We just heard from a reader who was alarmed to find a bunch of little black worms on her sponge while doing dishes. She said that the sponge normally sits on another sponge-like surface that doesn’t get cleaned very often and wonders if this could be the source of the worms.
After she discovered the creatures, she threw out the sponge and the surface and cleaned her sink several times with bleach, vinegar, and hot water. She also used some Tilex to clean the surface, but this attracted more worms. She was too grossed out to take a picture, but found a photo that was very similar to what she witnessed. She said the worms were very small, black, thin, and had triangle-shaped heads.
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She requests answers for several questions: What are these creatures? How do I properly dispose of these and prevent them from returning? Is there a specific way to clean the area where the worms were? Are these worms harmful to skin or general medical health?
We cannot be totally certain without a photo of the actual specimens, but we believe our reader is not dealing with any worm but with drain fly larvae. These tiny black larvae prefer moist environments and are discovered regularly in kitchens and bathrooms. These larvae are not harmful, but in their adult fly form they can be quite annoying. Drain flies and their larvae breed and eat in stagnant water, so it is likely that the spongy surface the sponge was sitting on was where these creatures were residing. Getting rid of the drain fly larvae involves some thorough sanitation and efforts to eliminate food sources and excess moisture. Our reader should clean the drain of her kitchen sink with a pipe cleaning gel designed to attack organic material. She should also check that the faucet and pipes are tight, and not leaking out any extra water. Throwing out the sponge and sponge surface were a great start, and she could continue by cleaning the outside and inside of the garbage bin in case there is grime lining the bottom or sides. Finally, she should clean the cabinet or area under the sink as well. Our reader also might want to consider a different way to store her sponge. Although these larvae and flies are not welcome guests, they are not harmful!
To summarize, a reader discovered drain fly larvae in a sponge in her kitchen. We wish her the best of luck in getting rid of them!
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