A reader just sent us a photo of a tiny worm-like organism she found in her cat’s water bowl. She wants to know if it came from her cat or the pipes.
The creature is shown next to a nickel, which truly emphasizes how tiny it is! It is brown, and looks like it might have tiny arms or legs and a thin tail. It isn’t smooth, but we cannot tell if hair, tiny legs, or segments are giving this worm its texture.
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Despite our uncertainty about some of the features on this creature, we believe she has found a carpet beetle larva.
The rough hairs that line their bodies are often the easiest way to identify carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are attracted to keratin, which is a protein that is found in many of their food sources, one of which is animal hair! They also eat dust particles and material fibers, like blankets and towels, and carpets! These critters can become quite destructive on clothing and linens.
This larva probably got attached to her cat’s fur and fell off into the water bowl. Our reader should vacuum her home to get rid of additional animal hair, as well as wash any blankets that her cat routinely lounges on. Since she only found one carpet beetle, hopefully she won’t have a hard time getting rid of them.
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To summarize, a reader found a creature in her cat’s water bowl. We believe that it is a carpet beetle larva.