Worm-like Creatures on Ceiling Are Likely Carpet Beetle Larvae

Today, our story begins with a letter from a woman who has a rather perplexing situation. She sleeps upon a high bed, close to the ceiling. Several times, she has noticed small worms or larvae on the ceiling, right above her head!

She reports having seen a small white worm off and on, hanging from the ceiling. She’s tried brushing it off the ceiling, but it seemed to stick to the ceiling and do a lot of wiggling, which did not encourage her to do that again. This white worm is there sometimes, but not all the times, so the writer is a little concerned about where it may be hanging out when she cannot see it.

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More recently, she has seen a very small black worm on the ceiling.

For obvious reasons, she would rather not have these particular sleeping companions, but she doesn’t know what they are, where they may be coming from, or how she can persuade them to leave.

She wonders if her cats may be tracking them in from outside. She also notes that this past summer she had many flies around her house and wonders if that could be related.

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Unfortunately, she was not able to include any pictures, so the best we can do is speculate as to what her visitors may be. It’s likely that both creatures are larva, but the exact species is really anyone’s guess. It could be a fly larva (or maggot), but this seems less likely because those tend to be found on decomposing materials.

There are many possibilities including the ever-present carpet beetle larva. If she looks more closely at the black larva and sees that the little critter has legs, then it may actually be a millipede, which is often mistaken for a worm. It could also be the larva of any of several different types of moths. It could, for example, be the larva of the Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella), a common household pet. Any of these have larvae that fit her description.

Larva of the Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella. Photo by By Pudding4brains (Own work, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Larva of the Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella. Photo by By Pudding4brains (Own work, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The good news is that, whatever it is, the creature is probably just passing through on its way to find food and is no danger to her or her cats. It’s not likely that these critters will find a good source of food on the celling or walls, and so long as she keeps her bed relatively clean they’re not going to want to hang out there, either.

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Worm-like Creatures on Ceiling Are Likely Carpet Beetle Larvae
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Worm-like Creatures on Ceiling Are Likely Carpet Beetle Larvae
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Today, our story begins with a letter from a woman who has a rather perplexing situation. She sleeps upon a high bed, close to the ceiling. Several times, she has noticed small worms or larvae on the ceiling, right above her head!
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