A “light pink or light orange” worm-like creature “came crawling up from the crack” of this reader’s computer as she was sitting on her bed. Our reader has only found one of these worms, but is worried about what it may be.
Although the photograph makes the worm look a rather grayish black, our reader says that the creature is actually a light pink or orange, and has “a red vein in the middle” that does not “go from end to end.” The one thing that does match from the picture to her description is that “both ends look black.” Her bed spread is also pink, and she has a red blanket, so she is unsure if they would be as visible on her bed, and fears there may be more lurking on her bed that she just cannot see. So far, she has only found the one. The worm-like creature is “really small” and is “probably no longer than half a centimeter” (roughly 1/5-inch).
We must admit it is difficult to know what to make of this worm. On one hand, it is described as a pink/orange worm that showed up on a bed spread, so instantly we think about clothes moth larvae, the most common worm-like creatures found on clothing and bed sheets which fit this description. On the other hand, the worm has two black ends, a trait that neither species of clothes moth larvae possess. In addition to that, we cannot ignore what the worm looks like in the photograph, which is completely gray. With this information, we speculated that the creature may be a flea larvae, as they are completely transparent, and can thus take on the color that they are standing on. But, then we must remember that the creature was not found on our reader’s pink bedspread, but on her laptop, and yet it still showed up as pink or orange to our reader. Plus, flea larvae are not segmented as the organism in this photo clearly is.
Given these disparities between the photograph, our reader’s descriptions, and what we know and see of the insect larvae, we are unfortunately not able to confidently identify this critter. The circumstances, as well as our reader’s descriptions, point to it being a clothes moth larvae (save the fact that it has two black ends), while the photograph makes it look more like an armyworm or a cutworm. What we can say is that this worm does not resemble any parasites or harmful worms that we have covered in the past. Of course, this is not a guarantee, and even critters which are not harmful themselves could harbour parasites or trigger allergic reactions on skin-to-skin contact, so it is best to be careful if and when handling any critter (use gardening gloves, for example). Either way, we can still give our reader some pointers toward methods of controlling and eradicating worm infestations (though we are not implying that our reader is dealing with one).
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Firstly, to see if she has any more of these larvae present in her room, we recommend that our reader scours her room for more of the creatures in spots that insect larvae are most likely to hide, which includes any dark and small space where a critter such as this would remain hidden from any threats. Examples of this are inside drawers, nooks and crannies inside and underneath various furniture items, and in between the folds of clothing. If a spot is discovered where there is a significant concentration of larvae (and especially eggs), then our reader may be dealing with an infestation. If she does not discover any more larvae, it is more likely that the one critter just wandered into our reader’s home by accident. In that case, she can carefully discard the larvae outside using some form of protective gear.
Secondly, in the case that our reader is dealing with an infestation, then applying an intense cleaning routine for a couple of weeks to a month will help in controlling and dealing with a bug infestation. This includes laundering clothes, bed sheets and any materials that are infestation prone (especially those that are completely or partially animal-based as this is what clothes pests prefer), vacuuming every inch of one’s room/house (depending on how vastly the infestation has spread), and disinfecting surfaces to discourage those pests that feed on decomposing organic matter. It is not only important that the cleaning is more vigorous than usual, but also that it is done more often than usual.
Lastly, in order to prevent further infestations, it is vital that one’s house is sealed off from any critters that may just wander in. Cracks in walling and flooring can be sealed using various products, depending on the material of one’s walls and flooring. These should be available at any building goods store (such as Home Depot). Additionally, the most common way that insects barge into people’s homes is through faulty window screens that have tears in them. Ensuring that one’s window screens are intact and in good condition can make all the difference in preventing bugs (and other creatures) from entering one’s home.
To conclude, we cannot say for certain what the worm-like creature is that crawled up through our reader’s computer. It could be anything from a clothes moth larva to an armyworm. Regardless, we do not think our reader has to worry for her or anyone else’s health, as it is probably the immature larva of some kind of insect. What our reader can do, if she still has the larva in the picture or has found another one, is put it in a container with air holes and some food and wait to see what it matures into. That way, she can take photos as it develops more distinct characteristics and send them our way. Then we can have another crack at identifying it and hopefully be more successful. Whatever our reader decides to do, we are confident that she will rid her room of whatever problem there may be in no time at all. The best of luck to her!