One of our readers sent us this photo:
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She explained that she has been discovering these worm-like organisms in her kitchen and around the living room on the ceiling. Since the creatures are so tiny, it is difficult to determine what they look like. We know they are small, and they appear to be a tan or orange color. Other that that, we don’t have any other clues to help us solve this mystery.
We think our reader is likely dealing with some type of fly or moth larvae. Based on the coloring and the fact the the creatures have been spotted on the ceiling, we think they might be pantry moth larvae!
Pantry moth larvae, also known as Indian meal moth larvae, get into a house by means of packaged food. They feed on pantry items, such as flour, cereal, and bird seed, and leave a silken webbing over the food they infest. Once they are ready to pupate and mature into moths, they often crawl on the walls and ceilings to do so. Since our reader found these critters in the kitchen and on the ceilings, we think it is very likely that pantry moth larvae are what she is dealing with!
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She will need to investigate all of the stored and packaged food items in her home for signs of pantry fly larvae. She should immediately dispose of anything that has been infested. She should also clean out the pantry itself, especially small cracks and crevices where eggs might be. If she is having a difficult time getting rid of these larvae, she might consider simply throwing out all the food items in the pantry and restocking it with fresh materials. To prevent a future pantry fly larvae outbreak she should keep her packaged goods in air tight containers, and keep her pantry clean. She might also consider buying packaged foods in smaller quantities so they stay fresh. Finally, if she is especially worried about additional visits from these larvae, she can store her goods in the fridge or freezer.
To conclude, one of our readers discovered tan larvae in her kitchen and on the ceiling. We believe they are pantry moth larvae!