They may be small but they pack a parasitic punch with their slithering presence. Worms in the home are a nuisance and can also be a health hazard. To rid your home of the squiggly intruders, you need only follow a few simple steps.
Even if a home is immaculate, worms can wriggle their way into the cracks and crevices of the walls and slink across countertops and floors. Not all worms that you'll find in a home are actually worms. Larvae are lumped into the category of indoor worms and can be quite a nuisance, but they can be eradicated with the same techniques that are used for typical house pests. The most common worms a homeowner will encounter trespassing in their abode are mealworms, house centipede, carpet beetle larvae, fruit fly maggots and millipedes.
Each of these types of indoor worms has their own set of conditions that help them thrive in your sacred spaces. Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle. They have a 10-week life cycle and are prolific breeders. They tend to grow in dark spaces or containers with adequate ventilation. They adore flours, cornmeal and dry foods such as cereal.
Quick and creepy, the presence of the house centipede could mean you have other bug issues. With its 15 legs and venomous bite, it's actually a fertile pest-fighter. They eat silverfish, termites, roaches, moths and flies. They tend not to travel in packs or create nests or webs, so they're always on the move looking to feed.
Carpet beetle larvae are a menace. They will chew through anything made of fabric. From carpets to couches, these fruitful feeders show up in bulk and multiply quickly.
By the time you see fruit flies swarming around your kitchen, the worms have been feeding off fruit or breeding in warm bowls of rotting vegetables for some time. Each female fly can lay hundreds of eggs that turn into wormlike larvae.
Millipedes are small, just 2.5 to 4 centimeters long, and look like fat worms with legs. They love dampness under furniture and boxes in the home.
How to Rid a Home of Worms
The first line of defense in ridding your home of worms is to eliminate spaces they enjoy. If you find worms, clean the house thoroughly to remove debris, clean up moist areas and wipe up food crumbs stuck in the corners of countertops and floors. Ventilate the home with dehumidifiers and fill gaps in entryways both at the entryway doors and garage doors. Use insecticide at the base of entryways to stop them in their tracks.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.