One of our readers found “little worms” in his kitchen. He reached out to us in the hopes that we can answer his two questions: What are they? Why are they there? He said the “worms are about 1/8 inch long, and he sent us two pictures. Here is the first:
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This worm-like organism is dark colored with a clear anterior and posterior end. The lighting isn’t very good but the body appears to be a dark brown or black with a lighter color stripe running down its back. It also might have an orange or red head. Its body is sparsely covered in hair, and it has what could be pincers coming out of its head. Here is the second photo:
We aren’t sure if this is the same species of organism as the first photograph, or a different creature entirely. It might be the same with more prominent markings, or perhaps its markings are just better captured in this photograph because of lighting or angle. This specimen also has a dark body with a lighter colored head. It has 3 white stripes running down its back, and pincers protruding of its head.
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We aren’t sure what these creatures are. We believe they are caterpillars, which are the larvae of moths and butterflies. However, we don’t know what species of caterpillars they are, or even if they are the same species as each other. Since there are about 20,000 different species of caterpillars, identifying them on looks alone can be rather difficult. Knowing where our reader is from might be a helpful clue, since caterpillars eat specific plants and certain plants only grow in some distinct regions. For similar reasons it would be useful to know if our reader has any plants or trees in his yard that could be serving as a home to these caterpillars.
To conclude, one of our readers found two caterpillars in his kitchen. We don’t know what species they are, or why they are present. However, we recommend our reader simply put them back outside and close his windows so that other specimens can’t wander in.