All posts by Worm Researcher Evan

earthworm in shower

Earthworms in the Shower?

A reader wrote to us recently about some worms that she found in her shower. As she notes, they look like earthworms, but they are "smaller and thinner." The reader is uncertain how they ended up in her shower, but she offers some speculation: they might have come from the drain, or she might have brought them in herself, maybe in her hair, as she took a shower after taking a hike. Our reader is wondering what she found, and she is also wondering if she should be worried about the worms that turned up in her shower. Continue reading [...]
worm in cat hair

Worms Caught in Cat Hair

We received a puzzling question recently about some worms that our reader found in the hair of her cat. The worms (or whatever they are) have been caught in the cat's hair on a couple of different occasions, and the reader is concerned that they might be harmful to her cat in one way or another. They might just be getting caught in the cat's fur, posing no threat, but they also might be "something worse feeding off him [the cat]." The reader offers a lot of information and a picture, so we'll try to make some sense of the situation with what we were presented with. Continue reading [...]
Horsehair worm by nail

Long, Red Worms in the Toilet

We recently received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about "two red worms in the toilet bowl." The worms were "10 cm long, thin, like one millimeter in diameter, and alive, even in the water, they were still moving." The reader didn't actually ask for an identification, but instead asked if the worms might be parasites. This is his main concern, and we will focus on this question, although the answer is of course tied to what exactly the reader found, so we'll touch on the matter of identification as well. What might the red worm in the toilet be, and are they parasitic? Continue reading [...]
red and orange caterpillar

Red and Orange Caterpillar on Apple Trees

We received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about red and orange caterpillars that a reader recently found on an apple tree. To call them "red and orange caterpillars" is at once insufficient and overreaching. It is insufficient because the creatures aren't only red and orange; they have black heads and legs, and some orange parts of their bodies might just as easily be described as yellow. White hairs also cover their bodies, and they are striped lengthwise, from head to tail. We overreach, however, in claiming without explanation that these creatures are caterpillars. The reader identifies them as worms, so we must explain why we think they are instead caterpillars. This explanation is of course tied to the matter of identification, which is what the reader is wondering about, and to that topic we now turn. Continue reading [...]

Worm or Larva on Lawn that Makes Noises?

We received an interesting question from a reader through the All About Worms Facebook page about a "greenish grey worm" that his cat found on his lawn. The worm (or probably larva) is "2-3 inches long and had rings around it so he looked like a bunch of inter-tubes stacked on each other." However, the defining characteristic of the creature is that it made noise. The reader was wondering what kind of worm or larva he (or technically his cat) found. Continue reading [...]
carpet beetle larva in Spain

Carpet Beetle Larvae or Bed Bugs in the Apartment?

A couple of days ago we received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page from a reader who recently moved into an apartment in Valencia, Spain. Unfortunately, his girlfriend has been waking up with bite marks that look like they might be the work of bed bugs. However, both the reader and an expert could find no trace of bed bugs in the apartment. This led our reader to speculate that he might have found carpet beetle larvae, as these larvae have small hairs that can cause skin irritation that look like bed bug bites, just as the reader noted. He sent us a few videos and asked us to comment on the matter. Continue reading [...]
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