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 couple of weeks back, we received a question from a reader about some very small worms (actually, “very” perhaps isn’t quite strong enough of a word – they are more like extremely small worms) that were found on her bathroom wall near the ceiling. The reader sent us two pictures of the extremely small worms, which are probably not worms at all, but rather some type of larvae. Even by larvae standards, these larvae (if they are larvae) are very small. The reader only wanted to know what these little creatures are (worms? larvae? something else?), which is a modest inquiry, but a difficult one just the same.