One of our readers recently sent us a message from New Orleans, Louisiana. She explained that a bunch of small worms recently took over her car. She would like to know if the specimens are harmful, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them from coming back. The creatures are so small that it is actually hard to see them in the photo. There are dozens of them hanging from the roof of the car and around the rearview mirror:
Since they are so tiny, it is impossible to notice any details about their appearance besides their minuscule size and dark color. Nonetheless, we believe we can help answer our reader’s questions. We have responded to other readers who have dealt with similar situations. One day their home is bug free and the next day they notice hundreds of worm-like organisms on their walls, windows, and kitchen blinds. We believe the specimens in her car are moth larvae, a.k.a. caterpillars. To be specific, we think they are probably inchworms, which is the common way to describe the larvae of geometer moth larvae.
So, why did these larvae suddenly “take over” our reader’s car. Well, we think an adult female geometer moth likely laid her eggs on the roof of the car right where the organisms suddenly appeared. Adult moths typically lay their eggs directly on or in the food source for their larvae, so that when the eggs hatch the larvae can begin eating immediately without having to search for food. This means that there was probably some decaying organic material on the roof of our reader’s car. Maybe she swatted a fly against the roof. It doesn’t really matter what the food source is, what matters is that she clean it up and cleans out the rest of her car thoroughly. Keeping her car clean and making sure the windows are closed are the best ways to say goodbye to these specimens and to keep them from coming back.
To conclude, one of our readers found a ton of small worm-like organisms in her car. We are confident these are moth larvae. They are not harmful or dangerous and she can get rid of them by cleaning!