One of our reader sent us a photo and asked: “What is this? How do I get rid of them?” She explained that she finds these organisms all over the windowsill in her bedroom. Despite removing them often, more continue to appear. Here is the picture she sent us:
Although the photo is a little out of focus, we recognized this worm-like organism right away. This is an geometer moth larvae, more commonly known as an inchworm! These larvae have appendages at both ends of their bodies, but none in the middle. As an inchworm moves it clasps with its front legs, then brings its hind legs forward. Next it clasps with its hind legs and then reaches forward to clasp again with its front legs. This movement pattern portrays the caterpillar as “measuring the earth”, which is why it is called an inchworm!
So why are inchworms on our readers windowsill? Inchworms feed on trees and shrubs and aren’t suited to live indoors. While inchworms can cause significant damage to foliage, there isn’t much destruction they can cause inside a home. Therefore, our reader shouldn’t worry too much about their presence. Instead, she should focus on sealing their point of entry, which is most likely the window next to the windowsill. Since these critters are so small, they can sneak in easily through a tiny crack. She should make sure the window is properly screened and sealed so that these little caterpillars can’t get into her room.
In summary, one of our readers sent us a photo of an organism that she found in her bedroom on the windowsill. We believe the creature is an inchworm, or geometer moth larva. Since inchworms don’t thrive living inside, we think she should focus on eliminating their entry point so they can’t visit her again.