“What are these worms invading my porch, garage and house?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the horde of darkly-colored worm-like creatures pictured below. “And how do I stop them? I have pets and need something that won’t harm them. Thank you.” Firstly, we cannot make out any of the details of the creatures’ physical characteristics, which makes it nearly impossible to identify them without sufficient context, and, other than knowing that these have invaded our reader’s home in great numbers, we do not know anything else about them.
With that said, if we were to make an educated guess as to what these could be, we would suppose that these could be armyworms. This is based on their coloration, which we can at least make out to be some kind of dark color (armyworms are typically brown or dark green), as well as the large number of them. As their name suggests, armyworms travel in big groups, and funnily enough, an ‘army’ specifically refers to a group of caterpillars, which is what armyworms are. Their large numbers also makes them notorious pests in the garden and on the farm. In fact, organizations have been started to combat armyworm infestations on farms, as they pose a real threat to agricultural businesses.
With that said, armyworms are not dangerous to humans or pets whatsoever: they are not parasitic, they do not bite or sting, and they do not secrete any harmful fluids. That said, we would still not recommend consuming them, as they could potentially carry disease or pathogens. Of course, even though they are not dangerous, an infestation of any kind of creature is not fun. What we recommend is that our reader move these caterpillars outside, preferably to some place far from her home. Likewise, to prevent future invasions, our reader can move organic litter away from her home, such as piles of leaves, twigs and rocks, as that moves typical habitats for caterpillars and other worm-like creatures away from the house, thus helping prevent them from being attracted to the house in the first place.
To conclude, it is possible that these worm-like creatures are armyworms, though this is merely a guess based on very little information. In any case, moving the caterpillars outside and installing preventative measures is the most effective way of combating this infestation without the use of insecticides (which we never recommend using anyway, given their toxicity to humans and other animals). We hope this helps and we wish her the very best!
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