A reader recently wrote to us about a creature she noticed on her shower curtain. She explained that she washed the curtain and hung it up to dry outside a few days before she found the specimen, so she isn’t sure if it came from the outdoors or from her shower/bathroom. She threw out the shower curtain and cleaned her whole bathroom, but she is still worried about what the creature was. This is the photo she sent us:
Since the specimen is so tiny, we can’t say much about its appearance. It appears to be black and we don’t see any notable features like antennae, legs, or other appendages. We aren’t exactly sure what this specimen is! If it hopped on the shower curtain while it was hanging out to dry outside, there are practically endless possibilities as to what it might be since so many different worm-like creatures are tiny and dark colored. If it came from our reader’s shower or bathroom, then we think it is probably a drain fly larva.
Drain fly larvae are extremely common household pests. They can live anywhere that has ample moisture and some organic material to feed on, but they are typically discovered by our readers in sink, toilets, and showers. An ideal habitat for a drain fly is the grime that builds up inside a drain. Adult female drain flies lay their eggs in this organic build up, the eggs then hatch, the larvae emerge and begin eating, and the cycle continues. Our reader mentioned she already cleaned her bathroom, but just in case she didn’t already, we recommend that she scrub out all of the drains. She should use a cleaning agent designed to kill organic material and a pipe cleaning brush. Once the grime is gone, the drain flies and their larvae shouldn’t be an issue!
To summarize, one of our readers discovered a tiny organism on her shower curtain, which we think might be a drain fly larva. Since she already cleaned her bathroom and threw out the shower curtain, we don’t think she needs to spend any more time worrying about these creatures!