“I went to take a bath before work and felt something moving on my knee”, writes this reader about the white, worm-like creatures pictured below. “I grabbed it, thinking nothing of it and it started squirming in my fingers. I found 11 of them in the water with me, and I clean my tub before every bath I take. My boyfriend later that night took a bath, and not a single sighting of one, and I extensively looked! It was small, short, and white with a brown head. Is it me who is infected or my water?” To begin with, we think our reader found some kind of insect larva in her tub, as that is what these most resemble. What species in particular is hard to say, as a white body with a dark head is about as generic a description as you can find of an insect larvae: beetles, moths, and flies all share larvae that fit this description.
“What are these?” is all Judah asks in his submission regarding the translucent worm-like creatures pictured below. The creatures seem to have black heads and a dark stripe on their bodies, which, given their translucent skin, appears to be their entrails. Even though Judah does not provide any context along with his photo, which is usually essential to us narrowing down a given creature’s possible identities, we are able to identify these critters based on their appearance. We think these are fungus gnat larvae.
“I found this worm, see attached image, when cleaning up a mess my dog made, poop,” writes Brandon in his submission regarding the teeny tiny worm-like critter pictured below. “It was mostly liquid and I’m not sure if it was in my dog’s faeces or if it was just nearby. I do not know what kind of worm or larva this is. Description: translucent, dark spots on both ends. About three sets of legs located near its head.” Based on Brandon’s description of the creature, as well as what we saw when we zoomed in on it, we think he has found himself a beetle larva.
“This was found in a pool in Boca Raton, Florida”, writes this reader about the long, black, worm-like creature pictured below. “What is it?” At first glance, given the length and color of the worm, we thought it might be a New Guinea flatworm: an invasive species of flatworm that was discovered in the United States not so long ago, in 2012. However, upon looking at the creature’s not-so-flat shape, and the way in which its body twists in a manner unlike that of a flatworm, we have concluded that this is not a worm at all, but a snake.
“?Can you please identify this strange-looking worm?” asks Bryan about the odd-looking creature pictured below. “It’s approximately six-inches long, and if you zoom in it looks like it has eyes all over its body, very strange! I took this video in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina.” Well, Bryan might be surprised to know that those are indeed eyes all over the “body”, though it isn’t just one body, but many. This isn’t just one worm, it’s a moving pile of them, kind of. They’re not technically worms, but larvae: specifically, fungus gnat larvae.
“What is this I found in my room?” asks Christina about the green, worm-like creature pictured below. “I have no idea what this is but it freaked me out. I think it might have come from my cat. Either way, I feel itchy now. I ended up deep cleaning my sheets.” To us, this creature looks like a caterpillar: based on its green coloration, patterned skin, and the shape of its body. That said, it is difficult to tell exactly what it looks like, given that it is curled up into a ball. This is typical behaviour of many caterpillar species though. They do this when they feel threatened. But it must be said that other species of worm-like creatures also display this behaviour, like millipedes, so it does not necessarily indicate that this is definitely a caterpillar.
“My mother lives in northern Michigan and her garage has become infested with (what she has been told are) black worms”, writes John about the pile of what does look like black worms. “I have included two pictures. For the past two weeks, she has been clearing the worms out of her garage at least three times per day. Each time, she is able to fill 1-2 dustpans full of the worms. They are located primarily along the walls of the garage. Can you please let me know what these worms are exactly? And, can you let me know how I can help my mom get rid of the worms (and prevent them from coming back)? Thank you!”
“What kind of worm is this?”, asks Elvira about the black worm-like creature pictured below. “Or is it a caterpillar? Found it moving across the rug in my living room! It had a matte black-like shell with what appeared to be ‘holes’ along its back, was about 2-3 inches long, and its head had two oval-shaped eyes on top of it. I live in Houston, TX. Thanks.” The creature Elvira found is not a worm, but indeed a caterpillar, so her second guess was correct! In particular, this is a velvet armyworm moth caterpillar. We have covered armyworms many times before, in particular the fall armyworm, the most infamous of them all.
“Are you able to identify these?” is all Carol asks in her submission regarding the beautiful, black worm-like critters pictured below. This is definitely one of the best photos we have received in a while. It captures in such detail the unique appearance of these creatures: their pattern of white polka dots and yellow markings, the long red stripe that runs the length of its back, and the horn sticking out from the rear end of its body. Typically, it is still difficult to identify some organisms without more context, even if the photo is good, but this photo is so clear that we managed to identify these guys with no context. These are leafy spurge hawk moth caterpillars!
“I found this in my backyard the other night while digging up roots”, writes Marlene about the milky-white, worm-like creature pictured below. “I have never seen anything like this before, and it is quite ugly. It was about three inches long, rather chubby, and black on one end, with what looked like purple veins going through it. I live in southern New Jersey (Gloucester County). There are no lakes or ponds close to my yard. Just curious about what is living in my yard and possibly creating a family. Thank you.” Well, based on the excellent photo that Marlene sent in, we think that the “ugly” worm-like critter she found is a wood-boring beetle larva.
