“I am finding these dead worms on the pavement and on the exterior wall of my home”, states this reader about the long, black, mangled-looking organism pictured below. “They range in size from 1/2” to 1 ½”. I live in southeast Florida. Thank you.” To start with, we want to thank him for the fantastic photo he provided: it really helps us identify the organism quicker. That said, since this worm looks so dried-out and mangled, we cannot identify this worm with 100% certainty, given the state of its body: we cannot assume that this is what it looked like when it was alive.
“Does anyone know what these brown rice-shaped casings are?” is all this reader asks in her submission regarding the ovate object pictured below. Well, to start with, we want to commend our reader on the excellent photo she has taken: it truly makes things easier when we try to identify the organisms our readers are asking about. When it comes to this particular organism, or potential “casing”, we would say this looks like a pupa. The pupal stage is the third one in an insect’s life cycle: the first being the egg stage, the second being the larval stage, and the third and final being the adult stage (when they have matured into a fully-formed insect, like a moth or a fly).
“My patio furniture and patio has several of these dried up worms and what looks like excrement everywhere”, states this reader concerning the dark green organism with black spots pictured below. “We have a pretty dense canopy of trees but I have never seen this before. Could you help me identify the worm and tell me if this is indeed worm excrement? Thank you.” Firstly, we think that the worms our reader has been finding are caterpillars: the organism’s bulbous head, prolegs, and coloration all point to this fact. That said, the coloration is a bit off: the blackish part of its body almost looks like it has been burnt, and the greener part at its rear suggests it used to be a much more vibrant green. Maybe this is a result of the caterpillar drying out as our reader suggested.
“So I went to your website and I was looking for nightcrawlers but didn’t see the nightcrawlers”, states this reader in his submission. “Do you have anything about nightcrawlers?” he asks. To start with, we do indeed have articles on nightcrawlers. We have even written a post solely on these creatures and what they are. Of course, we are still happy to go over them in this article, seeing as our reader was not able to find this one. That said, for future reference, if any of our readers wish to find a specific organism, all they need to do is press the magnifying glass icon in the top right-hand corner of the website’s home page and type in what organism you want to find. Naturally, if nothing comes up, then shoot us a question!
“I didn’t get a picture, but I can describe something I found under some dirty blankets my cat decided to sleep on”, writes this reader in her submission. “I live in northwest Indiana. Bandit is an indoor-only cat, he gets Revolution monthly, and has tested negative for parasites. When I picked up the blankets, there were three off-white, about two or three inches long, very brittle, long, spiral-shaped (like a spiral staircase) objects. Not moving, did not see any head, or other features. Picked up with gloves and they fragmented instantly. Very regular spiral shape, all exactly the same. Any ideas what that may have been? Not even sure if they were worms. Thanks.”
“I have rediscovered this worm-like mystery from a few years ago and thought maybe you could help!” states this reader in her submission regarding the long, brownish worm-like organism pictured below. “We live in Germany and we’re walking by a lake on a cold day in February when we spotted this creature under the ice; it was wriggling and moving and most definitely alive. Any ideas? Thank you!” Firstly, we must say that this worm is very odd-looking: we have never seen a worm with these markings, not to mention the bursting, bush-like thing at one end of its body. Secondly, we also have to point out the mysterious circumstances under which our reader discovered the worm; it is not every day you find a worm in a frozen lake.
“What type of worm or larva is this?” asks this reader about the dark gray worm-like creature pictured below. “Found in the shower. Location in northern Alabama. Thanks!” To start with, we want to thank our reader for taking such a clear picture: it really helps us get a quick grasp on what the organism might be. In this case, we think this is probably a drain fly larva. Not only does its physical characteristics match that of a drain fly larva, but the location in which it was found also makes sense. As their name suggests, drain fly larvae are usually found in drains. This is because the mother fly will lay her eggs there, specifically on the thin film that forms in drains that are not regularly cleaned.
“From what I have read I think I may have drain fly larvae in my jacuzzi jets”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the organism pictured below. “They are dark brown and when looked at through a magnifying glass, they look like tiny millipedes. Can you please confirm? Thank you!” Immediately off the bat, can we say that these are indeed drain fly larvae: their long, thin dark bodies and tapered ends point to this conclusion. Likewise, the location they were found in matches up with the behavior of drain fly larvae.
“What is this?” asks this reader about the long, thin, white worm pictured below slithering over some big rocks. “It is a live worm as thick as a thread of cotton. Many thanks.” She does not provide more context than this, though based on the photo alone, we would say this most resembles a horsehair worm. Unfortunately, the horsehair worm has garnered an unsavory reputation that is founded in a lot of misinformation. Also referred to as a Gordian worm, because of its tendency to tangle in on itself like the mythical Gordian knot, the horsehair worm is a parasitic worm that only takes insects and other smaller invertebrates as hosts.
“Where do the moth larvae come from?” asks this reader in his submission. “Why are they in my house?” He does not attach any photos to his submission, nor does he provide further context, so we do not know exactly which moth larvae he is dealing with. That said, we will nonetheless provide a brief overview of some of the moth larvae people typically find in their home and why and how they end up there. Moths are insects, and like any insect passes through three distinct stages of life: ‘larvahood’, pupation, and finally adulthood (when they have metamorphosed into a moth).
