A reader just asked us to help her solve a worm-related mystery. She explained that she has found a species of worm or larvae in her home on three separate occasions over the span of one week. She found one creature on her living room floor, one in her daughter’s bed, and one in her son’s bed:
She described the specimen as a “pinkish color with a white colored bottom, with lots of legs, and some hair at the end of its body.” The photo shown above matches our reader’s description. The other photos she sent show a bright orange larva, but we assume the coloring is due to a camera flash or the lighting:
She is worried that her dog might be bringing these larvae in from the outdoors, or wonders if they have a nest in her house. She also would like to know if these creatures are harmful to humans. So, what has our reader discovered in her home?
Based on the description our reader provided and the first photograph, we think this could be a palm flower moth larvae, also known as a palm flower caterpillar. Palm flower caterpillars have smooth pink bodies and brown heads. These larvae eat plants in the palm family and are found in parts of Arizona, Nevada, and California.
We cannot say for certain why these caterpillars are in our reader’s house, but we do have an idea. These larvae sometimes enter homes to use bits of carpet to build cocoons. So, perhaps the caterpillars are preparing to pupate and crawling into our reader’s home in search of carpets. If this is the case, our reader should focus on sealing any potential entryways, like unsealed windows or vents. Finally, to answer our reader’s last question: these larvae are not harmful towards humans.
To conclude, one of our readers discovered a pink worm-like organism in her home. We believe this is a palm flower caterpillar.
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