“Please help me identify these”, writes Erin about the white, worm-like critters pictured below. “I was doing my weekly sweep and hand mop and found a bunch of these in the dining room by the window. I don’t see any place of entry and I do not know what they are. They have fat little bodies and a reddish brown face. They were all around my table on the floor, over a dozen.” Firstly, we just want to express our empathy with Erin: it really is an unpleasant surprise when you find creatures in your home that were not invited. Secondly, we want to thank her for the great photo she sent in. It really helps us narrow down the possible identifications.
“I found these in my horse trough”, writes Karen about the red worm-like critters pictured below. “They seem to have ‘casings’ of some sort that seem to be ‘absorbed’ by the plastic/rubber trough itself. There are strange “scratch lines” on the side of the trough, and these lines I have noticed elsewhere in my barn. Is it a pinworm? Can pinworms be transmitted through different types of materials? Please, tell me everything. I am in Stafford, Virginia, and these worms were in water. It is October, and the weather has been pleasant. There was recently a huge amount of rain with Hurricane Ian. Can these worms get into wood? Is this the larval stage of something else? Thank you!”
“I found your website on Google and hope you could help me with the worm in the attached photo”, writes Diane in Japan about the little greenish grey creature pictured below. “It is grey with a black head, no legs. I am located in Aichi, Japan, and this is the second time I found it in my house (last night, first time): one time on the wall, the other on the object near the same wall. Both times were around 8 or 9 pm, when the temperature went down to about 26 degrees Celsius. One of my friends said it looked like those you find in vegetables. But it doesn’t explain why I find it two nights in a row when there’s no uncooked vegetables kept in the open air? they are all in the fridge which is three meters away, by the opposite wall. I am honestly worried about the possibility that there may be more of them in the house, whether it is harmful, and how to get rid of it. I’d really appreciate it if you could help me.”
“Found these worms in the backyard and there are a lot!” exclaims this reader in his submission regarding the segmented, yellow worm-like critter pictured below. “I have a small garden there with an orange tree, but the garden is unattended. What are those? They seem to be active in the night and light attracts them I think.” Based on the excellent photo our reader sent in, as well as the helpful context, we would conclude that these are mealworms. Mealworms are the larval stage of the mealworm beetle, which is a species of darkling beetle. As our reader correctly stated, mealworms are nocturnal, and while they are not necessarily attracted to light, they can sense it.
“I found this in my loo”, writes this reader about the long, dark worm pictured below in a toilet bowl. “Please help.” He provides no further context, and we must say that the photo he provided is quite dark and not the best quality, which makes it harder to see the worm’s physical characteristics (other than the obvious ones). With that said, we can still make an educated guess as to what it is, and in any case, we would guess that it is some kind of detritivore. Detritivores are organisms that feed on decomposing organic matter, and there are plenty of worms and worm-like organisms that fit this description, including earthworms and millipedes.
“What the heck is this?” asks this reader in his submission regarding the long line of worm-like creatures crawling on top of each other in the picture below. “I found them on an outdoor rug in the morning in Northern Virginia. What our reader found on his rug is what is referred to as a ‘fungus gnat snake’. Clearly, this is not an actual snake, but it is a horde of fungus gnat larvae. These are the youngest form of the fungus gnat, which is a species of fly that, like most species of flies, feeds on rotting organic matter, as do their larvae. They can usually be found in compost bins when the matter inside has been left for a significant amount of time to rot.
“I found these strange, wriggly guys next to my indoor houseplant that I had watered earlier that day”, states this reader in her submission regarding the long, black worm-like creatures pictured below. “They were squirming around outside of the pot. When I looked in the soil, I saw a few more moving around – maybe brought to the surface after the watering? (For size reference they are on a Kleenex and maybe 1-2 inches long.) My plant group and Reddit are both stumped as to what they are! Sorry for the terrible quality but any ideas would be welcome! I’m located in Toronto, Canada. Thank you!”
“Are these worms in this tree and this black stuff on a rock wall?” asks this reader about the mass of organisms pictured below. “It is from Mansfield, Ohio. Thank you for your time!” Based on the photo, this is nothing we think we have encountered before. The black organisms on the rock do not necessarily look like worms to us, and we cannot make out what organisms we are supposed to be looking at on the tree. Upon zooming in on the photo of the rock, it looks like the organisms could possess wings. That said, the photo makes it difficult to see the details of the organisms’ bodies, so this is merely an educated guess. In any case, we think these could be black bean aphids (otherwise known as blackflies). Usually, they are found swarming plants that they suck the sap from.
“What kind of worm moves together in a braided type circle?” asks this reader in her submission concerning the horde of worms pictured below. “This was found on my driveway in North Myrtle Beach, SC.” We have to say, this is one of the most fascinating submissions we have received from a reader. Especially when looking at the video she sent in (linked below), which shows how the worms writhe and slither over each other in this circle. The act of going round and round in circles is odd, but the pile-up of worms is not for this species of fly, namely the fungus gnat (or ‘sciarid fly’).
“We saw this worm on our morning walk in a suburban, residential neighborhood in Florida, north of Orlando”, states this reader about the long, segmented, light-gray worm pictured below. She also includes a fantastic video which we have also linked below, which shows how this creature wriggles about. “We have never seen one like this before and would like to know what kind it is. Would appreciate any information you can give us about this worm!” Our reader is actually lucky to have seen this creature, as they spend most of their time underground: this is a Florida lizard worm!
“I found this worm while eating my salad from a restaurant”, writes this reader in their submission regarding the translucent worm pictured below. It appears to have visible entrails, a dark head, and a bubble of sorts at its rear. “Can you please tell me anything about it? I’m so worried I’m sick! It’s almost an inch long. Thank you!” Based on our reader’s story, as well as the photo, we have concluded that these are likely fungus gnat larvae. As their name suggests, fungus gnats like to feed on fungi, but they also like other plants as well, in particular young plants.
“What is this?” asks this reader from LaGrange, Texas in her submission. She describes the worm as being “about two inches long and as big around as a pinky finger.”
“Is this a worm?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the orangish-brown, tangled organism pictured below. “And if so, what type is it?”
“I observed hammerhead flatworms on our patio and in our rock garden yesterday in Nolensville, TN”, states this reader in her submission to us. She asks that we give her some tips as to how to “evict them”.
“Found this in my basement and I’m freaked out”, states this reader about the segmented, black worm-like creature pictured below. “Would anyone know what this could be? Thank you!”
“Found both of these in my bathroom sink one day” is all this reader states in her submission concerning the brown-red blobs pictured below. One of them looks like a flat triangle of reddish-brown goo, while the other one looks like it has more shape.
“What is this worm found in a stock tank in Oklahoma?” asks this reader about the white worms with brown stripes pictured below. The worms vary in size, with some smaller worms latching on to the bigger ones.
“This caterpillar looks like a snake”, states this reader in Springfield, Illinois. He refers to the yellow, segmented organism below, which sports two big eyespots and a pattern of spots on its body.
“My grandson found this worm in our yard in the Sacramento area, and we haven’t been able to find it on your site. Could you please identify it?” is all this reader asks in her submission concerning the beige and brown, long worm with the spade-shaped head in the picture below.
“I found something on the floor and thought it was maybe a thin piece of rubber (like a broken rubber band), but when I went to pick it up it moved”, states this reader in Southern Texas. “It moved like a snake but was maybe 4-5” long and very thin and tan in color.”