spotted snake millipede

Semi-Transparent Worm with Spots is a Millipede

The images of a nearly transparent worm with spots one of our readers sent presented an interesting challenge. Two of these specimens were found in this reader's shower, and he was concerned they had come from him before going down the drain. He was able to take close up photographs with a high-definition camera; even then certain differentiating characteristics weren't immediately clear. We began by addressing the concern that this might be a parasitic worm of some sort. One type of parasitic worm, Ascaris worms, typically present as more white than transparent, without such pronounced ridges or segments. From the photo, it seemed as though the worm had tapered ends. We investigated as though it was an annelid (oligichaetes), or segmented earthworm. A pot worm is a segmented worms that Continue reading [...]
Millipede curls up in tight circle

Hard-Shell Worms that Curl Up Probably Millipedes

One of our readers has asked about "hard shelled worms about 1/2 to 1 inches long that curl into a tight circle when touched. What are these?" Without a photograph, description of where in the house (or the world!) he found it and any additional physical description, we think he's writing to us about millipedes.Read more about brown and black worms that curl up tight hereMillipedes are arthropods, not insects, of the type Myriapoda (meaning "myriad" or 'uncountably numerous' feet --"pods.") As you can easily imagine, the name comes from the up-to-four feet per segment that can be found on their bodies. They all have a single pair of antennae, simple eyes and a mouth on the underside of the head and are known for their shiny hard bodies. All prefer to live in moist areas and feed on Continue reading [...]

Are Sinus Problems Parasite-Related?

One of our readers believes she might be coughing up a parasite that is infecting her sinuses. Since we aren't medical professionals, there is not much we can do to help our reader out in this scary situation. Rather, we think she should see a doctor immediately. Continue reading [...]
bottom of glass terrarium

Will Tiny Worms In Terrarium Kill Plants?

Our reader has begun an eternity terrarium (pictured), and after three days has started seeing white, threadlike worms in the soil. The soil looks like yard or garden soil, which widens the search, but we think the soil introduced nematodes or nematomorpha-- young horsehair worms. Alongside nematodes, garden soil plays host to a near-limitless number of invertebrates and micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoans and algal forms. Each can contribute fundamentally to the recycling of organic matter into topsoil with the vital nutrients that plants need to grow. It’s estimated that as many as a billion of these micro-organisms reside in a single gram of soil. Eggs and tiny larvae can hitch-hike in with these microorganisms, on unwashed rocks and shells, or any other backyard Continue reading [...]
carpet beetle larva

Bug Covered in Small Hairs is Carpet Beetle Larva

a reader found a carpet beetle larva in her home. As long as she finds and removes the primary food source and keeps her home clean, it shouldn't be too difficult to get rid of these creatures.Continue reading [...]
potentially parasitic worm

Worm Found on Skin and in Bathroom

one of our reader's found a worm trying to burrow into her daughter's knee, and several of the worms in her bathroom. We aren't sure which type of worm our reader discovered, but we encourage her to investigate the bathroom for potential food sources, and to take her daughter to the doctor's office Continue reading [...]