“I’m attaching a photo of an orange type of worm”, begins this reader in her submission about the six-legged creature pictured below. “I found one at the end of my bed sheets, one in between the slats of my window blind in the bathroom and three of them at different times in the kitchen. Two of the ones in the kitchen (only one found at a time) had crawled into my Brita water filter at the top near where the charcoal filter is. I had it sitting on the counter when I left the lid off. The other one was just crawling on a tea canister. These were all seen in a span of two-three weeks. They seem to be less than a half inch long. What are they? Thanks in advance for your help.”
“I have been finding 3-5 brown and black worms in my shower occasionally (every few days)”, states this reader about the long worm-like organism pictured below. “I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia in a home built in the 60s. Sometimes these worms are brown and black combinations, sometimes they are all black. Last week one was alive in the shower while I was showering and it appeared to be attached to the edge of the shower with its mouth like a leach, while its body waved around in the water. They appear to be worms, however. I usually find them dead in the shower before I start the water; apparently they come up out of the drain after I shower and leave the bathroom, and then dry out and die once the water has evaporated. They don’t appear to be earthworms, and they’re too large to be drain fly larvae. I’ve attached a couple pictures of one I found a couple days ago. I will check back to see if anyone can help identify these guys. Thanks!”
“I found these silvery things moving at the bottom of my toilet bowl when I urinate,” states this reader in his submission regarding the translucent shape pictured below. “I thought it might just be the warmer liquid mixing with the cooler liquid – it kind of swirls. I’m gonna attach a video. Oh, by the way, I’m in Dallas Texas but was in the Navy and have traveled to many countries. I apologize for the language.” Firstly, we want to thank our reader for his service and let him know that the language is absolutely fine: we want our readers to be as direct as possible when they give us the context of their situation, as it helps us get the clearest grasp on the situation we can get. Secondly, we must say that this does not resemble any organism that we know of. It really does just look like swirls of liquid.
“We saw this worm on our morning walk in a suburban, residential neighborhood in Florida, north of Orlando”, states this reader about the long, segmented, light-gray worm pictured below. She also includes a fantastic video which we have also linked below, which shows how this creature wriggles about. “We have never seen one like this before and would like to know what kind it is. Would appreciate any information you can give us about this worm!” Our reader is actually lucky to have seen this creature, as they spend most of their time underground: this is a Florida lizard worm!
“I have been living with extreme dust in a newly constructed complex”, writes this reader in her submission to us. She includes a plethora of images, three of which we have selected and included below. They seem to show pieces of matter and potential organisms of all shapes and sizes, ranging from white, translucent larvae-like organisms to a dark-colored beetle of some sort. “Last year they said I had carpet beetles, then case bearing moths, but things just keep getting worse and they are insisting that I have no pests and are imagining everything. I have spent so much money and time on this. My apartment is spotless and clean.”
“Is this a hammerhead worm!?” asks this reader in her submission about the gray, slimy-looking worm-like creature pictured below. We actually cannot tell if it is one or two organisms, though we suppose it does not matter much. “I was horrified to find it in my toilet! Thanks.” We understand how our reader feels, as it is never a pleasant experience to find uninvited guests in one’s home, let alone in one’s toilet. And to confirm: yes, this is a hammerhead worm. Our reader may already be familiar with hammerhead worms, as she correctly identified this one, but in case she is not, the basic facts include: Hammerhead worms are predatory worms, though they are not significantly harmful to humans or pets (unless one keeps insects or snails for pests). They feed on insect larvae, snails, slugs, and other hammerhead worms. They are excellent trackers and possess amazing capabilities, such as the ability to regenerate severed body parts and to liquefy their prey.
