“This worm was found crawling on my bed”, writes this reader in his submission regarding the whitish, worm-like organism with a dark head pictured below. “I just wanna know if it’s harmful.” Our reader does not provide more context, which in this case would have been helpful. First off, we will say that we think this is an insect larva: the segmentation and body shape indicate this. That said, this critter fits the generic descriptions of hundreds of insect larvae, and narrowing it down to one without more context would be extremely difficult. For example, it’s always helpful to know if our readers have also spotted insects around their home, and what kinds, as well as if the creatures seem to be eating something: has our reader found any holes in his bed sheets? Likewise, how big is the larva?
Regardless, we will try our best to help our reader out. If we were to make an educated guess, we would say that the pointed, dark tip of the creature and its squared-off rear indicate that this is some species of fly larva (AKA ‘maggot’), maybe a housefly larva. Houseflies invade homes and lay eggs on rotting organic matter, like fruit and vegetables. When the eggs hatch, the maggots will feed on the food item they were laid on, rendering it inedible. In any case, while housefly larvae are not directly harmful to humans or pets (they will not bite or sting you, and they are not parasitic), they can spread harmful bacteria through ingesting them. That is why any infested food items should be discarded in a bin outside; we specify that they should be thrown in a bin outside as the infestation will just continue in the home if thrown away in a garbage can indoors.
Now, we cannot promise that this is a house fly larva. Even though there is no size comparison in the photo, the creature looks somewhat big to us, and housefly larvae are really quite small. Here is where it would have been helpful to know the size of the larva. So, if it isn’t a housefly larva, we cannot promise that it is not harmful. Most insect larva that look like this are typically not harmful to humans, but could be pests that chew holes through fabrics or wood. So, our reader might want to be on the lookout for more of these around his home and take note of where he is finding them. Depending on where they are found and what they are eating, there are different steps he can take to control and eliminate any potential infestations of them. For example, if they are eating his food, there are simple steps he can take himself to eliminate the infestation, but if they are chewing through the wooden foundations of his home, then he would need to contact professionals to deal with them.
In conclusion, we are not sure what our reader found on his bed, though our best guess is that it is a housefly larva. We hope for his sake that he does not find more of these, and that this discovery was a one-time-thing. It is possible that it is a stray larva that came in on our reader’s shoes or clothes. Even though we were not able to provide a specific identification, we hope that we have helped to some degree, and we wish our reader the very best.
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