We heard from an elementary school teacher who ordered some crickets for her students. The box of crickets contained what she was told was a “wooly worm”. She would like to know if this identification is correct and how to take care of it.
We aren’t sure what a “wooly worm” is, but based on the photo we believe a carpet beetle larva is what joined her crickets on their journey. We made this identification based on the appearance of the creature, as it has the characteristic pointy hairs and short body shape.
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While we appreciate our reader wanting to take care of the living creature, most people do not typically care for carpet beetle larvae because they can be quite destructive. Carpet beetle larvae feed on fibers, dust particles, animal hairs, and other various materials found around a household. They are known to be especially damaging to upholstered furniture, linens, and towels. We suggest our reader simply place this creature outside, rather than make a caring home for it inside her classroom.
To conclude, we believe that the creature our reader found in her box of crickets is a carpet beetle larva. We do not know how this critter ended up with a cricket shipment.
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