or both), all the while handling the caterpillar with care.
In conclusion, the creature our reader found is a cutworm. These little guys are nothing to be afraid of, and we hope that this article is able to put her mind at ease. We wish her and her cat the best.