“Please help me with any information you can provide me about the four small worm/maggot-looking things in my kitchen today”, states this reader in her submission. She is referring to creatures that look like this little, grub-like organism pictured below, who appears to have a plump, white, segmented body.
“First time ever there was a small white-looking worm or maggot right on the kitchen floor where I was with my small breed 15-pound dog that I have had ten years now”, she continues. “I really freaked out, and then in the 13 gallon garbage pail were two more: one was working its way up the side, then one more in the same area but on the floor in front of the washing machine located in the kitchen. I got them into a garbage bag and threw it out.”
“Honestly this is a huge setback for me. I am sickened by this. If I had information about them maybe it would help ease my stress that I am having now over this. They were about the size of rice but fuller. I have many house flies because I leave the patio door open for my pup. I swat them dead all the time. Then, recently I saw a moth on the wall and couldn’t get it due to high ceilings. I don’t know what happened to it. So, this is my situation right now at this exact moment.”
“I will do whatever is needed to rid them if there’s more. I pray not. I’m very very upset and bothered to the max over this. I can’t afford any exterminator or any professional service. Very small room. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thank you again for any information you can provide to relieve this stressful situation for me. Thank you kindly in advance for your help.”
Now, we understand our reader’s stress and that she is upset: it is never pleasant to find uninvited guests in one’s home, and we understand that for many, bugs, larvae and other creepy crawlies are some of the most unpleasant guests to have in one’s home. However, we still want to assure our reader that we do not think she has much to be worried about in this case. Given this organism’s appearance, as well as the location in which it was found, we think this is a pantry moth larva.
Pantry moth larvae (also known as Indianmeal moth larvae) are completely harmless, though are unfortunately pests. With that in mind, our reader will want to get rid of them as soon as possible. As their name suggests, pantry moth larvae love to feed on dry foods stored in the pantry, such as cereals, grains, pasta, pet food, and nuts. Our reader should identify any infested food products (it will be easy to spot, as the food will look completely off, and there will likely be larvae, eggs and/or visible faecal pellets mixed in), and she should throw them out (and not in a trash can in her home, as the infestation will just continue).
Furthermore, as eggs are difficult to detect, we recommend that she freeze any other potentially infested foods for a minimum of 48 hours. On top of that, it would be a good idea to vacuum the kitchen, and perhaps the entire home for good measure, to ensure that any roaming larvae, as well as eggs, are eliminated.
To avoid future infestations of pantry moths, storing dry food products in containers, rather than keeping them in the packaging, can help reduce the amount of larvae that get into various products. Pantry moth larvae/eggs can already be present in foods brought home from the store, so if one uses containers to store those foods, then one can isolate the infestation to the one product and get rid of it before it spreads.
In our reader’s case, we are guessing that the larvae were brought in by the moth she mentioned that she was not able to get at: it was likely pregnant and laid the eggs in her home.
In conclusion, the small maggot-like creatures our reader has been finding in her kitchen are probably pantry moth larvae. They are not directly harmful to humans, but consuming infested food products is not a good idea. We hope this article helps and we wish her the very best.