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fourkidletts 09-02-2011 06:03 PM

Caterpillars in my house! How do I get rid of them?
Hello all, I would appreciate some ideas. I have searched the internet all day and I'm getting nowhere! I have found several brown caterpillars, 1-2 inches long, in my house over the past 3 days. Just crawling on the walls, floor, etc. Have not seen any in food. Today I woke up with on crawling on me and I am ready to move out! I'd like to kill them but nothing I've seen that treats indoor pests deals with caterpillars (not normally an inside pest!!) I do not think they are clothes moths/caterpillars because these don't look like the pics I've seen. And these are just crawling around mostly my living room. I don't even have carpet!

I've lived here for 12 years and have never had a single caterpillar in my house. What should I be looking for, and where? And how in the heck do I get rid of them? Everyone tells me to let them turn into butterflies but seriously...I don't want butterflies either! LOL

PLEASE advise! :eek: Thank you!


DangerMouse 09-02-2011 06:20 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Can you take and post a photo so we can identify them?


PAbugman 09-03-2011 10:15 AM

Yes, photos are necessary as identifying them will take us inthe direction we need to go. If no photos possible, take them to a county extension agent, farm agent, etc for ID, then get back to us.

fourkidletts 09-03-2011 03:31 PM

Thanks for offering to help, I really appreciate it. Only one has been spotted since yesterday, and my son forgot the message that I need a picture of it so he flushed it. :-( On the hunt for another. Will post when I can get the pic.

fourkidletts 09-06-2011 02:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, it's taken me this long to see another one. My husband took a pic with his cell phone because I couldn't find my camera. UGH He took it, and then it crawled into the space between the wall and ceiling trim and I haven't seen it since. It's the 3rd one we've seen where the ceiling meets the wall and we are wondering if they are coming from the attic? Anyway, this is a bit blurry but hopefully it will help? In the meantime I'll look for my camera and hope I can find a better pic.

PAbugman 09-06-2011 11:26 AM

Canít tell much from this photo. Is that webbing in the top left of photo? I suspect that the caterpillar is the larval stage of stored-product pest, the adult of which will be either a beetle or moth. They make webbing, they harbor in trim and in wall/ceiling junctions. My advice: in the room that their population is the most dense, go through anything that contains food such as cereal, flour, corn meal, seeds, nuts, pet food, grass seed, arrangements containing dried fruit, old hats/clothing in boxes, taxidermy mounts. Anything that contains naturally occurring materials, except cotton is suspect. Look in boxes, closets, storage, that you havenít looked at for a long time. When/if you find their source, donít stop there. There will likely be secondary sources. Their source will be dirty, maybe webby, cast skins/shells laying about, etc.

A positive identification will lead us in the correct direction for finding and solving this problem. Take a specimen to a county agriculture agent or even to a pest control office. If you take it to their office, they should ID it as a complimentary service. This way you wonít have a sales guy in your house. Look for a privately owned company, as opposed to the larger company name branchs. Less sales pressure that way. Generally stored product pests are solved by discovery, cleaning, removing rather than insecticides. Keep us posted.

fourkidletts 09-08-2011 12:49 AM

Thank you. Still on the hunt for them. Will post with any new developments.

fourkidletts 09-08-2011 03:20 PM

Found one!
1 Attachment(s)
Well, this guy made it easy for me. He had drowned in my glass of water! I'm starting to think I'm in a horror film, this is hard for someone who hates bugs!

This guy was smaller than others I had seen, he's about an inch. Pics are much better, can you tell anything from these? I saved him to take for identification if needed.

Oh and I forgot to respond to the webbing issue. It's a spiderweb in the last picture. Old house gets a lot of them.

PAbugman 09-09-2011 10:11 AM

Iíve searched internet and my reference books and Iím not coming up with anything. Please understand Iím not an entomologist, although Iíve much experience at identification.

Are you sure about the 1-2Ē length in your original post? That is big for a stored product pest or fly larvae.

Are you sure the webbing is from spiders? Meal moth larvae make webbing as well.

