A reader of ours found two worm-like creatures in a toilet at an Air BnB and wonders if we have any thoughts as to what they might be. The creatures in question appear to be black and white in coloration, with a segmented body striped black and white, a sharply-pointed tail, and a bulkier head sprouting two antennae.
Our reader specifies that the creature is as long as a fingernail and wriggles slowly. Additionally, the part of the creature without the antennae “elongates about 50% when moving”, which we believe is what this second image that our reader captured demonstrates. We want to thank our reader for providing such high-quality images. Unfortunately, there are not any common pests of the bathroom that resemble the creature our reader found. By stating that it “elongates” itself, they make it sound as if it is a larva or worm of some sorts, but the antennae and shape of the creature suggests it is more mature than a larva.
The tumbling flower beetle is the bug that we think resembles what our reader found the most, though we cannot be sure that that is what this is. These beetles tend to be 1/4-inch long, which matches the description our reader gave, yet their natural habitat is on flowers or decaying logs and have not been recorded invading homes and showing up in people’s bathrooms. For that reason, despite the resemblance, we think it’s less likely that these are tumbling flower beetles. If they were, they must have ended up there by some strange accident. Perhaps our reader has flowers in or near their bathroom, and the beetles were attracted. Either way, given the segmented body and antennae, this creature does resemble some kind of beetle larva.
In order to receive a more informed and specific identification, we recommend that our reader brings the larvae to their local county extension office or entomology department at a near university. There our reader will be able to find people trained to distinguish specifically between various species of beetle larvae, and other insects and creatures. Of course, we cannot be sure these are beetle larvae, but that is nonetheless our best possible educated guess.
To conclude, we are unsure as to the identity of the creatures our reader found. Their shape, antennae and segmentation make us want to assume they are the larvae of some species of beetles, but the description of them “elongating” points to them being the larvae of some creature. The second photo especially, where the creature looks entirely different from the other two photos, has us questioning what this creature may be. If any of our other readers have any clue as to the identity of the beetles, they should feel free to comment below. Luckily, our reader found these in an Air BnB and will not have to deal with these long-term!