“When I came out of our northern Minnesota lake in early October (cooling off on a warm fall day), my legs and swim trunks were covered in over 100 small dark brown to black larvae/worms”, writes this reader to us in his submission. “My guess is that they detached from the weeds that I had walked through and floated onto my legs. It is a deep (50 ft) soft bottom lake. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera to take any photos. I saw an article on midge fly larvae but none of these were lighter-colored (all very dark) and they were all about 3 mm (0.1-inches) in length and 1mm (0.04-inches) in diameter? I would not call them slender. They didn’t fall off easily but I was able to brush them off. My neighbors say they have never seen this before and we had multiple new (to our lake) watercraft put in at our shore this summer so my main interest/concern would be whether this might be some sort of invasive species.”
“What is this?” is all this reader asks about the brown-striped organism with a tail pictured below. Usually, when readers provide no context, it is difficult to identify the organisms in the picture, as we have only their appearance to go on. However, in the case of this little critter, we have seen their like so many times that we know exactly what this is. This is a carpet beetle larva. If any of our other readers have been following our articles for some time, they are probably familiar with this little bugger by now. Carpet beetle larvae are infamous for infesting people’s homes and chewing up all their clothing and furniture, and that is because they will munch on anything that is made from materials that are organic. This includes cotton, wool, silk, feathers and leather, and people can commonly find them in their wardrobe, on their carpets and rugs, on and under their beds, and in their attic. They will even eat loose strands of hair and fur.
“I found this on my floor”, states this reader about the slimy, translucent, white worm-like organism pictured below. “Are they worms?” she asks, concluding her short submission. Now, as is the case with most submissions with little to no context, it is difficult to identify the organisms in the picture unless it is a common and easily recognizable creature. Unfortunately, we do not recognize this creature just by looking at it: its shape is almost tadpole-like, and its almost complete transparency makes it look like a wad of mucus. We would have needed more context to figure out what this might be.
“I found this worm on my sofa”, states this reader in her submission regarding the segmented, pink worm-like organism pictured below. “It’s the third one I’ve found over the last month – all on the sofa. I am unsure if it’s from my dog (who lounges with us), or an infestation from another source. I’m including a picture for help! Thanks!” Based on the photo, we would say this is a caterpillar of some kind, meaning the larva of a butterfly or moth, though what species in particular we are not sure. We thought it could be a palm flower caterpillar, though the color of its head is darker than most palm flower caterpillars. Alternatively, we thought it might be a leafroller caterpillar, based on its shape and feature, though most leafroller caterpillars are not this pink, but more green.
“I live in South Louisiana and have recently been having worms in my bed sheets”, states this reader in her submission regarding the minuscule organism pictured below. “They are black to white in color. I think they might be moths as I have let some clothes stay outside in the laundry room, but would like a more clear identification.” Upon zooming in on the photo, we would say that these are probably not moth larvae, but rather flea larvae. Not to worry though, flea larvae are not harmful to humans or animals, unlike their adult counterparts. While the adult flea is an external parasite (ectoparasite) that attaches itself to the skin of mammals and sucks their blood, their larvae solely feed on dead insects, faeces, hair, fur and other dead or decomposing organic matter.
“What larva is this?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the brown-striped organism pictured below, which seems to be digging into a piece of food. “It looks similar to a carpet beetle larva, but that doesn’t make sense. I’m in the Southwest United States, and carpet beetles are in Europe, right?” Now, there are a few things to unpack here from our reader’s submission, and we will start with her first question: what larva is this indeed? Well, we think she is right in comparing it to a carpet beetle larva, as it really does resemble one, and that is exactly what we think it is.
“I live in Toronto, Ontario, and was wondering if you could identify this worm/larvae”, states this reader about the white worm-like creature pictured below. “This small larva, which is approximately half an inch in length, was found in the bathroom and may have been an intestinal parasite (due to how it was discovered). It moves quickly and seems to have six small appendages and a segmented upper body. It has a small reddish brown “head.” It looks closest to a clothing moth larva, but the body shape is not the same and it is physically flatter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.” Now, since our reader states that he thinks it may be an intestinal parasite, we cannot identify this organism for him. This is because we are not medical professionals, and are thus not qualified or legally able to identify any organisms that affect the health of humans or animals.
