“I have found the attached maggot/worm in my dining room in front of a large window,” writes this reader in southern Ontario. The maggot appears to be a creamy-white color, with a brown head and no legs.
This is the fourth worm of the same appearance our reader has found in this “general area” and she asks us if we have any idea as to what it is and if it is something our reader needs to be concerned about. Lastly, she adds that her home is situated on a property with very large oak trees. In addition to the photograph, our reader also sends us a video that shows the organism moving across a surface by contracting its body to pull itself forward, much like an inchworm.
To us, this looks like a root weevil larva. Otherwise known as a vine weevil larva, this critter is a common garden pest. The adult beetle is small and brown/black, with golden specks on its back and eats the leaves of various plants, while the young grub (a common name referring to the larva of any species of beetle) looks exactly like the one in our reader’s photo and will eat the roots of the given plant, hence the name. These critters have been known to eat on plants both outdoors and indoors, so nowhere is exactly safe from root weevils. In fact, the plants that are most at risk from dying as a result of a root weevil infestation are potted plants, so if our reader has any such plants in her dining room, that is likely why they are most concentrated in this area.
Our reader can check which of her plants might be affected by checking the leaves of the plants, and if an infestation is discovered, there are ways to manage the infestation without the use of pesticides, which we seldom condone anyway. These methods, which are all listed on the RHS’ web page on vine weevils include physically taking the larvae off the plant and moving them outside, as well as physically removing any adult beetles, trapping the adult beetle in the pots (so as to prevent them from moving to other plants) using “sticky barriers”, and moving any indoor plants outside to give predators a chance to eliminate the beetles and larvae for you. We also recommend she check her home for any place through which the beetles or larvae could have entered, and seal that up if possible. With that said, other than the potential harm that these larvae can cause her plants if an infestation does occur, our reader does not need to be concerned about these creatures with regards to her health or safety. Root weevil larva are not poisonous, parasitic or dangerous to humans in any other way.
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To conclude, the maggot-looking worms our reader has been finding by the window in her dining room are root weevil larvae. These critters, while being harmful to plants, are not a danger to humans or pets whatsoever. Of course, our reader still has reasonable cause to be worried for her plants, and it is seldom pleasant to have larvae roaming one’s home, but we are sure that if our reader applies some or all of the methods listed above to control the infestation, she can be rid of these creatures soon. If our reader does not think these measures will suffice, and she wants to apply some biological and insecticidal measures, then she can check out the RHS’ page linked above. Either way, we wish her the best of luck!