“I’ve found small, black, almost fuzzy-looking worms on and around the entrance door, the concrete patio at the doorway, and in every room, mostly on the floor!” exclaims this reader in his submission regarding the creature pictured below. “Seems I’ve crushed about a million, flushed a bunch, washed them down the shower drain, sprayed home defense and even peppermint mixed with water, but can’t get rid of these pests! What are they and what can I do to keep them gone? I live in a basement apartment in North-East TN, near the VA., Tennessee state lines! Thank you for taking my question!”
Right off the bat, we have to say that this photo is much too blurry for us to be able to make a certain identification. That said, based on our reader’s description of the creature, we would estimate this to be some type of caterpillar, we just don’t know what kind. Examples of caterpillars that are black and “fuzzy-looking” include American ermine moth caterpillars, woolly bear moth caterpillars, peacock caterpillars, and far more. Our reader might be interested in checking out LeafyPlace.com’s “webpage on spiky, black caterpillars“, as they outline the various types of them, and how you can tell them apart. That way, our reader might be able to pinpoint its exact identity.
In any case, we do not recommend killing caterpillars as our reader has done so far, and we definitely do not recommend touching them with bare skin. Depending on the species of caterpillars, the bristles can secrete toxins which could cause an allergic reaction. The reason we do not recommend killing them is because, as long as they are not causing direct harm to our reader or his home, these caterpillars don’t deserve to die. It is likely that a moth (or a few from the sound of it) laid their eggs around our reader’s home, and all the hatched caterpillars are pouring forth now. We just recommend scooping them up on a dustpan and moving them somewhere off his property. Most caterpillar species will thrive better outside the house, as they tend to feed on plants and trees, so they are not likely to come back to our reader’s home anyway.
To conclude, we think the fuzzy, black worms our reader found are some type of caterpillar, but the photo is too blurry to make out which one exactly. We hope nonetheless that this helps, and we wish our reader the very best!
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