“What is this?” asks this reader concerning the white caterpillar with stripes/dots on its back pictured below. They state that they keep “finding these in the house” and ask that we “please help” them “eliminate” the creatures.
First of all, we are not entirely sure what these are. Not only is little context given, but the pictures are not that clear either. Based on the coloration and shape, we would guess that this is either some species of caterpillar (the larva of a moth or butterfly), or a dogwood sawfly larva.
Dogwood sawflies are wasp-like insects that feed on the leaves of dogwood trees. Their larvae look a lot like caterpillars and are often mistaken for them. They change color at various points throughout maturation. They are not harmful to humans or pets in any shape or form, so if our reader finds any more of these, he can just move them outside.
Secondly, we will unfortunately not be able to help our reader eliminate them, as we never recommend eliminating organisms which we do not know for sure pose some sort of threat. That said, there are some general tips we can give for preventing bugs from entering one’s home.
Methods of prevention include (but are not limited to):
Ensuring that one’s window screens are in good condition.
Sealing cracks in walling and flooring through which bugs could enter (using caulk is a good way of doing this).
Storing unused garments in vacuum-sealed bags or cold vaults.
Keeping one’s home dry and warm. Removing piles of organic debris (such as rocks, twigs and leaves) from one’s yard.
Storing dry food products in containers, rather than keeping them in the packaging.
Vacuuming and sanitizing one’s home on a regular basis.
Storing dry food products in containers rather than keeping them inside their original containers.
In conclusion, we are not entirely sure what the organisms our reader found are. They might be dogwood sawfly larvae, but they could very well be something else. We hope nonetheless that some of the information in this article proves useful, and we wish them the very best.
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