Worm in Kitchen is Mealworm

A reader from Florida reached out to us in hopes that we would be able to identify a worm she found in her kitchen and advise her on how to get rid of the worms. She explained that she initially found several of the creatures on her stovetop under a bag of produce. She immediately scrubbed every kitchen counter top. However, every day since the first discovery she has found one single worm crawling on her stovetop. She believes the worms are limited to this area because she hasn’t seen them in the pantry or other corners of her kitchen. Here is the photo she sent us:


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In addition to the photo, our reader also provided a description of the worms. She wrote that they are skinny, have little legs, and are a light tan color. She hasn’t seen any webbing or trails coming from the worms, so she has ruled out the possibility of them being pantry moth larvae (good detective work!) She mentioned that she also found some weevil type bugs in her Tupperware cabinets, but she isn’t sure if this is related and she is more disturbed by the worm-like organisms on her stovetop.

We believe that both the picture and description our reader provided suggest that she has discovered mealworms. Despite their name, mealworms are not worms! They are larvae of the mealworm beetle. Mealworms are generally considered to be household pests because they eat stored grains. However, they also scavenge for decaying material and are excellent decomposers.

Normally when mealworms are discovered in a kitchen they are feeding on stored grains in the pantry or cabinets. Our reader did mention that she hasn’t seen any in the pantry, but we think it would be a good idea to take a closer look. She should sift through the items in her pantry and look for evidence of mealworms. Anything that has been invaded should be disposed of immediately. To avoid future infestations, she can store all her pantry items in air tight containers. Also, if our reader thinks she may have eaten a mealworm mixed in with some pantry item, she shouldn’t worry! These worms might make her uneasy, but they are non-toxic!

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To sum up, a reader discovered some skinny worm-like organisms on her stovetop. We are confident that these creatures are mealworms.

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Worm in Kitchen is Mealworm
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Worm in Kitchen is Mealworm
Description
A reader discovered some skinny worm-like organisms on her stovetop. We are confident that these creatures are mealworms.
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Author: Worm Researcher Dori

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