“I found this worm in my toilet bowl”, states this reader in Turkey about the red-striped worm pictured below. “I had not used this toilet for almost 24 hours. It looks like an earthworm. But I also wonder if it could be some sort of parasite. Thanks for any comment.” Based on the excellent image our reader sent in, we would say this is an earthworm, specifically a tiger worm. These creatures, otherwise known as red wigglers or red Californians, are completely harmless creatures, just like the common earthworm. They are not parasitic, and they do not bite or sting, so our reader needs not worry for her health and safety.
“I found these strange, wriggly guys next to my indoor houseplant that I had watered earlier that day”, states this reader in her submission regarding the long, black worm-like creatures pictured below. “They were squirming around outside of the pot. When I looked in the soil, I saw a few more moving around – maybe brought to the surface after the watering? (For size reference they are on a Kleenex and maybe 1-2 inches long.) My plant group and Reddit are both stumped as to what they are! Sorry for the terrible quality but any ideas would be welcome! I’m located in Toronto, Canada. Thank you!”
“Identity please?” is all this reader writes in her submission regarding the long, off-white worm-like creature pictured below. In any case where the worm photographed is not unique in its appearance and thus instantly recognizable, identifying a worm based only on a photo is nearly impossible without context. For that reason, we will not be able to provide our reader with a concrete identity of this organism: its white color and nondescript body renders this worm generic in appearance, which is makes it all that much harder to pinpoint its exact identity. With that said, what we will do is provide an educated guess and give our reader some pointers as to what she might want to do, depending on what her concerns are.
“There is an infestation of these little worm-type creatures around the walk and foundation of my home in East Central South Dakota”, states this reader in her submission regarding the curled-up, black worm-like creature pictured below. “Any idea what they might be, or how to get rid of them?” Based on the photo, as well as the fact that these have been infesting the area around our reader’s home, we think this creature is a millipede. These critters are arthropods, meaning they have exoskeletons that protect a segmented body. Millipedes are detritivores, meaning they feed on decomposing organic matter, unlike their cousin the centipede, which is a predator that feeds on little bugs.
“I recently saw a program on Discovery Plus entitled ‘MYSTERY AT BLIND FROG RANCH’, states this reader in his submission. He does not attach any photos, but he does provide ample context: “A variety of apparently a marine “worm” was found that I cannot find any information on. The worm is around 3 1/2 to 4 inches long, appears to be segmented, is basically white with black banding which appears to be approximately 1/4 inch in size with 3/8 to 1/2 inches between bands. I would appreciate any assistance you could provide in naming these worms.”
“Please tell me what these nasty terrible awful things are?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the light brown bug pictured below. “They look like tiny worms, but zooming in on the camera you can see they have lots of little legs. They obviously hatch into something because they leave the worm-like shell behind but I noticed them in my car a few weeks ago. I’ve vacuumed like a madman and it doesn’t seem to be getting rid of them: they just keep multiplying and I’m so freaked out by this that I’m almost ready to take a huge loss on my vehicle! Help! I have no idea how to get rid of these things!”
“Please help me identify this ‘worm?’” requests this reader in her submission regarding the pink and brown worm-like organism pictured below. “I live in McKinney, TX and found this guy on a paver in our front garden/flower beds. Unfortunately it was too far gone to save, but I wasn’t even sure I should try! I need to know in case I find another one like it. Is it a good guy or bad guy? Background info: Our property has a lot of millipedes and a few which could be centipedes. (I haven’t bothered about them.) We see very few earthworms and are even considering purchasing some. We do not use general insecticides and never use professional companies. Our natural soil is clay. We’ve added soil for planting and good mulch on top. Your help is appreciated.”
“What are these worms invading my porch, garage and house?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the horde of darkly-colored worm-like creatures pictured below. “And how do I stop them? I have pets and need something that won’t harm them. Thank you.” Firstly, we cannot make out any of the details of the creatures’ physical characteristics, which makes it nearly impossible to identify them without sufficient context, and, other than knowing that these have invaded our reader’s home in great numbers, we do not know anything else about them.
“Can you tell me if Green Tomato worms can be found around Oklahoma?” asks this reader in her submission. She does not attach any photos, though she notes that she lives in Washington County. “I would like to know if they do, so when I start my garden I can be prepared for them.” First off, we assume that by ‘green tomato worm’, our reader is referring to the tomato hornworm. If that is the case, it might be ample to provide some context. The tomato hornworm is a moth caterpillar which is indeed green in color, and which does feed on tomatoes, among other plants.
“Does anyone know what this is?” is all this reader asks about the strange, lobster-shaped organism pictured below. We have never seen anything like it, and it is not particularly worm-like in appearance: this, in conjunction with the lack of context, makes it impossible for us to identify this creature. We also do not know what concerns we could address, since our reader did not make any known to us. For that reason, we will simply do a quick overview of some information that may prove helpful.