We recently received a photograph and a question from one of our readers. She asked us, “Do you know what kind of worm this is and if it is harmful?” She explained that she has looked everywhere but hasn’t been able to find any species that looks like it. The photograph shows two specimens on what we believe is a checkered blanket. Unfortunately, the creatures are quite thin and are hard to see against the blanket. Also, their gray coloring makes it difficult to notice any details about their appearance. We think they might have thicker bodies and then thin, long tails. Since we don’t know the size of the checkers on the blanket, we don’t know what size the specimens are.
Sadly, we can’t identify the creatures our reader is dealing with. They don’t look anything like the larvae sometimes found on blankets and bedding, which are carpet beetle larvae and flea larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are small, oval-shaped, rust colored larvae that are covered in bristle-like hairs. Flea larvae are tiny, thin, translucent and black specimens. In other words, we can rule out carpet beetle larvae and flea larvae.
The body shape of the specimen does slightly resemble a rat-tailed maggot. Rat-tailed maggots are the larvae of some species of hoverflies. They have small oval-shaped bodies with a long, thin breathing siphon. They use this breathing siphon as a snorkel to breathe while submerged under water. While the appearance is a little similar to the specimen our reader found, the location doesn’t make sense. Rat-tailed maggots live in stagnant, oxygen-deprived water, not on blankets.
Unfortunately, we are unable to identify what our reader has found on her bed. If she is still curious, we encourage her to send us a close-up photo of the specimens on a white background so that we are able to see more details of their appearance. If any of our other readers are familiar with these creatures, we encourage them to comment below.