“I am getting earthworms in my home”, states this reader in her submission. She attaches a picture of a long, pink organism, though the details of the photo are a bit muddled, so we will just have to take our reader’s word for it that this is an earthworm. “I have not determined the point of entry. I expect it is my back door, although the seal and sweep appear to be okay. I get several in the house after a rain. Help, it is gross to step out of bed next to a worm! Thanks.” First of all, it makes sense that earthworms are coming out in the rain, as that is typical of earthworms, as well as all underground-dwelling organisms. The reason they do this is because, when it rains, their burrows get filled with water, so they must rise to the surface to breathe.
“I started to see these worms around my house”, states this reader in his submission about the cream-colored worm-like creature pictured below. “I cannot seem to figure out the source”, he finishes, providing no further context. Now, the photo he sent us is quite blurry, so it is difficult to distinguish any of the physical characteristics of the organism other than its color and shape. From what we can see, this is probably some type of larva, though what species in particular is hard to say. There are countless species of insect larvae that have long, ovate, cream-colored bodies. Of the ones most commonly found in people’s homes, this would most likely be a moth larva or a fly larva (maggot), though that does not exactly narrow it down, given that there are thousands of species of moth larvae and fly larvae.
“Can you identify this please?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the minuscule, black, twisted-looking organism pictured below. “This was coughed up”, she explains, though she does not add anything else in her submission. Regardless, we will not be able to identify this organism, and the reason for this is because it came from her body. Any situation in which an organism comes from a person or animal’s body must be presumed to be medical in nature, as we cannot risk making an identification that will be misconstrued as a diagnosis. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to make these kinds of identifications in the first place. What we can do is point our reader in the direction of some resources she can use to find someone that is qualified to answer her questions and identify what came out of her nose.
“What kind of worms are these and how do I get rid of them?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the translucent, dark-headed creatures pictured below. “They are coming into my house through my microwave (which is my vent hood over my stove) and the bathroom exhaust fan. That’s the only place I’ve seen them but there are always a lot of them. I live in Southwest Louisiana in a double-wide trailer.” To start with, we think these are larvae of some sort of insect: likely a moth or fly. We think this due to their translucent white bodies, which is a common characteristic of moth and fly larvae. However, we do not know specifically what species they would belong to. Since the larvae are coming in through the vents, it is likely that the mother insect laid her eggs in the vent, coming in through the outside. As such, the context does not give any clues as to the species they belong to.
“I found this worm-like creature on my pillow today”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the light brown, striped critter pictured below. “I need help identifying what it is, and would like any other helpful info you may have. It has some strands coming out of one end of it. Thank you!” Firstly, we want to thank our reader right back, for sending in her submission to us. Secondly, we want to present our reader with an identification: the worm-like creature she found is a carpet beetle larvae. Unfortunately for her, carpet beetle larvae are notorious house pests which can spawn massive infestations that can damage a lot of the items in her home.
“I found an earthworm in my washing machine”, states this reader in her submission, which does not include a picture of the worm. “It was not in the clothes before I put them in the machine. How could it get in there? And what should I do to get rid of more? Thank you!” To answer our reader’s question in short, earthworms can come up through drains, and that is likely how it ended up in the washing machine. The reason earthworms come up through people’s drains is usually because there is a leak in the pipes somewhere underground. To see if she might be experiencing a leak, our reader can be on the lookout for the following signs: smelly water, foul-tasting water, changes in water pressure, and inconsistencies in water temperature.
“I’ve been noticing these dried worm-like creatures around my wooden floor in my bedroom”, states this reader about the small, brown organism pictured below. “I find them every morning. They are always curled, dried, brownish-looking, and around 1 cm (0.4-inches). Can you please help me identify? Thank you.” From the pictures our reader included, we think she is finding dead earthworms around her bed. It is curious that she is finding these worms here. When earthworms come into people’s homes, they tend to come up through people’s drains, usually as a result of a leak in the drain pipes underground. However, how so many earthworms ended up in our reader’s bedroom is a bit of a mystery. All we can do in this case is guess.