We recently heard from a reader in Louisiana. She wrote to us in the hopes that we can identify the worm-like organisms she found on her countertop and the floor of her garage kitchen. The specimens have gray segmented bodies and black heads. We believe they are some type of larvae.
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There is nothing in the photograph that we can use as a sizing scale, but we believe these specimens are quite small. Also, based on the roundness of their bodies, we think they are probably pretty close to pupating and maturing. So, what will they mature into? In other words, what type of larvae are these? Well, this is where the mystery comes in. We think they are probably beetle larvae, but they might also be fly or moth larvae. Many types of larvae look similar, and it can be extremley difficult to identify them based on a photograph.
While we can’t offer a definite identification, we can rule out a few of the usual suspects. We can confidently claim that these are not carpet beetle larvae or pantry moth larvae. Both are extremley common household pests, but neither look like the creatures in the photo. Carpet beetle larvae have brown, segmented bodies covered in tiny bristle-like hairs, and pantry moth larvae (a.k.a. Indian meal moth larvae) have yellow bodies with reddish-brown heads. Despite not knowing what these creatures are, we can still offer some advice about how to get rid of them. Luckily, getting rid of most unwanted worm-like organisms simply involves cleaning!
Our reader should first look around her garage kitchen for the food source for these larvae. We recommend she check all the cabinets, drawers, trash bins, and other nooks and crannies. Once she finds the food source she should remove it immediately and then begin a daily cleaning regime of sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces. There is also the possibility that these larvae aren’t household pests, but rather are just sneaking in from the outside. This is a likely scenario since most garages aren’t as tightly insulated as houses. We recommend that our reader check to make sure all of her windows, window screens, door, and vents are properly sealed and that there are no tiny gaps where small creatures might be sneaking in through.
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In summary, one of our readers found some gray larvae in her garage kitchen. We weren’t able to identify these little guys, but we think cleaning and sealing up potential entryways will be the most efficient ways to get rid of them!