A woman recently found a bucket of worms (quite literally) in her son’s sandbox in Pennsylvania. She says the worms were discovered after two weeks of not using it due to a ton of rain, and that the sandbox was always covered to prevent animals from entering. The worms in question appear to be dark, olive green in color and have white/tan stripes down the length of their back, as well as a black head at one end, and a tip with many points at the other end.
Upon researching this creature, nothing surfaced which quite looked like this worm. If we were to take an educated guess, we would say this worm most resembles an armyworm. Armyworms are the larval stage of an armyworm moth, hence they are caterpillars. Unfortunately, this creature is regarded as a pest as it feeds on plants and crops, and are thus harmful to one’s garden. However, regardless of its species identification, the worms in this picture are too big in girth to be parasitic to humans, so we do not think our reader needs to be worried about them being a danger to her son.
Various sources give different information in regards to how long it takes for armyworms to hatch from eggs, but the general consensus in terms of the minimum amount of time it could take is usually between five to six days. For this reason, it is possible that an armyworm moth may have laid eggs inside the sandbox whilst our reader’s son was playing in it, and that during the two weeks when the sandbox was not in use, the eggs hatched and that is how the worms appeared there.
One of the reasons we think these critters may be armyworms is the fact that they were found in sand. Armyworm moths tend to lay their eggs in dry locations, and although it is not common to find them in sand, this is a possible explanation for where they were found. Furthermore, when provoked, armyworms will curl up into a ‘C’ shape, as seen by the worm in the bottom-right corner of the image above.
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Now in regards to removing the armyworms, our reader is lucky in that she seemed to have discovered a large portion of them in one place. This is typical of armyworms, who will march in groups when on the search for new crops to feed off of, giving them their name. Because of this, we recommend our reader simply move the worms to another location, and does the same upon discovering any more of the worms. This will avoid having to kill any of the worms or use any insecticides.
In conclusion, we are not entirely sure as to the identity of these dark green worms. They resemble armyworms most of all, but regardless, we recommend that our reader move the worms in a humane fashion and keeps covering the sandbox to prevent any more creatures from getting inside.