“A couple of worms” have been found on a bunk bed where this reader’s cat was laying, and she wonders if we can tell her what they are. Our reader’s son discovered the worms, which are approximately 4mm (1/5-inch) in length, “slightly yellowish/brown” but “a little darker at both ends”, have legs and appear to be segmented.
Our reader from Southern California goes on to say that although she has been researching herself in an attempt to identify the worms, she has become “completely grossed out without determining much of anything.” Our reader asks us to “please help!” as she does not “know what medicine to give” her cat. With this in mind, it seems as though our reader is assuming that the worms found were parasites, and that she needs to treat her cat for something. However, this article will explore the possibility that these worms are not parasitic, but something far more mundane.
That being said, before we continue, it should be noted that we are not medical professionals, and so in the case that our reader does have reasonable cause to believe that her cat is infested with parasites, all we can do is advise that she take her cat to a vet as soon as possible to receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Accordingly, although we will suggest that these worms are not parasites, our reader should not take whatever information and presumptions we put forth as the absolute truth, as only our reader knows their cat and would know if something is wrong.
With all of that in mind, we put forth the suggestion that these worms are not parasites, but clothes moth larvae. The size and physical appearance of the worms would point to this conclusion, as well as the location of it discovery. There are two species of clothes moths that commonly infest people’s homes, namely webbing clothes moths and casemaking clothes moths. As larvae, these two species are similar in appearance, and it is difficult to discern from our reader’s photograph which of the two it may be. No matter, as both larvae also share the same destructive behaviour. Clothes moth larvae feed on animal-based fabrics, and are thus infamous for the damage they cause various fabrics, such as clothes, garments, curtains and bedding. As such, clothes moth larvae are often found on beds where they feed on the sheets or pillows. To get rid of them, one must do a thorough cleaning session of one’s animal-based fabrics, including vacuuming, steam-cleaning and laundering where possible. In the case that this identification is correct (which would be affirmed by the cat testing negative for any parasites) and our reader wants more in-depth information on how to eradicate a clothes moth infestation, she may consult one of our previous articles which addresses this topic.
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In conclusion, it is unclear what the worms are that our reader’s son found on the bed. We would say that they are some species of clothes moth, but given that our reader is concerned about the state of her cat’s health, making this situation medical in nature, we cannot comment with absolute certainty what these worms are. This is because we are not medical professionals and thus not qualified to do so. However, if our reader does have any more concerns or questions, she is still welcome to comment them down below.