A reader located in the United Arab Emirates recently reached out to us after finding black worms in her home. She describes the worms as being a little bit hairy on top, and white on their underside. Unfortunately, our reader did not include any pictures to provide a visual depiction of the worms.
First of all, we want to point out that given the lack of description, it will not be possible for us to provide a confident identification of these worms, as we are given so little to work off of. These worms could be a number of things; they could be caterpillars, carpet beetle larvae, or something else. Our reader stated that after seeing one in her living room, “it started to spread” from her living room to her bedroom. We assume that this means she has found more of the same worms in her bedroom, and this may be sign of an infestation.
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Regardless of whether or not we can provide an identification of the worm, there are general, simple steps one can take to eradicate an infestation of worms, as well as prevent further infestations. Firstly, our reader will want to locate the source of the infestation. Depending on what worms these are, there are different signs one can look for to find out where they are most concentrated. Things one can look for include: faecal droppings, pellets of silk or webbing, and, of course, where most worms are found. The source of the infestation is categorized by clusters of eggs.
Once the source is located, we recommend vacuuming up all the eggs, as well as the room they were found in to eliminate all eggs and other organisms. Live worms that are found can be humanely moved outside. As we do not know what these worms are, we encourage our reader to handle them with caution; wearing gardening gloves, or moving them using a dustpan is a good idea to ensure her safety. If there are signs that these worms are eating fabrics (clothes, curtains, upholstered furniture, etc.), then laundering all fabrics (especially animal-based ones) in hot water will ensure that any other eggs or organisms are eradicated.
Furthermore, after the infestation has been dealt with, our reader will want to ensure that her home is protected from further infestations of worms or other creatures. Simple, but effective steps we recommend include: making sure all possible entrances for small creatures (like cracks in walls, and rips in window screens) are sealed, consistent housekeeping to keep bacteria from building up, and storing unused garments in vacuum sealed bags or cold vaults to keep clothes-eating insects from being attracted to them.
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To conclude, we are not able to identify the black worm our reader found in her home, because of the lack of information provided, but following the steps above should suffice in dealing with the worms she found in her home.