A reader wrote to us recently about some worms that she found in her shower. As she notes, they look like earthworms, but they are “smaller and thinner.” The reader is uncertain how they ended up in her shower, but she offers some speculation: they might have come from the drain, or she might have brought them in herself, maybe in her hair, as she took a shower after taking a hike. Our reader is wondering what she found, and she is also wondering if she should be worried about the worms that turned up in her shower.
One of our readers recently submitted a picture to us asking us what creature he saw before his eyes. This creature was about 4 inches in length and he found it outside. After close and careful research, we have found it to be a version of the Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar. This caterpillar belongs to the Sphingidae family and they are found all over Europe, Russia, China, India, and Japan. These caterpillars pretty much live in any type of grassy or wooded areas. You can find them in forests and in gardens. The caterpillars come out in the months of July to September and the moths can be seen from May to July.
We received a puzzling question recently about some worms that our reader found in the hair of her cat. The worms (or whatever they are) have been caught in the cat’s hair on a couple of different occasions, and the reader is concerned that they might be harmful to her cat in one way or another. They might just be getting caught in the cat’s fur, posing no threat, but they also might be “something worse feeding off him [the cat].” The reader offers a lot of information and a picture, so we’ll try to make some sense of the situation with what we were presented with.
We recently received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about “two red worms in the toilet bowl.” The worms were “10 cm long, thin, like one millimeter in diameter, and alive, even in the water, they were still moving.” The reader didn’t actually ask for an identification, but instead asked if the worms might be parasites. This is his main concern, and we will focus on this question, although the answer is of course tied to what exactly the reader found, so we’ll touch on the matter of identification as well. What might the red worm in the toilet be, and are they parasitic?
We received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about red and orange caterpillars that a reader recently found on an apple tree. To call them “red and orange caterpillars” is at once insufficient and overreaching. It is insufficient because the creatures aren’t only red and orange; they have black heads and legs, and some orange parts of their bodies might just as easily be described as yellow. White hairs also cover their bodies, and they are striped lengthwise, from head to tail. We overreach, however, in claiming without explanation that these creatures are caterpillars. The reader identifies them as worms, so we must explain why we think they are instead caterpillars. This explanation is of course tied to the matter of identification, which is what the reader is wondering about, and to that topic we now turn.