Shell-like Critters Hanging From the Ceiling by Threads of Web May be Inchworms or Something Else

After finding several organisms that resemble “white shell[s]” hanging over her bed, this reader contacts us in the hope that we can help with this recurring issue. “Sadly”, our reader did not send any pictures, but she hopes nonetheless that we can identify the creatures and give some advice as to how she can ensure they do not reappear.

So far, our reader has found three of these creatures “hanging from a thread of web above [her] bed”, and while at first she thought they were “just loose web” that she “brushed aside”, it was later that she realized that the shapes did indeed move. The last one she found was, again, above her bed, next to a window, and “hanging at about head height from a high ceiling” on a thread that could have been as long as two meters (6.6 feet). “It’s worth noting that I have my fair share of spiders in my room which are left to their own devices,” our reader adds. According to our reader, the organisms are about 1-2mm (0.04-0.08-inches) in length, and although they resemble shells, our reader believes their bodies to be soft. In addition to this, our reader states they resemble a “tapered, slightly bent cone” and they have “small, black head[s]” that protrude and move. Our reader explains that she has not been able to get a photo of the organisms because she has been “a little freaked out about touching” them, and also because she has already gotten rid of the ones she did find.


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We want to stress how appreciative we are for the great deal of context our reader provides despite being unable to send a photo; it definitely helps us get a better picture of what type of situation our reader may be facing. With that said, it will still be impossible for us to identify the organisms with 100% certainty without an actual picture. Nevertheless, we will of course still provide some possible suspects. Firstly, these could be inchworms. Inchworms are the larval form of a variety of species of moths, and will produce silken webs to lower themselves down from a high place: usually this will be from the branch of a tree as they try to escape a predator. Alternatively, these could be case-making clothes moth larvae, which are also able to produce a silk-like material which they use to spin tubes for themselves to hide in, hence the name. This would explain why they would be coming down near the bed: case-making clothes moth larvae feed on organic-based textiles, and so the concentration of larvae will be highest around a source of food. Of course, this depends on the material that the bed sheets are made from. Lastly, these could just be a variety of dead bugs that have been webbed up by the spiders living in our reader’s room. Perhaps they are descending because the web cannot hold their weight.

Inchworm Photo from Previous Article – 2017

Regardless of what these creatures are, we do not think our reader needs to worry for her safety or health. What she can do is search her ceiling, room, and home for more of these organisms to see if they are anywhere else. Wherever she finds more organisms, we suggest she simply move them outside using a dustpan and gardening gloves (one can never predict allergic reactions, and besides, our reader has expressed that she does not wish to get close to the creatures). When it comes to the patch of ceiling over our reader’s bed, and the window next to it, we advise that she thoroughly clean this area, including any spider webs that she finds. While there is no harm in keeping a house spider or two around in the home, one does not want to have too many of them so that it turns into an infestation. In addition to this, it might be a good idea for our reader to vacuum her home a handful of times within the span of a couple of weeks in order to clean up any other larvae or eggs that may be lying around. She may also want to launder her bed sheets and any other textiles close to her bed and in her room, as they may be infested if the organisms are clothes moth larvae.

In conclusion, we are not entirely sure what creatures have been hanging out over our reader’s bed (excuse the pun). Without any photos of them, we would not be able to make any certain identification. And out of the possible identities we suggested, we would neither be able to say that any one of them is more likely than the other. Our reader did say that if she found any more of the organisms she would send pictures over, and she is more than welcome to follow through on this. Either way, we hope that this article proves helpful to our reader, even though we were not able to give a direct answer to her question.

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Shell-like Critters Hanging From the Ceiling by Threads of Web May be Inchworms or Something Else
Article Name
Shell-like Critters Hanging From the Ceiling by Threads of Web May be Inchworms or Something Else
Description
After finding several organisms that resemble "white shell[s]" hanging over her bed, this reader contacts us in the hope that we can help with this recurring issue. "Sadly", our reader did not send any pictures, but she hopes nonetheless that we can identify the creatures and give some advice as to how she can ensure they do not reappear.
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Author: All About Worms

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