Small Black Worm-like Organisms Storming Kitchen are Likely Caterpillars

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“I found that these very tiny larvae/worms had taken over a corner of my kitchen essentially within hours,” writes Michelle about the tiny black worm-like creatures pictured below. We will acknowledge right off the bat that the organisms are not that visible in the photo, as the photo is taken too far from the organisms. That said, the video that Michelle also included shows much better, and much clearer, the critters she is referring to. “I have no idea what they are and how concerned I should be”, she continues. “They seem to be spinning a spider web-like web. They were found next to the fridge, not near a drain or the pantry. However, there was a new loaf of bread and package of tortillas nearby. Please let me know if you have any inkling as to what these are. There were a good number of them on that fake plant, however I have had that fake plant for months and never seen an issue. Thank you in advance for your help!”

Now, our first instinct is to identify this as a drain fly larva. We are not sure if Michelle was trying to hint that she did not think these were drain fly larvae by mentioning that they were not found near a drain, but we assume that is what she was doing. Likewise, by stating that they were not found near the pantry, she infers that they are not pantry moth caterpillars. However, that’s not exactly how it works, unfortunately. Drains are where drain fly larvae hatch from, as the mother fly lays her eggs on the organic film that forms in drains, but that is not always where they stay. They tend to spread from the source, looking for other sources of food: in their case, rotting organic matter. In a kitchen that has been unclean for some time, or that has crumbs behind the counters that are hard to get, there would be plenty of rotting organic material for them to be attracted to. It’s the same story for pantry moth larvae: they can definitely move on from the pantry in search of other food.

With all of that said, Michelle does specifically mention that these creatures are spinning webs, which has us thinking that these are probably not drain fly larvae. Despite many mistaking the adult drain fly for a moth (and we do admit that they do resemble tiny moths), as well as their larvae for caterpillars, drain flies are indeed a species of fly, and such their larvae do not produce the silk-like material that a lot of caterpillars do. For this reason, we are more inclined to suggest that these are some species of caterpillar. Of course, pantry moth larvae are caterpillars, but they are white, not black like the creatures Michelle found. It is possible that these caterpillars are not purposefully infesting the kitchen, but that the mother butterfly or moth laid her eggs in the kitchen either because it flew into the home and got stuck there, or because she deemed it a safe place for her eggs to hatch. In any case, we recommend that Michelle move the larvae outside and that she thoroughly clean her kitchen. Additionally, it is worth checking the pantry and the items in there for infestation, in the case that these caterpillars would want to get into those items.

Video of Caterpillars Crawling Around

To conclude, we are not entirely sure what Michelle found in her kitchen, though it is likely that they are some kind of newly-hatched caterpillar, given their size and number. Despite not being able to provide a concrete identification, we hope that Michelle finds something helpful here. We wish her the very best!

 

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Summary
Small Black Worm-like Organisms Storming Kitchen are Likely Caterpillars
Article Name
Small Black Worm-like Organisms Storming Kitchen are Likely Caterpillars
Description
"I found that these very tiny larvae/worms had taken over a corner of my kitchen essentially within hours," writes Michelle about the tiny black worm-like creatures pictured below. We will acknowledge right off the bat that the organisms are not that visible in the photo, as the photo is taken too far from the organisms. That said, the video that Michelle also included shows much better, and much clearer, the critters she is referring to. "I have no idea what they are and how concerned I should be", she continues. "They seem to be spinning a spider web-like web. They were found next to the fridge, not near a drain or the pantry. However, there was a new loaf of bread and package of tortillas nearby. Please let me know if you have any inkling as to what these are. There were a good number of them on that fake plant, however I have had that fake plant for months and never seen an issue. Thank you in advance for your help!"
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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