“Why do I keep finding this bug in my vehicle?” asks this reader in her submission concerning the small, gray, spiky bug on the face mask in the photo below. Our reader states that she does not allow eating in her car, which she just purchased and keeps very clean.
From the picture alone, which is very zoomed out, and is not of the best resolution, it is difficult to make out the creature’s characteristics. As such, it is difficult to give an identification with any degree of certainty. Now, given its gray color and apparent segmentation, at first we thought this might be a silverfish. Silverfish, otherwise known as bristletails, are insects which are typically found in environments with a high moisture content, though it is not unheard of that they show up in cars. They are very small, typically measuring up to a mere 3/4-inch (barely two centimetres), which makes sense, given the very small size of the creature our reader found. However, silverfish are known for their three long tails and even longer antennae, and this creature does not appear to possess any tails or antennae.
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So, with that in mind, our other guess is that this is the caterpillar of some kind of moth or the larva of some other kind of creature. Upon zooming in, one can just make out a set of prolegs (though it is difficult to tell for sure), which tells us that this is at the very least an insect. Unfortunately, we really cannot tell exactly what it looks like, and we would need a better photo to make any kind of certain identification. If our reader has more photos, then she is welcome to send them so that we can have another shot at identifying the creature. Otherwise, what our reader can do is take new photos if more of these creatures show up, and send them our way. In addition to this, she can even keep one of the larvae in a box with air holes and various types of food (leaves, grains, apple slices, and hair/fur) to see what the larva grows into. As it matures and develops more of the features that are specific to its species, our reader will have a better chance at getting it identified. At their larval stage, a lot of insects can look the same. Now, if our reader does not find any more creatures, then we think she is probably fine to keep living her life as usual. It is likely that this larva just wandered into her car or was brought in on something.
To conclude, we do not know what this creature is, given that we cannot make out any distinguishable features from the photo. As we said, our reader is welcome to send new photos if she is really concerned, but otherwise if the discovery of this critter was a one-off occurrence, then we think our reader needs not worry about it. We urge our reader to keep cleaning and vacuuming her car as she has done, as it definitely does help keep the space free from critters (except the few who accidentally find their way in!). We wish her the very best!
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