Troves of little worms were found on this woman’s bed, and from perusing our website, she guesses that they may be moth larvae. The worms in question were specifically found on a white cardigan on her bed that had been left out to dry on our reader’s washing line, and appear to be tiny in size and black in color, though it difficult to tell as the picture and video are taken from afar.
In order to go straight to the point, we want to verify that our reader is indeed correct in assuming they are moth larvae. Specifically, they are clothes moth larvae. This is made clear by the video our reader provided (see below), in which one can see the critters wriggling about, some of them raising their head to look around before moving on. This type of movement is typical of larvae that do not possess legs, such as the clothes moth larva. Plus, given the location they were found, this is the most likely conclusion to make. Although the most common clothes moths’ (webbing clothes moths and casemaking clothes moths) larvae are a semi-transparent white color, it would not be implausible to assume they could appear black from afar, especially against a chalk-white background like our reader’s cardigan.
Clothes Moth Larvae on Cardigan
Now, in regards to the incredible amount of larvae found, we would suppose that they are newly hatched, or that our reader left the cardigan for a substantial amount of time, giving the larvae enough time to congregate around the cardigan. Nonetheless, this phenomenon is quite a spectacle, although naturally it is not the most welcome of sights. Whether or not these larvae are those of the webbing clothes moth or the casemaking clothes moth is impossible to tell. However, our reader can look out for indications of which species they are. Unlike webbing clothes moth larvae, casemaking clothes moth larvae leave behind cases of spun silk. According to Paul Brown at the Guardian, these tubes of silk are spun to “protect” the larvae when they feed off the fabrics in one’s home, and they also eat inside the tubes. Webbing clothes moth larvae can also spin silk, but it is not as common, and those are only temporarily spun, while casemaking clothes moth larvae keep their tube with them until they fully mature.
To get rid of an infestation of clothes moth larvae, our reader already took the initiative to strip and wash her bed where the larvae were found, which is excellent. In addition to washing all fabrics where larvae or eggs could be found, one needs to locate the source of the larvae and vacuum them up. The source will be indicated by the presence of crawling larvae, eggs, faecal droppings, or tubes of silk (in the case that the larvae are that of the casemaking moth). It seems the bed our reader found the larvae on could be the source, and in that case, she has probably already taken the necessary precautions to rid her home of this infestation. However, just to be sure, we recommend vacuuming and laundering any animal-based fabrics, especially those close to the bed, as that is the type of material that clothes moth larvae prefer. Additionally, storing unused garments and other fabrics in vacuum sealed bags may prevent future infestations.
In conclusion, the hoard of worms our reader found crawling all over her cardigan were clothes moth larvae. She has already taken steps toward getting rid of these unwelcome guests, and we think that if she follows the rest of the method, she should be free of these critters. Though to warn her, they can be difficult to get rid of as they are difficult to spot with the naked eye, unless one is lucky enough to spot them on their bright, white cardigan, that is.