“What are these worms?” asks Ruby about the group of yellow creatures with brown heads pictured below. “They are mainly in the bedroom but there are also some in the living room. I live in Katy, Texas. Thank you.” Well, we thank Ruby for the excellent photo she sent in. We can clearly see their dark yellow coloration, as well as the segmentation of their bodies, which has us concluding that these are mealworms. Mealworms are not actually worms at all, but larvae. Larvae are young insects that look a bit like worms. Their goal at this stage of life is to eat as much as possible so that they can store up energy for pupation: the stage that comes before adulthood. During pupation, they metamorphose into their adult form, like a caterpillar (which is a larva!) metamorphoses into a butterfly or moth.
“Yesterday I found this little semi-transparent whitish worm with a darker end just outside of my bathtub”, writes Christina about the worm-like organism pictured below. “Today, I found two more in the tub and one on the ledge. I have no idea where they’re coming from but it’s hard to believe it’s from the drain because they are terrible at walking and climbing. They start to climb up and just roll down when the walls get too steep. They are small (about 2-3mm). I haven’t found them anywhere else inside or outside the house and there are no flying insects that I’m aware of. I live in Southeast Lower Michigan.”
“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.
Michelle writes to us her daughter found a caterpillar-like creature (pictured below) on her leg when walking home from the library. “She did go into one of her friend’s yards and knocked on their door: they weren’t home so she continued to walk home via the road. She didn’t go into any bushy or forested areas on the way home but found this little caterpillar thing crawling on her leg. So, we wanted to identify it and find out what kind of caterpillar or larvae it is. We did notice that it created a silk or web-like substance.” Based on the photo, we agree that this looks like a caterpillar. Unfortunately, the lighting in the photo makes it hard to see what color the caterpillar really is: we think it looks yellow, but that could also be the lighting. It could very well be a light green or gray color.
“What kind of caterpillar is this?” asks Heather about the pink caterpillar-like creature pictured below. “When I saw it I Googled ‘Is there such a thing as a pink caterpillar?’ and your website came up with the article about the lady in Arizona. After reading that article I don’t think my pink caterpillar is the same kind as hers, as I live in Missouri and this one was found in a wooded area. So, can you tell me what kind it is? I thought my son was kidding when he told me to come look at a pink caterpillar. Please identify it for me? Thank you!” To begin with, we want to commend Heather’s son for his discovery and his curiosity – you don’t see a pink caterpillar every day. We also want to thank Heather for the fantastic photos and videos she sent in, two of which we included here.
“These tiny worm/caterpillar critters have been out on the patio the past few weeks”, writes Debbie about the fantastical-looking, worm-like creature pictured below. “The one in the attached photos is a larger one, which is still small (I have my pinky in one of the photos for reference). It crawls around like a caterpillar and can raise — what I’m guessing is — it’s head to investigate where there’s something in its path. I’ve lived in this particular home for six years and this is the first time I’ve seen them. I’d like to find out what they are in case they’re a problem or poisonous. I live in Ventura County California, approx 2 miles away from the coast. Thanks for your help!”
“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 live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and today found these larvae or worms on a towel on the floor by my bed”, writes John from Calgary, Alberta, Canada about the striped, worm-like creature pictured below. “My two dogs also sleep in the bed. Please help!” Based on the photo alone, we can tell that this is a carpet beetle larva. This is because we have written about these critters more than any other worm-like organism on this site. If one were to judge what the most commonly-spotted critters in one’s home were, they would think that carpet beetle larvae are right up there with spiders and house flies. But that is not really true: despite being common, not everyone is as likely to find these in one’s home.
“I found this on my kitchen floor, I need to know what it is”, writes Sandra in her submission regarding the slimy-looking, dark green worm-like creature pictured below. “I live on the coast of North Carolina, 30 minutes from the beach. I recently brought in a large plant from outside. I have a small dog and don’t want her eating something like this. Can you please identify this for me?” Based on the photo Sandra sent us, we would say this most resembles a cutworm. Cutworms are the caterpillars of moth species whose larvae (the caterpillars) dig underground and eat on the stems of plants, thereby cutting them down and earning their name.
I found this kind of worm on my bed”, writes Heeae about the white, translucent worm pictured below. “I don’t put sheets on my bed, only plastic to cover it. At first, I thought it was from my food, but after I thoroughly inspected it, I couldn’t find any other worms. I cleaned my bed and the surroundings, and almost forgot about it. Then, today the worm was there again. It’s so tiny, less than 1cm (0.4-inches), a little bit transparent. I’m so scared that if I went to sleep, it would be on my body. And I’m in Indonesia.” Our first instinct would be to identify this as a clothes pest, but Heeae seems to refute this possibility, stating clearly that she does not use sheets on her bed. That still has us wondering if she does not have a duvet or pillows, because those types of materials would also attract clothes pests.