Brittle, Spiral-shaped Worms Could Have Been Dried-up Millipedes

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“I didn’t get a picture, but I can describe something I found under some dirty blankets my cat decided to sleep on”, writes this reader in her submission. “I live in northwest Indiana. Bandit is an indoor-only cat, he gets Revolution monthly, and has tested negative for parasites. When I picked up the blankets, there were three off-white, about two or three inches long, very brittle, long, spiral-shaped (like a spiral staircase) objects. Not moving, did not see any head, or other features. Picked up with gloves and they fragmented instantly. Very regular spiral shape, all exactly the same. Any ideas what that may have been? Not even sure if they were worms. Thanks.”

To begin with, we want to say that it is a shame our reader did not get any pictures, as that makes all the difference when we are trying to identify a worm, especially in this case, where the spiral-shape of the worms sounds very peculiar. The only thing it reminds us of is a millipede that is either playing dead, or is indeed dead: they tend to curl up into ‘C’ shapes. We suppose if the millipede was long enough, it might curl up into a spiral shape when it dies. If we run with this theory, then it would make sense how brittle the millipede was if it was dead, considering that millipedes tend to die inside people’s homes from drying out.

Photo of Millipede Curled into ‘C’ Shape – from Previous Article

Likewise, the fact that they “fragmented” upon touch would imply that those millipedes have been under those blankets for a very long time in order to dry out so completely. But this also has us doubting if these even are millipedes, or organisms to begin with. Even our reader herself is not sure if these are worms. Perhaps they are dried up twigs? It is difficult to say without any visual information.

Now, our reader mentions that her cat is on medication for parasites, but if she is concerned that these worms are tied to any health issues on part of her cat, then she should take the cat to the vet and disregard the information above. Only a medical professional can diagnose and treat parasites. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to identify parasitic organisms.

To conclude, we are not entirely sure what these spiral-shaped worms could be, though our best guess is that they are dried up millipedes. Of course, if our reader has cause to believe they are parasitic, or might be harming her cat in some way, she should instead consult the opinion of a vet. We hope this helps and we wish our reader the very best!

 

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Summary
Brittle, Spiral-shaped Worms Could Have Been Dried-up Millipedes
Article Name
Brittle, Spiral-shaped Worms Could Have Been Dried-up Millipedes
Description
"I didn’t get a picture, but I can describe something I found under some dirty blankets my cat decided to sleep on", writes this reader in her submission. "I live in northwest Indiana. Bandit is an indoor-only cat, he gets Revolution monthly, and has tested negative for parasites. When I picked up the blankets, there were three off-white, about two or three inches long, very brittle, long, spiral-shaped (like a spiral staircase) objects. Not moving, did not see any head, or other features. Picked up with gloves and they fragmented instantly. Very regular spiral shape, all exactly the same. Any ideas what that may have been? Not even sure if they were worms. Thanks."
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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