One of our readers recently contacted us about some specimens he noticed in his bean-to-cup coffee machine. The creatures were in his coffee ground tray. He was a little alarmed to find them and is wondering what they might be and if they are dangerous. The photo he sent shows two brown worms:
Sometimes when we see a photo of a worm we instantly recognize it and can identify it. This is not one of those times. While we know that these creatures are small and brown, we can’t see any other distinguishing features. We can zoom in to a certain extent and it looks like the specimens might be segmented, but any further and the image just becomes blurry.
Based on what we can see, we think these might be mealworms. Despite having the word “worm” in their title, mealworms are actually the larvae of mealworm beetles. Mealworm larvae are light brown creatures with hard exoskeletons. The larvae molt and shed their exoskeletons nearly a dozen times, allowing them to expand as they fill up on vegetation and dead insects, saving energy for their big transformation.
Although mealworms can be considered household pests, some people actually purchase them and raise colonies for composting. When used for composting, some people choose to feed their mealworms coffee grounds, so we know that mealworms do eat coffee grounds! We still don’t feel totally positive about this identification because the photo is so blurry, but we do think these are likely mealworms.
We don’t think our reader should feel too stressed about finding these specimens. It is totally normal to find creepy crawlies around a home. We do think he might want to clean out his coffee maker, but we don’t think he should be worried about his health. Of course, if he is nervous about his health, he should visit a doctor ASAP since we are not medical professionals and cannot give medical advice.
To wrap up, we think the brown worms our reader noticed in his coffee maker might be mealworms, but we aren’t totally sure because of the low picture quality. We recommend he clean out his coffee maker to make sure there are no more larvae hidden in the coffee grounds!