A reader wrote to us a little while ago about a small brown worm that she found in her house. She said she “could find this worm under my bed sheets and floor,” and we aren’t sure is we should take this as an expression of the mere possibility that the worm could be found on the bed sheets and floor, as her use of the subjunctive mood seems to suggest, or if the reader did in fact find the worm under her bed sheets and then on the floor. In any case, she sent a picture of the “worm” in question, which actually looks like a larva, not a worm. More specifically, she appears to have found a carpet beetle larva, which the gods have fated us to write about without end. Below we explain why we think our reader found a carpet beetle larva.
A reader wrote to us recently about “a light brown worm-like creature in the bath tub.” We are basically certain the worm-like creature is a larva (or actually larvae since he found several), so we’ll stick with that usage throughout. The larvae have only been found inside the bath, and they are only observed on occasion (i.e., not every day). The larvae are segmented, and they appear to have antennae and hair on their body. What is our reader finding in his bathtub?
A reader wrote to us recently about some extremely small larvae that appear to have white bodies and black heads. She found a “few dozen” white-bodied, black-headed larvae in her bathroom; they were in a damp towel that was on the edge of the bathtub, and larvae fell on the floor when the towel was unfolded. The reader speculated that she might have found moth fly larvae, but she wanted to check her tentative identification with us because the larvae she found seem even smaller than moth fly larvae. Given where the larvae were found, we think it is possible she found moth fly larvae, but because of their appearance, she also might have found Indian Mealmoth (pantry moth) larvae. Below we discuss both possibilities.
A reader wrote to us recently about some small black worms that he is finding on the carpet under his desk. The black worms are only about an eighth of an inch long and they move quickly. In general, the reader isn’t especially concerned about the small black worms, as he doesn’t “mind them in particular if they were under the bed or something.” However, their presence under his desk is a problem because he is normally barefoot, and he is (understandably) “grossed out by the idea of them being there.” The reader is wondering what the small black worms under his desk are, and he is also wondering if they are dangerous and how he can get rid of them.
We recently received a message from a reader via the All About Worms Facebook page about some very small white worms he has been finding in his bed. (He actually sent us 12 messages about the extremely small white worms, leading us to think he is sending messages via the Facebook chat window, a default option that can be changed, for what it is worth.) The worms stand up vertically and look like the “those caterpillar[s] you see every year by the thousands that come out of the trees here in Tennessee,” by which he might mean they look like inchworms, the larval form of geometer moths. In all the messages he sent, which included a number of pictures, he never actually asked us to identify the small white worms in the bed. Rather, he was primarily concerned with his and his family’s safely. He feared that the worms might burrow into their skin. So, our principal task is to address whether these exceedingly small white worms are harmful or dangerous, but we will also add a couple of notes about identification as we go along.
A reader wrote to us earlier today about some small larvae with black heads that she has found on three occasions in her home. The reader referred to the creatures she found as “worms,” but they are definitely larvae, so we will proceed with our identification efforts accordingly. The reader describes the larvae as entirely black, and while this is definitely true of the heads of the larvae, the rest of their bodies appear to be more of a grayish color. (That’s why we simply called them “small dark larvae” in the title.) What are these small dark larvae with black heads?
A reader wrote to us via the All About Worms Facebook page to ask us about some small red worms that she recently found on her bedroom wall. The worms appear to have a cocoon or shell, or perhaps they just shed their skin (the reader mentioned all three as possibilities). The worms also seem to be legless and hairless. The reader reports that she has seen the small red worms before when she was younger; they were generally under stuffed animals that were on the floor, and again she noted that they seemed to leave behind their molted skin. In light of their repeated appearance in her life, our reader wants to know what the small red worms are, if they are even worms at all.
Earlier today, we received a question from a mother about a small, brown larvae that was crawling on her daughter. Actually, she didn’t ask a question, but rather exclaimed a couple of things – “Found this crawling on my daughter! Help!” – and sent us a picture of the creature in question. Since she is obviously concerned, we thought we’d answer her right away, addressing what we presume are her concerns, namely, what is the small, brown larvae she found, and is it dangerous or in any way harmful to her daughter.
A reader wrote to us a while ago about some small white larvae with black heads (or what many will inevitably, but incorrectly, refer to as small white worms with black heads) that he has been finding. He never actually referred to the small white creatures as “larvae,” but his excellent photos (included below) fairly clearly show larvae. Identifying worms, larvae, and other such creatures is rarely a certain enterprise, but at this point in our august career, we’re confident in our ability to spot a larva when we see one. We’ve written about larvae before – indeed, we’ve written about small white larvae with black heads before – and we’ll write about them again. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves: what kind of small, white, black-headed larvae did our reader find, and how should he get rid of them?