One of our readers found 5 worm-like organisms throughout his home in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. He wants to know: what they are, where they are coming from, and how to get rid of them. He explained that two of the worms had spattered blood near them, but still moved a little when touched. Here are some photos of the curious creatures:
From the photos, we know that the creatures have a pink back and a light underside. They have about six legs per side, and a dark head. The reader also provided some helpful details: he has a dog and a cat (but doesn’t think his pets have anything to do with this creature), and he has a grapefruit tree, a tangelo tree, and several lemon bushes in his yard.
We are not very familiar with this creature, but we think it closely resembles the subject of this article, which was determined to be a palm flower caterpillar. You can identify this larvae (caterpillars are the larval form of butterflies and moths) by the smooth pink body and brown head. These larvae eat plants in the palm family, and sometimes enter into a home to use bits of carpets to build a cocoon. This phenomenon could explain why our reader found some of these larvae in his house.
To get rid of these creatures, our reader should move them back outside and put his efforts towards preventing them from entering in the future. They probably snuck in through an open door or window, or a crack in the foundation. Although our reader wasn’t happy to find these larvae in his home, they are only around from May-June and again from August-September, so they shouldn’t be an issue for very long. As far at the spattered blood, our best idea is that the dog or cat took a swipe at the creature.
To wrap up, one of our readers found several pink specimens in his home. We think these could be palm flower caterpillars, which live in Arizona, Nevada, and parts of California. (If our reader is writing from a different state, the curious creatures are probably not palm flower caterpillars).