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Posted in Caterpillars Indian Meal Moth Larvae Worms Found in the House

Yellowish Worms Hanging from Stove Top are Pantry Moth Caterpillars

“I have these teeny, tiny worms hanging above my kitchen stove top,” writes this reader about the yellow-white, worm-like creature pictured below. “They are so tiny you can barely see them hanging. What are they?” Based on the photo, as well as the location in which the creature was found, we would say this is likely a pantry moth larva, otherwise known as the Indianmeal moth caterpillar. These critters are not directly harmful to humans or pets, so our reader need not worry about her health. That said, when the infest foods, they do render them inedible, as they leave shed skins and faecal matter behind.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Group of Tiny, Gray Worms are Newly-hatched American Ermine Moth Caterpillars

“I found other pictures that look like these and you said it was a moth”, writes this reader about the tiny, gray, worm-like creatures pictured below. “I’m interested in knowing what kind of moth larvae they are, and whether wiping it off got rid of them, or if I need to bomb them, hire an exterminator, etc. I’m looking for recommendations on the process and what products would be helpful to ensure they don’t come back. Your site is very helpful.” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the compliment: we always aim to be as helpful as we can, and we hope we can provide that same service to her. Now, there is a lot to unpack here, so we will just address each part of our reader’s submission in turn.

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Posted in Caterpillars Marine Worms Worms Generally

Slimy, Worm-like Larvae in Koi Pond Could be Caterpillars

“These worm-like larvae are on the bottom of my koi pond”, writes Steve about the slimy-looking, dark green-gray creatures pictured below. “I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Trying to ID and control as necessary. Thank you.” This photo has us puzzled. Not only do the reflections in the water make it hard to see the worms’ physical characteristics, but they all share this gray-green color which they seem to be bathing in. We can’t tell if this really is the color of the worms, and they match the background, or if they are covered in some kind of slime or sludge.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Found in the House

Worms Swarming Suitcase and Spinning Cocoons are Webbing Clothes Moth Caterpillars

“Found these in our storeroom, mostly in and on a suitcase and on a box next to it”, writes Mark about the pink worm-like creatures pictured below. “They are about 1/2 an inch long. Many were in a white web-like cocoon. We are in the SF Bay Area. Do you know what they are? Thanks.” To start with, we want to thank Mark for the excellent photo he sent us. We can clearly see the creatures, as well as the webbing he describes. Based on this photo, as well as the context provided, we have identified these are clothes moth caterpillars. In particular, we think these could be webbing clothes moth caterpillars.

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Posted in Case Bearing Larva Caterpillars Worms Found in the House

Ball of Hair Attached to Sticky Substance Could be the Work of Casemaking Clothes Moths

“Can you identify this?” asks Deborah in her submission, in which she attached the photograph below. “It was found attached to a sticky substance inside a mattress cover.” Now, we assume she means the tangle of hair/fur, though there is also an oblong object in the photo that is partly brown and partly a silver-gray color, and we are not sure if she could be referring to that: given its shape, perhaps it is a worm-like creature. That said, it looks more like a rusty pen. It would have been helpful in this case to receive more context from Deborah, but alas, we’ll have to make do!

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Posted in Caterpillars Indian Meal Moth Larvae Worms Found in the House

Tiny, Yellow Worms in Pantry are Indianmeal Moth Caterpillars

“What are these?” asks Stephanie about the little, yellow, worm-like creatures pictured below. “Found in the pantry.” From what we can tell, the worms in the picture are on top of a canning jar lid, which gives us a good size comparison: these worms are clearly very tiny. In any case, we believe that Stephanie found Indianmeal moth caterpillars. Otherwise known as pantry moth caterpillars, these creatures are found in –you guessed it– the pantry: which is exactly where Stephanie found them. How predictable. That said, they are also found all over the kitchen, and wherever dried food goods are stored.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Found in the House Worms Generally

Curled-up, Dark Green Worm Could be a Caterpillar

“What is this I found in my room?” asks Christina about the green, worm-like creature pictured below. “I have no idea what this is but it freaked me out. I think it might have come from my cat. Either way, I feel itchy now. I ended up deep cleaning my sheets.” To us, this creature looks like a caterpillar: based on its green coloration, patterned skin, and the shape of its body. That said, it is difficult to tell exactly what it looks like, given that it is curled up into a ball. This is typical behaviour of many caterpillar species though. They do this when they feel threatened. But it must be said that other species of worm-like creatures also display this behaviour, like millipedes, so it does not necessarily indicate that this is definitely a caterpillar.

