A concerned son recently wrote to us about some worms his mother found on her kitchen ceiling. His mother vacuumed them off, but they reappeared. He said that when he tried to knock them off, the worms appeared to be hanging by a piece of web. He described the worms as being light colored and less than half an inch in length. He is hopeful that we can identify these pests and advise him on how to get rid of them in order to give his mother peace of mind.
Based on the photo he provided, the description, and the fact that these pests were found in the kitchen, we believe he is dealing with pantry moth larvae. While commonly known as waxworms, these creatures are in fact larva, not worms. Pantry moth larvae spin web when they hatch, so this would explain the webs that the larva were hanging from.
In order to get rid of the pantry moth larvae, the son will need to identify which food in his mother’s pantry is the source of the infestation and get rid of it immediately. If he isn’t sure which food is the source, he should get rid of any food that is suspicious. It would also be good to deep clean the kitchen and pantry. To prevent further invasions from pantry moth larva, the mother should store her grains in airtight containers and buy foods in smaller quantities to ensure freshness.
Overall, a son found pantry moth larvae in his mother’s kitchen. Although finding pests in your home is always unnerving, cleaning your kitchen and getting rid of old food will deter these creatures.