A reader wrote to us about some “worms” she found in her kitchen. She first noticed long strands of silk hanging from her cupboards and dozens of tiny worms crawling on the strands. She said that the cupboards contained glassware, not food, which is an important detail. Our reader scrubbed the cupboard and the surrounding area with a bleach mixture, but the creatures returned in a couple hours.
Our reader said she thought these might either be pantry moth larvae or inchworms, and is hoping we can help her confirm one of these.
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From the photos, we can see that these creatures are indeed quite tiny. They appear to be white (but that could be the lighting) and are hanging from silk threads. We believe that our reader was onto something, and that these are in fact inchworms.
There are a lot of different types of inchworms. Some, like the ones our reader found, produce silk and usually show up in very large numbers. We don’t know how these larvae got into the house, but it is possible that a moth laid eggs inside and they hatched. The ideal habitat for an inchworm is definitely not a kitchen, so these creatures probably won’t stick around for long.
Our reader can remove the worms and silk threads and put them outside as she finds them. Thoroughly sanitizing her kitchen and glassware also would be a good idea.
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In summary, our reader found some creatures hanging by threads in her kitchen. We believe that these are inchworms!