One of our readers recently sent us a picture and this message, “I found this worm under my dog’s bed. Can you tell me what it is?” The photograph shows a small off-white specimen with a segmented body and brown head. Our reader didn’t mention if he noticed any additional specimens in other rooms of his home, so we will assume there was just the one under the dog’s bed. We are confident that this creature is some type of moth larva, but what type of moth larva is it?
We believe this specimen might be a pantry moth larva or a palm flower moth larva. It could also be a different type of moth larva besides these two, but these are the most common moth larvae that readers discover in their homes.
Pantry moth larvae, also known as Indian meal moth larvae, are common household pests that feed on all sorts of dried goods and pantry items such as flours, grains, pet food, nuts, candy, and breads. Readers typically find these larvae in their pantries, but finding one under a dog bed is surely in the realm of possibility. If this is a pantry moth larva, we recommend that our reader investigate his pantry items for other larvae in case he is dealing with an infestation. If he discovers more of these creatures, he can read any of the numerous articles we have written about how to deal with pantry moth larvae.
The specimen in question might also be a palm flower moth larva. These larvae aren’t as common to find inside a home as pantry moth larvae, but readers do come across them from time to time. Palm flower moth larvae have off-white or pink bodies with brown heads. They live and feed on plants in the palm family, but sometimes end up inside homes if they get displaced from their host plant. These larvae are only found in parts of California, Nevada, and Arizona, so if our reader is writing from somewhere other than these three states, we don’t think he has discovered a palm flower moth larva. If he believes it is a palm flower moth larva, he will just need to focus on closing up any small entries that these (and other) larvae might be sneaking in through. Since they aren’t household pests, they won’t be destructive or dangerous house guests.
To wrap up, our reader found a worm-like organism under his dog’s bed that we think is either a pantry moth larva or a palm flower moth larva. Between these two options, we believe it is more likely that he is dealing with a pantry moth larva. Since he only found one of these creatures, we don’t think he needs to stress about its presence, but he should check to make sure there aren’t more of them sneaking around his pantry!