“What are these worms?” asks Ruby about the group of yellow creatures with brown heads pictured below. “They are mainly in the bedroom but there are also some in the living room. I live in Katy, Texas. Thank you.” Well, we thank Ruby for the excellent photo she sent in. We can clearly see their dark yellow coloration, as well as the segmentation of their bodies, which has us concluding that these are mealworms. Mealworms are not actually worms at all, but larvae. Larvae are young insects that look a bit like worms. Their goal at this stage of life is to eat as much as possible so that they can store up energy for pupation: the stage that comes before adulthood. During pupation, they metamorphose into their adult form, like a caterpillar (which is a larva!) metamorphoses into a butterfly or moth.
Mealworms, as well as the adult darkling beetle, eats primarily grains, though they will also munch on dead plant or animal matter. Hundreds of eggs are laid at a time, meaning that hundreds of larvae will potentially hatch at a time. As such, the mealworms start coming in droves, and if they reach a source of grains, they can be very destructive as their presence, and excretions that they leave behind, will render those grains inedible. For that reason, mealworms are considered pests. Now, why did Ruby find these in her bedroom if they want to eat grains? It would make more sense for them to be found in the kitchen, no?
A possible explanation is that, because mealworms prefer dark and damp environments, the mother beetle laid her eggs in Ruby’s room because it met those conditions. So, rather than lay her eggs near a source of food, the beetle laid her eggs somewhere where her eggs could safely and comfortably hatch. The mealworms will likely disperse and leave Ruby’s room to find grains to munch on if she does not deal with the issue immediately. What we recommend is moving the mealworms outside, preferably as far from her home as possible so that they don’t just crawl back in and restart the infestation. Mealworms are not dangerous to humans or pets, so Ruby does not need to worry about this.
In conclusion, we think that the yellow worm-like creatures Ruby found in her bedroom are mealworms. They are nothing to be feared, but one definitely does not want to let them roam around the home, as they will get into your grains, and potentially into your compost/trash and cause a mess. We hope this helps and we wish Ruby the very best!
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