“What kind of worm is this?” asks this reader about the yellow larva-like organism pictured below. The creature was found in her “pantry cupboard hanging by a thread.”
Judging by the appearance of the creature, as well as the location in which it was found, we would say that this is likely a pantry moth larva. Otherwise known as the Indianmeal moth larva, the pantry moth larva is a relatively common, albeit notorious, kitchen pest.
As their name suggests, these larvae are most commonly found in the pantry, as their diet consists primarily of foods one would find in this spot. Such foods include, but are not limited to, rice, cereals, nuts, and pet food. We hope for our reader’s sake that this is just a lone larva that happened to find its way into the pantry, and if that is the case, then there is a chance that this is not a pantry moth larva.
On this side note, we did consider that this might not be a pantry moth larva, as they tend to be more white than yellow, but this could also be a trick of the light, or it could be that this particular larva strays more toward a yellow-white, which is not impossible. Pantry moth larvae are not a chalk-white color normally, but more of a beige color.
With that said, if we were to assume that this is indeed a pantry moth larva, then our reader can assume that there are probably more of them in the pantry. Infestations of them are pretty obvious, as they ruin the food they infest, leaving skin casts and faecal droppings behind, as well as the eggs from which they hatch. These infestations can start and spread in a number of ways. It is possible that a mother moth flew in through an open window and laid eggs on a food source, but it is also likely that these items were already infested with eggs when they were bought from the grocery store.
If our reader discovers that her kitchen is infested, then we will refer her to this “past article on pantry moth larvae” where we go into detail about how one can eliminate and prevent infestations of pantry moth larvae. On the other hand, if this turns out to be a one-time occurence, then she needs only move this larva outside and call it a day.
To conclude, the worm our reader found in her pantry cupboard is most likely a pantry moth larva, though it is possible that it is some other off-white larva. That description is quite generic in the world of larvae after all! We hope this article proves helpful to our reader, and we wish her the very best.