Bristly Black Worm-like Critter Found in Toilet is a Black Soldier Fly Larva

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“I’ve found this worm/larva a few times recently in one of my toilets”, states our reader from South Carolina in his submission regarding the black, segmented worm-like critter pictured below. “At first I thought it was a leaf that might have fallen off my dog’s face, but when I saw it the second/third time I noticed it was moving. It’s about 3/4-1” long, about 1/4 wide and 1/4” high. It’s dark brown/black, segmented, has hairs (legs?) at the lower side or underside, and moves like a caterpillar. The narrow tapered end seems to be the head as that’s the direction it crawls. No one has used the toilet prior to finding them. YES, my dogs do drink from the toilet. I’m concerned now that I see it’s alive, that it may be coming from my dog as he drinks? It does look similar to a few things I’ve seen on your site, but finding them in the toilet is throwing me. I’m located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and have seen them four times in the past two weeks. Thanks for any guidance you can offer.”

Based on the photo alone, we would say this looks like it could be one of three things: a black soldier fly larva, a soldier beetle larva, or a black carpet beetle larva. Out of these three options, we are most inclined to say these are black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), and this is based mostly on one of our reader’s key comments: that the tapered end of its body seems to be its head, something which is true of BSFL, but not of soldier beetle larvae or carpet beetle larvae. That said, we agree with our reader that finding these in the toilet is odd, thought of the three species, this location seems most fitting for the BSFL, given their diet which consists of decomposing organic matter, which there is plenty of in a bathroom.

BSFL are not harmful to humans or pets. In fact, they are one of the safest larvae you could find in this world, and arguably one of the most environmentally beneficial. Some hail the BSFL as the saviour of climate change, given their incredibly efficient process of breaking down waste products, as well as their edibility (they are safe to consume raw, but can be boiled, steamed, baked, deep-fried, etc.) and high nutritional content. Of course, they would only prove a saviour if people actually started eating BSFL, which is not common worldwide.

Now, with all of this said, our identifications are not always 100% fool-proof – we have been wrong before. So, if our reader is concerned about his dog’s health, he should nonetheless take it to the vet, where he can also show the vet the pictures he sent us and ask if there may be any risk involved here. But, if it turns out these larvae are not affecting his dog, then we would say they are BSFL, and they likely ended up in his toilet, because either the mother fly laid her eggs somewhere close by, or they crawled up through the pipes. In any case, if our reader moves the larvae outside and properly cleans his toilet and bathroom (and keeps cleaning it regularly), we think he should be able to eliminate and prevent any potential infestations.

In conclusion, we think that the bristly, black worm-like creatures our reader found in his toilet are black soldier fly larvae. They are nothing to be feared, though we understand that finding larvae in one’s toilet is not a pleasant experience either way. We hope this article helps, and we wish our reader the very best!

 

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Bristly Black Worm-like Critter Found in Toilet is a Black Soldier Fly Larva
Article Name
Bristly Black Worm-like Critter Found in Toilet is a Black Soldier Fly Larva
Description
"I’ve found this worm/larva a few times recently in one of my toilets", states our reader from South Carolina in his submission regarding the black, segmented worm-like critter pictured below. "At first I thought it was a leaf that might have fallen off my dog's face, but when I saw it the second/third time I noticed it was moving. It’s about 3/4-1” long, about 1/4 wide and 1/4” high. It's dark brown/black, segmented, has hairs (legs?) at the lower side or underside, and moves like a caterpillar. The narrow tapered end seems to be the head as that’s the direction it crawls. No one has used the toilet prior to finding them. YES, my dogs do drink from the toilet. I’m concerned now that I see it’s alive, that it may be coming from my dog as he drinks? It does look similar to a few things I’ve seen on your site, but finding them in the toilet is throwing me. I’m located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and have seen them four times in the past two weeks. Thanks for any guidance you can offer."
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