“Just found this worm/caterpillar in my kitchen on the counter” writes this reader in Rochester, NY about the green creature below with a bulbous brown head. Our reader does not ask us any questions, but we assume she wishes to know what it is.
Firstly, we wish to thank our reader for the excellent photo above: the resolution and lighting are good, and the size comparison to our reader’s thumbnail is definitely helpful. Secondly, we think our reader is correct in suggesting that this may be a caterpillar, as we definitely think this is one. That said, a green body and brown head are likely the two most generic qualities of a caterpillar, and there are plenty of species of caterpillars that fit this description. For that reason, we wish to let our reader know that any identifications that we make in this article is not 100% concrete.
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Our primary guess is that this is an armyworm. Armyworms are the larval form of the armyworm moth, and they are likely some of the most notorious farm pests out there. They can be found in most regions of the world, and as their name suggests, the caterpillars will move in large groups. It is this quality that makes us doubt if this is an armyworm: while it is not impossible to catch an armyworm by itself, it has happened before (check out this past article on armyworms). That said, the physical characteristics of the worm still make us think that this is an armyworm. Luckily for our reader, armyworms are not interested in anything they can find inside a household, and so it probably wandered into her home accidentally. In addition to this, armyworms are neither poisonous nor parasitic. As such, all she needs to do in this case is move the caterpillar outside, preferably somewhere where it has access to some kind of vegetation that it can feed on.
To conclude, we think that the creature our reader found is an armyworm. These critters are dangerous to the livelihoods of crops, but not to the livelihood of people. Given that these are indeed armyworms, if our reader finds more of these caterpillars, then it is because they travel in groups and not because they are purposefully infesting our reader’s home. In that case, she can do the same and just take these caterpillars outside. Of course, if our reader has reason to suspect that these are not armyworms and that they are negatively affecting her home or her health, then we urge her to consult a medical professional or get back in touch with us. Either way, we hope that this article answered our reader’s question and we wish her the very best!
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