The comments about finding them on yourself once and in a drinking glass are odd. That is not typical behavior. We need to consider the possibility that they are above the ceiling and falling thru a light fixture or other ceiling penetration, if present.

Are they still mainly in living room? What is above lr ceiling?

Continue saving the larvae. You may need to send them off or take them to a county extension office as I posted on 9/6/11. Place in small vial with alcohol.

Meanwhile look in the products and stored material that I referenced on that same date.

fourkidletts 09-09-2011 04:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you again for your feedback on this. I have seen about 8 in the living room, one in kitchen (in the water) and one in the hallway. Above the LR is the attic. There is a space between the ceiling and the wall behind the trim. As I stated before we saw one go up in behind the trim and we didn't see him again, so I have suspected the attic as a possible source. We have started looking through food and there is no trace yet. The webbing I'm almost certain is spider, I think you can even see a spider in the picture, I'll have to go back and check. And as far as size, yes the first pic was about 1.5 inches and this last one was the smallest I've seen. I'll post another pic for sizing. Again, this is one of the smallest. I will look up the county extension information. Just keep storing them in alcohol for now?

Thank you so much, hopefully the end is near 'cause this is creepy. :(

fourkidletts 09-10-2011 11:19 AM

I wish I was making this up....I found one crawling in my hair last night. Yes, in my hair. I was sitting watching tv in the room adjacent to the LR. I am going to lose my mind. Was almost hyperventilating I was so upset. I've called Clark pest control, they are coming this afternoon. Of course the county extension office is closed this weekend, I should have gone yesterday. The only correlation I can come up with between this and last one I found on me is it's been very hot here, and I had been sweaty. Don't know if they go after a salty smell, hell....I don't care anymore why. Just need them out. I cannot believe this nightmare. IF they had found food here, why are they out crawling around, it seems like they are looking for food? I still cannot find a food source.

fourkidletts 09-10-2011 07:46 PM

Well, my Clark guy seemed to think they were cutworms. Showed him my pictures. I don't have that much dead grass but some. But we've been having a watering problem so who knows. Did not think they were a food moth. This problem is exhausting so I let him treat outside for cutworms and we'll see what happens. Any thoughts on his ID of cutworms? And why in the hell are they coming inside, if they eat grass/plants?

ValHaus 07-01-2012 02:39 AM

I feel your pain! I'm house sitting for a friend, & while watching tv, I've been hearing what I THOUGHT was acorns flling on the roof....until I heard a "plunk" inside the house. The cat rushed over to a 2 inch long white caterpillar. I almost fainted, as I just dealt with a maggot issue at my new crappy job. I'm a biker chick, & a surfer, & can deal with sharks, stingrays, & other wildlife, but NOT CREEPY CRAWLIES!!! The ceiling here is about 20 ft, an A frame, with wood beams. There are a few holes in the ceiling, & I can see that this is where they're coming from. They're between 2 & 3 inches long, crawling on the ceiling & then falling on the floor. Waiting for one to fall in my hair of worse. I almost fainted when I realized there were more than 5 on the ceiling. I can only imagine what it will be like in the am. I stuffed towels under the door in my room to keep them out. I have to leave for a day, & envision the cat wrapped in a web when I return. It occurred to me that they trimmed the grapefruit trees today; maybe they stirred up a neat or something? Any ideas on preventing any more from coming inside? I'm afraid of them entering any orifices! (I know, I've seen too many horror movies, but this is really FREAKING ME OUT!!!)

fourx 07-02-2012 08:14 PM

looks like cutworms to me.

fourkidletts 08-13-2012 03:38 AM

They're back!
Hi all,

I posted this thread a year ago. These little monsters are back in my house again. In my research, I do believe they are cutworms as stated by a few already. Look and crawl exactly like the beginning of this video:

I had an exterminator until last month. Guess this is what I get for cancelling my service!!!

WHY would cutworms come into my house? It's been super hot. Do they seek cooler places? And is there a way to get rid of them, short of starting up the Clark services again?

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