“Would you know what kind worm/maggot/pupa this/these might be?” asks our reader, who found such creature’s “under toe” and “dropping down” from her ventilation, which is filled with black mold. The photographs sent in display an array of organisms of various shapes and colors, ranging from a slimy green worm to what looks like a gray pupa with long hairs sticking out of it.
To be more specific, our reader’s vent is filled with “moist”, “organic” debris, though it is unclear if this is a description of the black mold, or something else. Other than this, no more context is provided. However, many photographs of excellent quality were sent in with this query, which we greatly appreciate.
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Unfortunately, it would be very difficult for us to identify the species of this/these worm(s) given the sheer amount of different colors and shapes we are seeing. Whilst some of the organisms do look similar, especially the somewhat transparent off-white/yellow ones, the others look totally different, both in color, texture and shape. Of course, none of these creatures’ shapes are consistent in girth, but are quite erratic, but still the differences between all of the organisms is significant. If we were to assume that at least a few of these organisms are different species, then it would be quite incredible that they all were co-existing in our reader’s ventilation shafts.
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Creatures that might typically live in vents include the normal household pests that would choose that location because of its small, dark quarters that provide shelter from any threats. These pests would be carpet beetle larvae, clothes moths, fleas, centipedes or houseflies, and yet none of these are represented by any of the organisms in the photos our reader sent in. This is what makes this situation so confusing. Furthermore, the most common household pest to be associated with black mold is the drain fly larva, but not only do those usually stick to damp locations, and surface from drains, but none of the organisms in our reader’s photographs resemble drain fly larvae either.
What we can tell our reader is this, she needs to clean out her vents, and she needs to contact professionals to get rid of this black mold. It can be unhealthy to live in a household with mold growing in it. If she cleans out the mold, along with the organisms living in it, they will surely not return. It is likely the mold itself that has attracted whatever organisms have been laid/grown there.
To conclude, we are unfortunately uncertain as to the identities of this/these worm(s), given how many of them there are of varying characteristics. As we said though, we think that if our reader deals with the mold problem, then the worm problem will by solved by extension. We hope she can seek help for this as soon as possible so that she can feel comfortable in her home.