“What kind of worms are these and how do I get rid of them?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the translucent, dark-headed creatures pictured below. “They are coming into my house through my microwave (which is my vent hood over my stove) and the bathroom exhaust fan. That’s the only place I’ve seen them but there are always a lot of them. I live in Southwest Louisiana in a double-wide trailer.” To start with, we think these are larvae of some sort of insect: likely a moth or fly. We think this due to their translucent white bodies, which is a common characteristic of moth and fly larvae. However, we do not know specifically what species they would belong to. Since the larvae are coming in through the vents, it is likely that the mother insect laid her eggs in the vent, coming in through the outside. As such, the context does not give any clues as to the species they belong to.
To figure out what species they are based on the context, one would have to figure out what they are eating. Usually, when people find such larvae in their home, they find them at their food source, which makes it easier to identify them: Clothes moth larvae will be feeding on clothing and other textiles. Meanwhile, fly larvae (maggots) will likely be in the garbage eating organic waste. Pantry moth larvae will be in the pantry munching on grains, rice and other dry food products. Of course, if our reader wanted to find out the specific identification, she could monitor the larvae and see what food they would end up eating. That is not to say she should let them roam free (then an infestation would likely start), but she could put a few of the larvae in a container and provide three types of food: a piece of cloth, a discarded piece of food (perhaps a banana peel) and some kind of grainy food. Whichever food source they eat from will tell her what they are most likely to be.
With all of that said, their identity has nothing to do with getting rid of them. As we said, our theory is that the mother insect laid the eggs inside the vent, as we cannot fathom why hordes of larvae would otherwise continuously crawl their way into someone’s home via the air ducts. For that reason, we do not think the larvae will just endlessly keep coming, and so moving the larvae outside as she finds them should suffice in dealing with this batch of larvae. Of course, our reader will still want to make sure this does not happen again, and so we recommend getting some screens for the vents, which can be placed outdoors and indoors, which will stop bugs from getting inside them.
To conclude, the worm-like critters our reader has been finding inside her home are the larvae of some type of insect, likely a moth or a fly. We hope this helps and we wish her the very best!