One of our readers found a “worm” in her home after returning from vacation. So, what is this creature and how can she get rid of it?
This is a larva! It has a cream-colored body and a brown head. There are a ton of different larvae that this description could apply to. However, we believe the photo is a nearly perfect match for an Indian Meal Moth Larva. Indian Meal Moth Larvae are some of the most common larval “pests” found in a home.
Female Indian Meal Moths lay their eggs in a suitable larval food substance, such as flour, whole wheat, cornmeal, crackers, biscuits, and a variety of others. It takes as few as 27 days and as many as 305 days for an egg to mature into an adult moth. This development depends on the substance they are feeding on and the temperature of the environment. Indian Meal Moth Larvae usually enter into a home by means of a product that is already infested. Once safely inside a pantry, they might venture from their original environment to another food substance that is nearby. The caterpillars are either spotted during this journey, or when they are looking for a place around the house to build a cocoon.
Although the presence of the larvae is annoying, they are completely harmless and do not carry or transmit any human diseases. Figuring out which of her stored good items is infested can be tedious, but there are some ways to make the process easier. She can place all goods in her freezer for a few days to kill all stages. Before using the products, she can pour it into a large bowl and shift through and throw out any carcasses. Like we mentioned, these creatures aren’t harmful so their presence shouldn’t cause any health issues! Any unopened goods can also be stored in the freezer to eliminate these pests!
To wrap up, one of our readers found a tiny larva in her home after returning from vacation. We believe the specimen is an Indian Meal Moth Larva.
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