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.
“What are rope worms?” asks one of our readers in Canada. This is all she writes in her submission, and yet this short, simple question is an excellent one. It’s a question that has been posed many times on the internet, with very different responses coming from all sides. The truth of the matter is that rope worms are not really worms at all. What ‘rope worms’ actually refers to is the mucus that is shed by the human intestines. The point of intestinal mucus is to protect our body from harmful microorganisms that could enter our bloodstream through our intestines, and humans excrete intestinal mucus all the time, like we constantly shed skin. But we do not excrete this music in the rope-like structures that ‘rope worms’ refer to. Excretion of intestinal mucus in this fashion could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems.
“I found odd looking worms and possibly their offspring in our bathroom sink”, writes Vicki in her submission regarding the tiny worm-like creature pictured below. “I had never seen them before. I got one pretty good video that I will attach. Do you have any idea what they are? Also, can they be harmful to humans or dogs?” Now, we must say right off the bat that the quality of the video she sent in (from which the photo was taken) is of quite poor quality, meaning we cannot really see any of the worm’s physical characteristics, other than that it is worm-shaped. For that reason, we will only be able to provide an educated guess as to its identity.
“Is this a centipede?” asks Stacy about the long, yellowish, translucent worm-like creature pictured below. “If not, do you know what it is? I found this on my bathroom rug this morning in Amarillo, Texas. I have heard that these are venomous and have been responsible for fatalities and/or rhabdomyolysis and heart attacks. I hope I am misinformed as I have a small child (along with 3 teenagers) and a dog in the house! Thanks so much!” Firstly, this does look a bit like a centipede, but it is hard to tell given the poor resolution of the photo. For example, from one end of its body we think we can see a pair of antennae, which centipedes do typically possess, but this could very well just be bits of debris in the rug. On top of that, we cannot see the multiple legs sprouting from the sides of its body that centipedes are known for, but when it comes to smaller species of centipedes, these are sometimes hard to see because they are wispy thin.
“These are dropping out of my red oak tree”, writes Steve about the black and white-striped worm-like organism pictured below. “Do you have any idea what this is, or if it will damage my tree?” The creature in question has a segmented body, with vertical white stripes running down its black body. It has a bulbous black head with an orange stripe behind it, and what appears to be thin, white bristles sticking out from its body. Because of the excellent photo that Steve sent in, we are able to identify this as a Datana contracta moth caterpillar.
Recent rains in Texas have brought forth one of our many worm-like friends, the cankerworm caterpillar, and they are invading The Lone Star State by the masses. Cankerworm caterpillars are a species of inchworm, and are the larval form of the hackberry leafroller moth. There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, ‘inchworm’ is a name thrown around a lot in reference to worm-like creatures, and the thing is that the term ‘inchworm’ is almost as broad as its application. The term refers to a whole bunch of moth species that are endemic to the North Americas, and it specifically refers to those moth caterpillars that have legs at the front and rear of their bodies, but not in the middle, forcing them to arch their back as they ‘inch’ across a surface. Secondly, a “leafroller caterpillar” is also an umbrella term, and refers to multiple species of caterpillars which roll the leaves they munch on and hide in them when they need shelter. Lastly, and most importantly, is this newsworthy invasion of caterpillars.
“I found this in my shower”, writes Anita about the yellow, long and thin worm-like creature pictured below. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Your insight is greatly appreciated!” Well, without wasting a minute, we will just right ahead and say that what Anita found is a centipede! That’s not maybe the best news Anita has received all year – centipedes are a common phobia among many, and are feared because of their many legs which they are known for. And it’s true, centipedes can be sort of creepy. There are not that many other creatures on this planet with that many legs: centipedes have a pair of legs sprouting from each of its segments, and on top of that they also have long antennae and pincer-like appendages near their head called forcipules.
“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.”
“Do these little critters look like Mud Worms to you?” asks Janet in North Carolina about the dark worms pictured below. “They appear in the end of my tub after I water the aloe plant that’s just above the tub. They are no longer than a lightning bug and as thin as a toothpick, if not thinner. I’m not sure what the yellow is in the second picture. None of this was in/on the tub last night. Maybe the worm fairy left them. Thank you for your help!” To begin with, we want to address Janet’s first question. No, these do not look like mud worms at all. We are not sure if she had something else in mind when she suggested this identification, because mud worms are aquatic bristle worms, and are covered in the bristles that identify them as such a worm. They also have two long ‘palps’, which are coiled appendages that extend from their head which they use to collect food. They look nothing like the worms Janet found.
“Could you please help me ID these two creatures?” asks “Becky Bee the Buggaphobic” from Eugene Oregon. “One was hanging from an electronic near my bed, and that is swinging back-and-forth in the short video that I’ve attached to this message. The other picture is of a circular glob of spider egg-like material that was also near my bed. However, it was just sitting, dangling like the brown mass, and sort of avoiding light perhaps, under some papers near my bed. I am not sure if the two masses are related nor am I sure what the white worm-like casing is that is pictured — heck maybe different stages of life and same species? The brown circular-shaped mass on the blue paper below was what dangled from the electronic device in the video.”
“What is this thing?” asks Kate, or as she asks us to call her, “Curious Kate in Colorado”. She refers to the big, white object pictured below. “I found it next to my front door! Should I move it? Let it be? It seems stuck, and this spot gets a lot of sun and gets very hot.” At first glance, we thought that this might be an egg sac of some kind – perhaps of some insect or species of spider. And it might be just that. That said, the size of it, as well as the fact that it is “stuck” on there (which we assume means that Kate had a hard time trying to pry it from the door frame) makes us wonder if it could be something else.
