We received a very simple and straightforward question from a reader the other day on the All About Worms Facebook page. He said that he thought he found a flour beetle, and that he only needed a picture of a flour beetle to confirm his suspicion. This was easy enough to find – a quick search for “flour beetles” turns up thousands of images – so below we post a good picture we found, as well as provide some basic information about flour beetles.
A reader wrote to us a little while back about some small worms she is finding in her cat’s food. The reader emphasizes that the worms are not in the food prior to giving it to her cat, which is good, but after the food has been out for a day or so, she often finds worms in it. The reader also finds small dark worms under the mat on which the cat food is placed, which is why we are writing about “small dark worms in and around cat food.” This rather specific title may imply we have a definite answer in mind, but unfortunately we do not. We do, however, have a few possibilities to suggest.
Have you ever found small worms in your food? One of our readers from Northern California has, as we recently received a question about a tiny, dark worm that this reader found in her coffee grounds. (By “dark worm,” we mean that the color of its body is dark, not that its outlook is Schopenhauerian.) The worm (or what is believed to be a worm; in fact, it’s probably some sort of larva) is simultaneously described as “tiny” and “long,” so it is presumably long relative to its thin width, and is not long in absolute terms (which is actually a nonsensical concept, as something is long only in relation to something else). Any time people find worms in food, we suspect a few creatures. Waxworms or wax worms, which are the larvae of Indianmeal Moths (a.k.a. “pantry moths”), are commonly found in foods, as are flour beetles (and their larval form, known as “flour beetle larvae,” naturally). We’re not sure if our reader found either, but this is as good a place as any to talk about these two common “worms” found in food.