A reader in Massachusetts contacted us about some little black worms in the wall-to-wall carpeting in her basement. She said the basement is finished and mostly above ground. She believes these might be inchworms or ringworms and is curious what causes them to appear in her basement and what she can do about it.
Since we don’t have a photo, it will be difficult to say if these are inchworms or ringworms, but we will provide some insight.
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Inchworms are the larval form of a big group of insects known as geometer moths, which means they are actually caterpillars not worms! They range in color from brown to black to green, but they all typically have smooth bodies that grow to be about an inch long. Inchworms are harmless to humans, but they are destructive to plants and gardens. Inchworms live where they eat, in trees and plants. It would not make very much sense for someone to find inchworms in their basement, and we don’t know how this sort of scenario might have occurred.
Ringworm is not physically a worm, but a fungal infection of the skin. It is called ringworm because it leaves a ring shaped mark on the skin. Therefore we are certain that our reader hasn’t discovered ringworm in her basement carpeting.
Without a photo or more detailed description, we can’t determine what these little black worms might be. Millipedes are often found in basements of homes, so this is a likely possibility.
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In any case, the procedure for getting rid of unwanted guests is uniform no matter what you are dealing with. Our reader should make sure there is no excess moisture in her basement. Excess moisture might make her basement seem like an ideal home. However, the more important step is sealing any cracks that might be in the foundation or surrounding windows or doors. This could be how the creatures are getting in. If our reader doesn’t think the organisms are millipedes, we recommend she take a photo that we can analyze.
To conclude, one of our readers has worms covering her basement carpet. We think these could be millipedes.