“I found these worms in my isopod terrarium”, writes Cynthia about the translucent worm-like creature pictured below. “I have been searching but am unable to find out what worm it is. Would be grateful for some help! The worms are less than 5mm long and this is the clearest photo I could get. The white part is the head and all of them are coloured this way. They are too small for my eyes to see if they are segmented or not. They seem to gravitate towards damp areas in the terrarium. I live in Singapore, which is a warm and humid place. Any ideas?” To begin with, we want to point out how cool it is that Cynthia has an isopod terrarium: it’s not everyday you hear that, and we appreciate her appreciation of such critters.
“This is really bizarre”, writes Sergio about the horde of worms he found inside a light fixture in his eight-floor apartment in Portugal. “I was recovering a room that was not used for many years. The ceiling light was out, so I dismounted the fixture and a lot of dirt was inside (possible biomass, in retrospect). I washed it all out, replaced the light bulb, mounted the fixture and I had light in that room again. A few weeks later I turned on the light and within a few minutes a worm fell from the ceiling. I discarded the worm down the toilet and didn’t think much of it until I caught movement in the light, and I found what you see in the video below. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the balls to dismount it and give a closer look but I’m kinda freaked out, especially because once I unscrew it they’ll start falling through the middle. Any idea what might be going on here? I took this video two weeks after the finding and they’re still moving once I turn on the light. I was hoping they’d die before I took it apart but it’s taking quite a while. I don’t see any opening but one fell through somehow so there should be one. Any idea what that might be? Are those larvae of something bigger or are those the final forms themselves? Is food getting in there? Are they eating each other to survive this long? Did some bug get in there and lay a bunch of eggs or is it possible that the eggs were in there the whole time and when I replaced the bulb they hatched with the heat? Can eggs survive for many years? I’m so confused. Here’s a video: https://youtube.com/shorts/1fQh6eDm1Dg”
“I found this very small black worm in a t-shirt that I left on the ground,” writes this reader in his submission regarding the black worm-like critter pictured below. “I live in the city and I would like to know what this could be. This picture was taken moments after I killed it (which was kind of hard).” First off, we want to note that we never condone killing the organisms our readers find in their homes, unless they are definitely a threat to the person or their pets, or if infestations of the given organism are particularly severe (eg: carpet beetle larvae). Secondly, we want to address the identity of the creature. At first we thought it could be some kind of clothes pest, based on the fact that our reader found it on his shirt. However, this critter does not really look like any of the common clothes pests. So, what is it?
“Can you help me identify this?” asks Cheryl about the white and brown, organic-looking matter pictured below.” I live in Las Vegas and found this while cleaning my broom.” Firstly, we must point out that the matter in the photo does not have any recognizable characteristics of a living worm-like organism, especially the two oddly-shaped, brown pieces of matter next to the long, white thing, which looks more like it could have something to do with worms. Secondly, we want to bring attention to the brown object nearer the bottom of the photo, and the seemingly translucent nature of what looks like folded pieces of thin material. We think this looks like it could be the shed skin of a larva or full-grown insect.
“I found this worm in our bathroom,” writes Christina from Texas. She refers to the long, yellow creature pictured below, of which she also sends an excellent video of it slithering around. “It has no legs but it does have two antennae. It’s flipping and slithering like a parasite. Please help. What is it? Thank you.” From the photo and the video, we would say that this organism best resembles a centipede. Centipedes are infamous for their many pairs of legs which sprout from the sides of their bodies, which make a lot of people fearful of them. Because of these many legs, all of which move in unison, they can appear to be slithering over surfaces, especially when their legs are as thin as this one’s, making the legs hard to see with the naked eye.
“I am finding these tiny dark brown worms all over my cubicle desk at my work”, writes Una in San Diego about the darkly-colored creature pictured below. “I’ve also found tiny worms in green also. I’m freaking out because I read on your post that they could be flea worms!? I do have dogs but I haven’t seen any worms like this at home. I live in San Diego, California.” The photo alone does not really help us much, unfortunately. Even when zooming in, the worm looks like nothing more than a black blob. Additionally, Una does not send any photos of the green worms she mentions.
“I found this worm on my sink, what is it?” is all Shelley writes in her submission regarding the long, thin, dark-colored worm pictured below. Unfortunately, the photo is of a poor resolution, and the lighting is also poor, meaning that it is impossible for us to make out the finer details of the creature’s physical characteristics. Because of this, it becomes very difficult for us to identify the organism based on its appearance, and without any context, it becomes virtually impossible.
“Is there something in the carpet or is it just old/cheap?” asks Laura in La Mesa City, San Diego county, California. “It was professionally cleaned about two weeks ago. Additionally, and not 100%, I positively believe there are some creatures with white heads and darker bodies in the soil of a Money Tree that is on our catio. I’m used to the drain fly larvae or whatever that stuff is but these just seem different. Also, I do NOT feel anything in or on my body. These look too small to be carpet beetle larvae but my entire carpet looks like that. My photography skills are horrible and I could not get a good shot of these lines that run through the substrate. In conclusion, I have touched them but cannot just pick them up; they seem too deep. Sorry for yet another paranoid sounding inquiry; I just don’t want to get in trouble with property management. Thank you.”
“Found in a potted Spearmint plant”, states Terri in her submission regarding the glossy, segmented, worm-like creature pictured below. “North-Eastern North Dakota. The plant was not growing very well. Wondering if this may be why.” From what we can tell, the worm in question has a clearly segmented, brown body, though we cannot see much else, and this is unfortunately the result of a blurry photograph. If the photo were clearer, we might be able to make out if the caterpillar has legs, or if it has any other distinguishable markings that would set this critter apart from other worm-like organisms.