Author: Worm Researcher Anton
Host of Worms Infesting Coconut Palm Trees Include Caterpillars and Millipedes
“Many of our coconut palms that have been here for more than 30 years are suddenly dying”, starts this reader in her submission regarding the palm tree and the associated worm-like creatures pictured below. “The man that trims the fronds and fruit took the attached photos. The critters look like caterpillars and maybe something that is larvae. The creature with the stripe on its back almost looks like a millipede of some sort, maybe? It’s not clear if the creatures have created the problem OR there is some other problem which the critters are taking advantage of for their reproductive pleasure. I am located in Hawaii on the island of Hawaii.”
Fuzzy-looking, Black worms Invading Home are Caterpillars
“I’ve found small, black, almost fuzzy-looking worms on and around the entrance door, the concrete patio at the doorway, and in every room, mostly on the floor!” exclaims this reader in his submission regarding the creature pictured below. “Seems I’ve crushed about a million, flushed a bunch, washed them down the shower drain, sprayed home defense and even peppermint mixed with water, but can’t get rid of these pests! What are they and what can I do to keep them gone? I live in a basement apartment in North-East TN, near the VA., Tennessee state lines! Thank you for taking my question!”
Shiny, Gray Bugs on Bathroom Floor Could be Beetles or Silverfish
“For the past six months, I have been seeing these tiny worms, or creatures that look like worms, on my bathroom floor”, writes this reader concerning the gray critters pictured below. “They are not near the drain and that is what made me write to you, because I saw previous posts and you mention that these worms hang out near drains. We keep our bathroom clean, and once a month I put bleach down the drain with hot water. But I still see them come not only on the floor, but on the bathtub, sometimes on the window porch, they’re practically everywhere. I live in a house near London. Can you please advise what to do? Many thanks.”
Pink Worms Showing Up After Heavy Rain are Tubificid Worms
“What are these things?” asks this reader in his submission regarding the pink, translucent worm pictured below. “I live in Phoenix, AZ and these came out after very heavy rain. They washed up in the flooded water onto my patio. I have attached photos. Transparent and small, I photographed them with a toothpick for size reference. Thank you in advance.” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the excellent photo. We can see in such detail the minute physical characteristics, such as entrails visible through the worm’s clear skin, which is really helpful. Likewise, the context he provided is also super helpful. Both of these things together have led us to identify this worm as a tubificid worm.
Jagged, White Organisms Found in Couch Might be Immature Red Triangle Slugs
Two, strange-looking creatures were found by Gary, a reader whose issue we only recently covered in “an article on what we identified as potential pupae” or debris. Shortly after we covered his story about the “two little guys” he found on his “couch after [he] spent the night sleeping on it”, he sent us new pictures. Here is what he said: “Actually I sent you the wrong picture. The one that I sent you was of them days later. Attached is them right after I found them. Closest thing that I’ve found is from Australia, but theirs has an open triangle on them as mine are filled in. Very similar otherwise.”
Brown Worm on Stuffed Animal is a Beetle Larva
“I saw something tiny moving on a stuffed animal, and upon taking a closer look, it was a tiny brownish worm, with a pointy ‘tail’, that hastily started hiding when I tried to pick it up”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. “I shook the stuffed animal out over the bathtub – and here is what I saw (luckily only this one ‘worm’). What is it? Thank you.” Unfortunately, the photo and video our reader sent us were taken in quite poor lighting, which makes it harder to see the finer details of the critter’s physical characteristics.
Little Worms and Black Eggs Plague the Body of this Concerned Woman
“I vomited this animal”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the gray organism pictured below. She wrote to us in German, so the following is a rough translation: “Got little worms in me. They lay black eggs through the skin, these will fly. White coating comes out of my tongue and gums, and black eggs come out of it. If I touch meat with my hands, these things develop like in the mouth. Please answer quickly, nobody takes me seriously.” Right off the bat, we will unfortunately have to say that we will not be able to identify these “worms”, because this situation is clearly medical in nature.
