Creatures in Pram May be Sawfly Larvae

A worried mother wrote to us from Melbourne, Australia. She is concerned because she has found some worms or larvae in her baby’s pram (stroller). The creatures move quite quickly and are about 2mm (a bit less than 1/10”) long. She would like to know what they are, if she should be worried for her baby’s health, and where they came from.

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First, we would like to offer her good news: we do not believe that these are related to her baby in any way. Nor do we believe that they pose any health risks. However, we are not medical doctors. We recommend that she take her baby to the doctor if she has any concerns whatsoever.

We believe that these are sawfly larvae. Sawflies are in the same order as ants and bees (Hymenoptera). The name is based on the female’s ovipositor (an appendage that is used to cut into plants to lay eggs), which looks like a saw.

Adult female sawfly (Dolerus nitens), ovipositing (laying eggs). The ovipositor is the saw-like structure protruding underneath the abdomen. She is cutting slits in grass blades in which she will deposit eggs. Photo by Bruce Marlin (CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Sawfly larvae eat plants, and so it is odd that the larvae would be in the baby’s pram. However, it is possible that a bit of plant that had larvae on it fell into the pram.

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The mother states that she found a lot of these creatures, but we’re not sure if that means 20 or 200. Either way, the mother would like these creatures out of her baby’s pram. If they are sawfly larvae, then they are unlikely to stay there long, as there is no food source for them.

If this is another species that is finding food in the pram, then the food is something in or on the pram’s bedding. If possible, we recommend that she remove any of the bedding she can and wash it in hot water. This should wash away the food that the critters are eating, and then they’ll have no reason to be there. It will probably help her feel better as well.

No matter what species it is, we don’t think that she needs to worry about her baby. Finding them in the pram is disturbing, but not actually harmful. Hopefully, the problem has cleared up on its own by now.

Summary
Creatures in Pram May be Sawfly Larvae
Article Name
Creatures in Pram May be Sawfly Larvae
Description
A worried mother wrote to us from Melbourne, Australia. She is concerned because she has found some worms or larvae in her baby’s pram (stroller). The creatures move quite quickly and are about 2mm (a bit less than 1/10”) long. She would like to know what they are, if she should be worried for her baby’s health, and where they came from.
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