We recently received a bit of a cryptic message from one of our readers. She wrote, “Is this worm harmful to the skin/harmful in general? Do you have more information on this worm since publishing the last information you provided? I do not have a picture, but I did see a picture of it on your site. It was a white, tiny, almost translucent worm. I don’t know where the picture was taken but it looked like there might have been snow on the ground. I saw a worm exactly like it in Clifton Park, NY this fall. I killed the worm, which required smashing it with 2 stones.” We will do our best to decode this message, but we probably won’t be able to provide any satisfying answers for our reader.
While we appreciate our reader providing a description of the worm in the photograph she saw, we aren’t sure which article or photograph she is referring to. Also, there are various worms that could match the description she gave – tiny, almost translucent, and white. It sounds like it is probably a larva, maybe of a moth, fly, or beetle, but we can’t confirm this without more information. There are countless larvae and worm-like organisms that readers find in their gardens and around their homes. Most aren’t considered harmful or even thought of as pests, but some do cause damage. We don’t know if the specimen our reader found belongs to the former or latter group. We can say with some confidence that this worm is probably not harmful to the skin or to humans in general. Since we don’t know what the creature is, we can’t guarantee this, but we don’t think the description she provided is a match to the description of a dangerous worm. Some caterpillars can cause rashes, but they are usually covered in tufts of hair or have spines covering their bodies. If the creature our reader is dealing with had either of these, we assume she would have mentioned it in her message. On the other hand, if our reader did come into direct contact with this mysterious creature and now has a rash or skin irritation, then we encourage her to see a doctor who will be able to provide medical advice and care! Since we aren’t medical professionals, we are not able to do this.
All in all, we sadly aren’t able to provide any clear answers for our reader about the worm-like organism she found in her garden. If she is still curious about it, we encourage her to send us the link to the article with the picture that she referred to in her message. Without more information, we can’t be of more assistance.