Clump of Red Worms in Toilet is a Mass of Tubifex Worms
“Came home after being away for a month to find a clump of long, thin, reddish-brown worms living in my downstairs toilet in water that looked dirty”, writes this reader in Southern California regarding the worms pictured below. “Didn’t note heads on the worms or segmentation. Any help would be appreciated!” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the great photo. It was thanks to this photo, as well as the context, that we have identified these as tubifex worms. Tubifex worms, otherwise known as tubificid worms, sewage worms, sludge worms, or bloodworms, are a marine species of worms that eat bacteria and organic debris in sediment.
Big, Segmented Worms on Bed Could be Snakes or Millipedes
“What type of worm is this?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the big, segmented worm-like creature pictured below. “I recently found three of them in my home. One was on the floor, while the other two were on my bed and on my blankets. It is really creeping me out. And the worst part is I can’t figure out what it actually is. Is it a worm or a baby snake?” In this instance, it would have been really helpful to have a video of the creature, as that would help us determine what this is. The picture alone is unfortunately not enough for us to give a definitive answer to our reader’s question.
Worms in Kitchen and Garage are Hammerhead Worms
“I found this critter in my kitchen last night”, writes this reader about the worm-like creature pictured below. “I live in Phoenix, AZ, where it is very hot and dry (usually about 115 in the summers) – low desert. We had a big rainstorm come through over the weekend and I’ve started finding worker/swarmer termites since the storm on the first and second floors (not sure if that’s related, so I wanted to include it). I have a good amount of houseplants, two of which are new. They were in my garage yesterday and the night before and I brought them in last night after treating them with a systemic insecticide and letting the soil dry out after watering through. They were brought in about a half hour before I saw the critter, and they were kept separate in another room about six feet from where I found this guy. (Again, not sure if related and wanted to mention it.) The critter has two clear antennae (pincers? snail-like eyes?) that are barely visible in the video. It’s a brownish color on top with a light/clearish underside. It appears to be mildly “fuzzy”, not sure if those are hairs or legs or something else. I’d appreciate any insight you can provide.”
Goopy-looking, Orange Worm is a Mystery
“What is this worm?” is all this reader asks in her submission regarding the orange, worm-shaped object pictured below. The thing looks rather goopy; we might even go so far as to say it does not look completely solid. As much as our reader has captured a striking photo, we must say right off the bat that we have no idea what this is. It doesn’t seem to have any distinguishable features, like eyespots, segmentations, appendages, or varying coloration. It just looks like a cream-colored blob. On top of that, without any context whatsoever, we would not be able to identify the creature based on any other factors.
Segmented Worm on Daughter’s Leg Could be a Caterpillar
“This was stuck to my daughter’s leg after a day of being outside in the garden”, writes this reader about the segmented, brown creature pictured below. “It didn’t bleed when I pulled it off but was definitely stuck to her. It did curl up when I pulled it off. We are in Connecticut. What is it?” Right away, we have to point out that we will only be able to make an educated guess as to what this creature could be. The reason for this is that our reader’s photo is low resolution and was taken quite far away from the creature, meaning that when we zoom in to try and get a better look at the creature, the details become blurry.
Black Bug with Many Legs Could be Duff Millipede
“Really appreciate your response to my last question where you surmised, based on poor photos, that I had carpet beetle larvae/maggots”, writes Billy in his submission regarding the spiky, black, worm-like critter pictured below. “However, I continue to have these random appearances from these creatures, and the behaviour didn’t seem to make sense. I’m attaching what I hope are better pictures, where you can see that these creatures have legs rather than bristles. As mentioned previously, they seem to appear in random places on the wall (high level) and ceiling but always gravitate towards bright areas of the room. I’d appreciate it if you can have a re-look at the attached. Thanks.”
Long, Brown Worms Could be Horsehair Worms or Flatworms
“Are these guys horsehair worms?” asks this reader about the two long, brown worms pictured below. “Picture was hard to get but I did manage to catch two in one picture. I live in Northern Alabama.” It would have been great to receive more context in this instance, as the photos he sent in are slightly blurry. We understand, of course, that it was hard for him to capture the photo, which tells us the worms might have been moving pretty fast. Horsehair worms are typically found on land after having just burst out of their host insect (as they are parasites which develop inside insects), while they look for a mate. So, if these were horsehair worms, it is possible that they are about to mate.
