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Worm in Toilet Bowl Could be Ascaris Worm or Earthworm

A reader discovered a long worm in his toilet. He thought it might be an Ascaris worm, which is a parasite. If it is not an Ascaris worm, we think it might be an earthworm. Continue reading [...]
earthworm

Worm in Kitchen is Earthworm, Not Centipede

One of our readers found a long, red worm in his kitchen. We have identified the specimen as an earthworm. Continue reading [...]

Worms Found in Wood Chips Probably Safe

One of our readers dug up some tiny reddish worms. We believe they might be wireworms or another type of larvae, and we don't believe they are unsafe! Continue reading [...]

Red Creature Staining Carpet is a Bloody Mystery

A woman in the United Kingdom has written to us with a rather odd query. She has found something that may be a larva in her flat (apartment). The little critter is about 1/2" (~13mm) long and seems to be leaking red liquid. In fact, it has stained our reader’s carpet. She would like us to tell her what it might be. She has attached the following picture:It is difficult to tell from the photograph what sort of critter this might be. However, there are very few worms or larva that ooze any kind of blood or other red liquid. Our blood is red because it contains hemoglobin. According to the UCSB ScienceLine website: Hemoglobin is a protein that forms a complex with iron molecules and together they transport oxygen molecules throughout the body. Iron has the property of reflecting red Continue reading [...]

Worm Found in Toilet is Harmless Earthworm

Today, we are going to address concern from a woman who found this creature in her toilet:She was kind enough to send a video. For obvious reasons, she was quite creeped out. Her main concern is that it may have come from one of her kids.Though we are not doctors, and cannot be absolutely certain that this did not come from one of her children, we’re pretty sure it didn’t. As always, if she is at all concerned that she or one of her children may be ill, we urge her to consult a doctor. But, to us, this looks like a typical, run-of-the-mill earthworm. It is not harmful to her, her children, her pets, or her plumbing.How would such a worm end up in a toilet, one may ask? Well, we can think of several ways. The most likely is that the poor little fellow got tracked in somehow, Continue reading [...]

Earthworms are Quite Happy Underwater

We received a question from a reader who would like to know how much time a worm can spend underwater before drowning. The short answer is that, so long as the water has a high enough concentration of oxygen, most worms can live quite happily under water. When the soil that an earthworm is living in becomes very wet, it may choose to come to the surface to move around. It’s a lot easier to move on the surface of the ground than it is to slog through mud.The term “worm” is rather vague, but we will assume that she is referring to the common earthworm. One of the many benefits to being an earthworm is that earthworms cannot drown (because they have no lungs). Instead of breathing, earthworms actually absorb oxygen through their skin via diffusion.  So, if the earthworm’s skin is Continue reading [...]
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