“I live in Northwest Indiana and found this when going through old Christmas tree boxes in a closet”, writes Georgette about the white creatures pictured below. “They were not moving and were very brittle and fragmented easily: plaster-like texture. I have cats but they are indoor only, tested negative for worms multiple times, and on revolution plus. They had not been in this closet. Any idea what this may be? I have seen something similar before, same brittle quality, but more spiral shaped, near some old blankets. Thanks.” Right off the bat, we have to disclose our first instinct, which is that we do not think these are worms at all. And, even if they were, there is no way we would be able to identify them: they clearly died so long ago, and have so much time to dry out, that they are unrecognizable as whatever living creature they once were.
That said, the reason we think they are not worms at all is their shape. If you zoom in on the photo, you can see there are clear-cut lines along their body that gives them a geometric shape, which is not something a worm-like organism can achieve. No matter how long it had been drying out for, its body would still be round, flat, or simply disfigured. Georgette mentions that they have a “plaster-like texture”, so maybe these are just bits of plaster. Or pieces of chalk? Or perhaps they are dried out candy canes? It would not be entirely impossible considering these were found in a Christmas tree box.
Now, if Georgette still believes these to be worms of some kind, our suggestion is to take them to her local county extension office, as someone will be able to physically examine them there and might have a better chance at providing an accurate identification. Similarly, she might want to check the closet for more organisms, to see if there might still be a live infestation occurring. If she does find any live organisms, she is more than welcome to send us pictures of those, and we can follow up on what they might be. In any case, since the worms are clearly dead, we don’t think Georgette has anything to worry about. We suggest she just throw them out.
In conclusion, we think that the white, worm-like things Georgette found in her Christmas tree box are likely not worms at all, but debris from something else. However, we are open to the possibility that we are wrong about this, and if Georgette thinks these could be some type of worm, or worm-like creature, then she should stick to her guns and investigate further. We hope this helps, and we wish her the very best!
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