“I was wondering if you could help to determine what this stuff in the photo is that I found while cleaning a small tray I had on my bureau”, writes Sandra in her submission regarding the gray matter pictured below. “I just turned it over and this stuff came out. The tray is basket weaved and I had no idea the stuff was even there! I don’t know if it is eggs (although I have not seen any bugs) or what it could be but I tried looking for it online without success. I was hoping you could help me out with this and maybe what I should do? Thank you.”
The matter we see is nothing worm-like, though we understand that Sandra is asking about eggs, in which case we suppose the ovate objects could be eggs. But there is no way to tell for certain by just looking at the photo. If Sandra wants to find out if they are eggs, we suggest putting the objects in a container with air holes and waiting to see if they hatch. With regard to the gray, crumbly stuff that the ‘eggs’ are in, we doubt this is the product of any worm or insect. We are more inclined to believe this is some type of organic growth, like mold. Woven baskets are prone to mold, especially when the seasons change and moisture levels inside rise violently during autumn. With all of that said, we are no experts on mold, so it is not really our place to advise Sandra on what to do in this case. TextileIndia.com has a webpage on “protecting your woven baskets from mold” which Sandra might want to refer to.
If Sandra is convinced that this is the product of a worm or bug, then we suggest she seek a second opinion, which she can get if she brings samples of this matter to her local county extension office, and/or to the entomology department at a university. Now, it is also possible that this is not any kind of organism at all, but that it is just a build-up of dust, fat, and other debris that naturally falls to the bottom of anything. Of course, if Sandra cleaned the underside of this tray often enough to prevent this sort of build-up, then this will not be the case, and then it is more likely that this is the product of some creature or an organic growth. But we unfortunately have no idea what critter specifically would create something like this, and since Sandra did not find any live organisms, we have little to go on.
To conclude, we are not sure what Sandra found at the bottom of her tray, though we are not convinced that it is the product of a worm or insect. It could be mold or some other type of organic growth, or just clumps of debris. We still hope this helps to some degree, and we wish Sandra the very best.
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