A reader just reached out to us about some tiny white worms that seem to be appearing from her wood floors. She sent us a photo of the wood floors covered in tiny white organisms. She explained that nothing has been spilled on the floors, and that she cleans the floors every other week. She is anxious to know what these specimens are and how she can get rid of them. This is the photo she sent us:
As you can see, there are hundreds of these small, white worm-like organisms. Based on the minuscule size of these creatures, we believe they are probably larvae, not worms. So, what are these the larvae of? Flies? Moths? Beetles?
We think that these might be beetle larvae. To be more specific, we believe our reader might be dealing with woodworms. A woodworm is not a specific species, rather the name applies to the larvae of some wood boring beetles, including the Common Furniture Beetle, the Deathwatch Beetle, and the House Longhorn Beetle. Adult beetles lay their eggs on the surface of a wood item with a moisture content greater than 18%. When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow through the wood, which serves as their only food source. The woodworms might feed for a number of years before they surface, so often their presence goes undetected.
Other than the physical presence of the larvae and adult beetles, an infestation is characterized by small holes and burrows in the wood. If our reader notices these burrows and holes, then she is definitely dealing with woodworms. If there are no burrows or holes in our reader’s home, then these larvae might not be woodworms at all. If the latter is true, we think these could be maggots, or fly larvae.
To wrap up, a reader wrote to us because her wooden floor was covered in small, white larvae. We think these larvae are either woodworms or maggots.