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Posted in Army Worms Caterpillars Garden Worms

Hundreds of Miniature Worms Swarming Sink are Armyworms

“I had a large moth in my bathroom about a week ago”, writes Ed in his submission regarding the tiny, black, worm-like creature pictured below. “Two days ago I went into my bathroom and the sinks were covered with hundreds of miniature worms, that I would call inch worms from their methods of movement. I wiped up all of these with wet tissue and threw it into the toilet. Much to my surprise the next morning they were back again! Same for today! The sinks are used daily, so there is water in their traps. Where are these coming from and what are they? I’ve attached pictures with a sewing needle for determining scale.”

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Posted in Case Bearing Larva Caterpillars Worms Found in the House

Half White, Half Black Worms By Rabbit Cage Could be Casemaking Clothes Moth Caterpillars

“I’ve seen these worms the last two mornings on my kitchen floor next to my rabbit cage”, writes Matthew about the curious creature pictured below. “Can you identify them? They’re TINY, with a half white, half black body.” First of all, thank you for the excellent photograph Matthew: we see exactly what you mean by the worm’s half white, half black body, and this is something we haven’t quite seen before. The thinner, white part resembles that of a generic insect larva (many of them being a similar, translucent white color), while the thicker, black part looks almost like a shell encasing the lower half of the worm.

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Posted in Caterpillars Indian Meal Moth Larvae Worms Facts

White Larva Found in Coffee Grounds is a Pantry Moth Caterpillar

“I’ve recycled coffee grounds for years,” writes Mikey about the white worm-like creature pictured below. “I’ve just started seeing the worms or larvae in the past couple of weeks, we live in northern CA, near Auburn. The coffee is Folgers and Don Francesco (I think). Anyway, the pictures I’m sending are from this morning. The grounds were dumped in the bucket last night and, well, you can see. Any thoughts? Are we consuming bugs in our coffee?” Firstly, we just want to sympathize with Mikey: we can’t imagine how unnerving it must be to find a worm in your coffee one day. Secondly, we do have thoughts on this. We think Mikey found a pantry moth caterpillar in his coffee grounds.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Black, Spotted Worm on Rug is a Velvet Armyworm Moth Caterpillar

“What kind of worm is this?”, asks Elvira about the black worm-like creature pictured below. “Or is it a caterpillar? Found it moving across the rug in my living room! It had a matte black-like shell with what appeared to be ‘holes’ along its back, was about 2-3 inches long, and its head had two oval-shaped eyes on top of it. I live in Houston, TX. Thanks.” The creature Elvira found is not a worm, but indeed a caterpillar, so her second guess was correct! In particular, this is a velvet armyworm moth caterpillar. We have covered armyworms many times before, in particular the fall armyworm, the most infamous of them all.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Red-striped Worms with Horns are Leafy Spurge Hawk Moth Caterpillars

“Are you able to identify these?” is all Carol asks in her submission regarding the beautiful, black worm-like critters pictured below. This is definitely one of the best photos we have received in a while. It captures in such detail the unique appearance of these creatures: their pattern of white polka dots and yellow markings, the long red stripe that runs the length of its back, and the horn sticking out from the rear end of its body. Typically, it is still difficult to identify some organisms without more context, even if the photo is good, but this photo is so clear that we managed to identify these guys with no context. These are leafy spurge hawk moth caterpillars!

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Posted in Caterpillars Pest Worms Worms Found in the House

Pink Fluff Invades Clothing and Raises Concerns About Clothes-eating Pests

“Are these fabric moths and carpet beetles?” asks Shanan about the two different objects pictured below, one pink and stringy, and the other a tangled mess of greenish-gray threads. “I’ve been at war with them for about three years now. I’ve sprayed numerous pesticides, different dusts, and vacuumed until my arms fell off! I’ve had to move, get a new car, and buy brand new clothes more times than I can count. Tip: New clothes are infested as well. They also like to munch on my hair. I’m at the end of my rope. Please help. I live in Southeast Georgia. These are pieces of material that I cut out of a brand new jacket!”

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Yellow Caterpillar with Black Stripes on Leg Could be a Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar

Michelle writes to us her daughter found a caterpillar-like creature (pictured below) on her leg when walking home from the library. “She did go into one of her friend’s yards and knocked on their door: they weren’t home so she continued to walk home via the road. She didn’t go into any bushy or forested areas on the way home but found this little caterpillar thing crawling on her leg. So, we wanted to identify it and find out what kind of caterpillar or larvae it is. We did notice that it created a silk or web-like substance.” Based on the photo, we agree that this looks like a caterpillar. Unfortunately, the lighting in the photo makes it hard to see what color the caterpillar really is: we think it looks yellow, but that could also be the lighting. It could very well be a light green or gray color.