Gray Worms Swarming Laundry Basket are Newly-hatched Caterpillars
“What is this?” is all this reader asks about the minuscule, gray, worm-like creatures pictured below. They seem to be swarming a laundry basket. Despite the lack of context, and the low resolution photo, we do have a couple of suggestions for that these critters could be. Given their gray coloration and bulbous black heads, these look like newly-hatched armyworms or American ermine moth caterpillars. It is odd that our reader found them on her laundry hamper, only because neither of these species feed on textiles, like the clothes moth caterpillar or the carpet beetle larva.
Clear Worm on Toothbrush Causes Health Concerns
“I found this in my bathroom while I was brushing my teeth”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the tiny, pinkish, worm-like creature pictured below. “I had just gotten out of the shower and had a towel wrapped around my hair. While I was brushing my teeth over the sink this thing fell from somewhere, and I almost threw up at the thought of it coming from my tooth brush. Please help so I can get peace of mind or go to a doctor.” Firstly, we want to express our sympathies for our reader, as finding a worm when brushing your teeth cannot be a pleasant experience. Secondly, we do suggest that our reader see a doctor.
Two Years of Burrowing Organisms Causes “Misery” for Man Seeking Help
“After two years of misery, I finally dug out from a burrow this parasite, three days ago”, writes this reader about the organisms pictured below “Please help me identify it. I have nowhere to turn. The one I dug out has the worm body. The other is the same I believe without the body. Please help me.” Unfortunately, we will not be able to help our reader in the way that he wants us to. The reason for this is because our reader believes he is dealing with parasites, which makes his situation medical in nature. We are not medical professionals, and so we are not qualified or legally able to identify any organisms that could negatively affect the health of a human or pet.
Orange Worm on Bed is a Scarlet Malachite Beetle Larva
“What are these orange worms and how do you get rid of them?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the critter pictured below. “Live in a thatched apartment. Found on the bed.” Based on the fantastic picture, we think our reader found a scarlet malachite beetle larva. The scarlet malachite beetle belongs to a family of beetles called soft-winged flower beetles (Melyridae). Many of the larvae that belong to this family look similar: three sets of prolegs, a bulbous, darkly-colored head, and a segmented body. It is native to Great Britain, but was also introduced to North America in the 1800s. Unfortunately, the scarlet malachite beetle is quite rare in Britain today, as it is considered a protected species.
Carpet Beetles and Cream-colored Worms Invade Linen Closet
“I found these larva-like creatures in the bottom of my linen closet, where I found beetles coming from an enclosed space where it is difficult to get to clean”, writes Jeanna in her submission regarding the black, speckled beetle pictured below. “These beetles have brown larva, so I know it’s not their larvae. Besides, one of these worms is much longer than the others, leading me to believe they are not larvae at all but perhaps worms or some other creature. They are tiny. I couldn’t see them with my naked eye; they just looked like dust balls. But when I took a picture with my phone camera and magnified it, these worm-like creatures appeared. They are cream-colored, with a black spot on one end that seems to be a head or eyes. There are different lengths of them here. I found more of them in other locations in my house, in varying humidity levels: at the base of the toilet, behind my sofa, on the baseboard of the hallway, on the rug in my bedroom, behind the washing machine, etc. What do you think they are?”
White Worm Sticking Out of Carpet is a Clothes Moth Larva
A woman in Texas has been finding all sorts of critters across her home, including the white, worm-like creature pictured below. Her story is as follows: “Since mid-July, I have dealt with the repercussions of forgetting to leave my A/C on during the day time, and coming home two or three times to see that my thermostat read 90°F or higher. Here is one of the many bugs I’ve come across after. I’m assuming some eggs hatched in the midst of the extreme heat. This particular one I found in my carpet, burrowed upside-down where I can see the butt sticking out from the carpet. Along with others that are along my baseboards, and black, cocoon-type things the size of rice. There have been moths and flies, as well as carpet beetles that are tiny. And long, oval-shaped, brown-with-light-brown patches all around my house (we live outside of town in west Texas, where the dirt blows and the heat/rain brings all the bugs inside). Can you tell me what kind of larvae these are? They’re literally everywhere.”