Worm Found in Bed Actually Harmless Larva or ‘Grub’

A female reader wrote to use having found a critter in her bed. Typically, when we get a letter about a creature in someone’s bed, it turns out to be a carpet beetle larva. So, imagine our surprise when this one wasn’t.

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To us, this looks like a different kind of beetle larva, although we’re not quite sure exactly what species we’re looking at. Larvae with this body type are commonly referred to as “grubs” and grow up to be scarab beetles. Personally, we tend to find the adults much more attractive than the grubs.

 

A lovely adult rainbow scarab beetle (Phanaeus vindex). Photo by Sebastian Eder (Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The real mystery is how such a thing ended up in a bed. Grubs, as a rule, like to live in soil. The most likely scenario is that it was tracked in on someone’s clothing from outside. Chances are it does not want to be there. Grubs tend to like nice dark, moist places where there are plenty of grass roots to eat. The good news is that having a grub in the bed is not dangerous to humans, other than the off-chance hitting one’s head while leaping from the surprise at having found a bedmate with so many legs. This can be especially dangerous on a bunk bed.

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If there is one grub around then there are likely more, though the majority of them have likely chosen to stay outdoors. If there are a lot of these little guys in the neighborhood, it could spell trouble for plants or grass growing in the area. Like many larva, these little critters are voracious eaters, and can cause major damage to grass and other non-crop plants. They do not tend to be a risk to things that we humans also want to eat, so that is some good news. If there are just a few, our reader is likely to never notice them, though she may enjoy seeing some beautiful scarab beetles in the future, like these guys:

 

An adult flower chaffer scarab beetle (Ischiopsopha wallacei yorkiana). Photo by Summerdrought (Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

 

Green scarab beetle (Chiloloba acuta). Photo by J.M.Garg (Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

However, if she happens to notice that her grass is looking particularly unhappy this season, then she may want to consult a local pest control expert. They will be familiar with the common types of pests in the area and may have good advice on encouraging them to be elsewhere. Otherwise, she shouldn’t worry, and accept our thanks for giving us an excuse to share so many lovely scarab beetle pictures.

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Worm Found in Bed Actually Harmless Larva or 'Grub'
Article Name
Worm Found in Bed Actually Harmless Larva or 'Grub'
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A female reader wrote to use having found a critter in her bed. Typically, when we get a letter about a creature in someone’s bed, it turns out to be a carpet beetle larva. So, imagine our surprise when this one wasn’t.
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