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Posted in Caterpillars Leeches Segmented Worms Annelida

Black Worm-like Creature Could be Leech or Caterpillar

“Are these crane fly larvae, or horse-leeches?” asks Jonathan about the black, worm-like creature pictured below. “I’m in western NC. These guys are about a ¼-inch long. Closest I could find on my own research are the two stated above. Thank you for your time!” After doing some sleuthing of our own, we have always come to similar conclusions as Jonathan – this does resemble crane fly larvae somewhat (though this creature is a little darker than most crane fly larvae), and it does look like a horse leech (though not as slimy, but that could be due to drying out). In addition to these two creatures, we thought this looked like it could be a lugworm or a stick-resembling caterpillar such as the Geometer moth caterpillar.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Pink Caterpillar in Missouri Woodlands is a White-blotched Heterocampa Caterpillar

“What kind of caterpillar is this?” asks Heather about the pink caterpillar-like creature pictured below. “When I saw it I Googled ‘Is there such a thing as a pink caterpillar?’ and your website came up with the article about the lady in Arizona. After reading that article I don’t think my pink caterpillar is the same kind as hers, as I live in Missouri and this one was found in a wooded area. So, can you tell me what kind it is? I thought my son was kidding when he told me to come look at a pink caterpillar. Please identify it for me? Thank you!” To begin with, we want to commend Heather’s son for his discovery and his curiosity – you don’t see a pink caterpillar every day. We also want to thank Heather for the fantastic photos and videos she sent in, two of which we included here.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Odd-looking, Black Worm on Patio is a Wedgeling Moth Caterpillar

“These tiny worm/caterpillar critters have been out on the patio the past few weeks”, writes Debbie about the fantastical-looking, worm-like creature pictured below. “The one in the attached photos is a larger one, which is still small (I have my pinky in one of the photos for reference). It crawls around like a caterpillar and can raise — what I’m guessing is — it’s head to investigate where there’s something in its path. I’ve lived in this particular home for six years and this is the first time I’ve seen them. I’d like to find out what they are in case they’re a problem or poisonous. I live in Ventura County California, approx 2 miles away from the coast. Thanks for your help!”

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Posted in Caterpillars Garden Worms Worms Generally

Slimy, Dark Green Worm on Kitchen Floor is a Cutworm

“I found this on my kitchen floor, I need to know what it is”, writes Sandra in her submission regarding the slimy-looking, dark green worm-like creature pictured below. “I live on the coast of North Carolina, 30 minutes from the beach. I recently brought in a large plant from outside. I have a small dog and don’t want her eating something like this. Can you please identify this for me?” Based on the photo Sandra sent us, we would say this most resembles a cutworm. Cutworms are the caterpillars of moth species whose larvae (the caterpillars) dig underground and eat on the stems of plants, thereby cutting them down and earning their name.

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Posted in Caterpillars Worms Facts Worms Generally

Striped Worms Dropping From Red Oak Tree are Datana Contracta Moth Caterpillars

“These are dropping out of my red oak tree”, writes Steve about the black and white-striped worm-like organism pictured below. “Do you have any idea what this is, or if it will damage my tree?” The creature in question has a segmented body, with vertical white stripes running down its black body. It has a bulbous black head with an orange stripe behind it, and what appears to be thin, white bristles sticking out from its body. Because of the excellent photo that Steve sent in, we are able to identify this as a Datana contracta moth caterpillar.

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Posted in Caterpillars Inch Worms Worms Generally

Cankerworm Caterpillar Inch Worms Taking Over Texas

Recent rains in Texas have brought forth one of our many worm-like friends, the cankerworm caterpillar, and they are invading The Lone Star State by the masses. Cankerworm caterpillars are a species of inchworm, and are the larval form of the hackberry leafroller moth. There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, ‘inchworm’ is a name thrown around a lot in reference to worm-like creatures, and the thing is that the term ‘inchworm’ is almost as broad as its application. The term refers to a whole bunch of moth species that are endemic to the North Americas, and it specifically refers to those moth caterpillars that have legs at the front and rear of their bodies, but not in the middle, forcing them to arch their back as they ‘inch’ across a surface. Secondly, a “leafroller caterpillar” is also an umbrella term, and refers to multiple species of caterpillars which roll the leaves they munch on and hide in them when they need shelter. Lastly, and most importantly, is this newsworthy invasion of caterpillars.