A reader reached out to us after discovering a worm on the new foam mattress she bought. She found the worm on the mattress when she took it out of the box, so she knows it was already in the box and didn’t come from her home. She wants to know if this sort of thing happens often, and is also curious about what kind of worm it is. The specimen has an off-white, segmented body and a brown head:
We think this specimen might be a pantry moth larva. Pantry moth larvae, which can also be referred to as Indian meal moth larvae, are common household pests. They typically eat stored grains and dried foods that are found in the pantry and the kitchen cabinets. These larvae sometimes infest the dried goods after they are already in the house, but other times they come from the factory, and are already inside the boxes when someone purchases them and brings them inside their homes. These larvae don’t typically eat foam mattresses, but perhaps the mattress was boxed or stored in or near a facility that also works with stored grains.
We have heard from readers who have found worms on their mattresses, but these were mattresses that were already in their homes, not new ones from the store. If our reader doesn’t notice any other creatures on her mattress, we think she can just brush it off and move on, especially since these larvae are harmless. If she finds more worms, or if she is worried or upset, we recommend she contact the company she bought the mattress from. They might be able to offer her some sort of compensation for her troubles!
To wrap up, one of our readers found a worm on her brand new mattress. We think the creature is probably a pantry moth larva that was living in the box before it arrived at our reader’s home. As long as it is just a single organism, we don’t think she needs to worry so much about finding it. If she does find more of these larvae, she might want to reach out to the mattress company for a new mattress!