Category: Worms Facts
Pink Worms Showing Up After Heavy Rain are Tubificid Worms
“What are these things?” asks this reader in his submission regarding the pink, translucent worm pictured below. “I live in Phoenix, AZ and these came out after very heavy rain. They washed up in the flooded water onto my patio. I have attached photos. Transparent and small, I photographed them with a toothpick for size reference. Thank you in advance.” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the excellent photo. We can see in such detail the minute physical characteristics, such as entrails visible through the worm’s clear skin, which is really helpful. Likewise, the context he provided is also super helpful. Both of these things together have led us to identify this worm as a tubificid worm.
Jagged, White Organisms Found in Couch Might be Immature Red Triangle Slugs
Two, strange-looking creatures were found by Gary, a reader whose issue we only recently covered in “an article on what we identified as potential pupae” or debris. Shortly after we covered his story about the “two little guys” he found on his “couch after [he] spent the night sleeping on it”, he sent us new pictures. Here is what he said: “Actually I sent you the wrong picture. The one that I sent you was of them days later. Attached is them right after I found them. Closest thing that I’ve found is from Australia, but theirs has an open triangle on them as mine are filled in. Very similar otherwise.”
Brown Worm on Stuffed Animal is a Beetle Larva
“I saw something tiny moving on a stuffed animal, and upon taking a closer look, it was a tiny brownish worm, with a pointy ‘tail’, that hastily started hiding when I tried to pick it up”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. “I shook the stuffed animal out over the bathtub – and here is what I saw (luckily only this one ‘worm’). What is it? Thank you.” Unfortunately, the photo and video our reader sent us were taken in quite poor lighting, which makes it harder to see the finer details of the critter’s physical characteristics.
Clump of Red Worms in Toilet is a Mass of Tubifex Worms
“Came home after being away for a month to find a clump of long, thin, reddish-brown worms living in my downstairs toilet in water that looked dirty”, writes this reader in Southern California regarding the worms pictured below. “Didn’t note heads on the worms or segmentation. Any help would be appreciated!” To start with, we want to thank our reader for the great photo. It was thanks to this photo, as well as the context, that we have identified these as tubifex worms. Tubifex worms, otherwise known as tubificid worms, sewage worms, sludge worms, or bloodworms, are a marine species of worms that eat bacteria and organic debris in sediment.
Goopy-looking, Orange Worm is a Mystery
“What is this worm?” is all this reader asks in her submission regarding the orange, worm-shaped object pictured below. The thing looks rather goopy; we might even go so far as to say it does not look completely solid. As much as our reader has captured a striking photo, we must say right off the bat that we have no idea what this is. It doesn’t seem to have any distinguishable features, like eyespots, segmentations, appendages, or varying coloration. It just looks like a cream-colored blob. On top of that, without any context whatsoever, we would not be able to identify the creature based on any other factors.
Segmented Worm on Daughter’s Leg Could be a Caterpillar
“This was stuck to my daughter’s leg after a day of being outside in the garden”, writes this reader about the segmented, brown creature pictured below. “It didn’t bleed when I pulled it off but was definitely stuck to her. It did curl up when I pulled it off. We are in Connecticut. What is it?” Right away, we have to point out that we will only be able to make an educated guess as to what this creature could be. The reason for this is that our reader’s photo is low resolution and was taken quite far away from the creature, meaning that when we zoom in to try and get a better look at the creature, the details become blurry.
Black Bug with Many Legs Could be Duff Millipede
“Really appreciate your response to my last question where you surmised, based on poor photos, that I had carpet beetle larvae/maggots”, writes Billy in his submission regarding the spiky, black, worm-like critter pictured below. “However, I continue to have these random appearances from these creatures, and the behaviour didn’t seem to make sense. I’m attaching what I hope are better pictures, where you can see that these creatures have legs rather than bristles. As mentioned previously, they seem to appear in random places on the wall (high level) and ceiling but always gravitate towards bright areas of the room. I’d appreciate it if you can have a re-look at the attached. Thanks.”
Long, Brown Worms Could be Horsehair Worms or Flatworms
“Are these guys horsehair worms?” asks this reader about the two long, brown worms pictured below. “Picture was hard to get but I did manage to catch two in one picture. I live in Northern Alabama.” It would have been great to receive more context in this instance, as the photos he sent in are slightly blurry. We understand, of course, that it was hard for him to capture the photo, which tells us the worms might have been moving pretty fast. Horsehair worms are typically found on land after having just burst out of their host insect (as they are parasites which develop inside insects), while they look for a mate. So, if these were horsehair worms, it is possible that they are about to mate.
Gray Worms Swarming Laundry Basket are Newly-hatched Caterpillars
“What is this?” is all this reader asks about the minuscule, gray, worm-like creatures pictured below. They seem to be swarming a laundry basket. Despite the lack of context, and the low resolution photo, we do have a couple of suggestions for that these critters could be. Given their gray coloration and bulbous black heads, these look like newly-hatched armyworms or American ermine moth caterpillars. It is odd that our reader found them on her laundry hamper, only because neither of these species feed on textiles, like the clothes moth caterpillar or the carpet beetle larva.
Clear Worm on Toothbrush Causes Health Concerns
“I found this in my bathroom while I was brushing my teeth”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the tiny, pinkish, worm-like creature pictured below. “I had just gotten out of the shower and had a towel wrapped around my hair. While I was brushing my teeth over the sink this thing fell from somewhere, and I almost threw up at the thought of it coming from my tooth brush. Please help so I can get peace of mind or go to a doctor.” Firstly, we want to express our sympathies for our reader, as finding a worm when brushing your teeth cannot be a pleasant experience. Secondly, we do suggest that our reader see a doctor.
Orange Worm on Bed is a Scarlet Malachite Beetle Larva
“What are these orange worms and how do you get rid of them?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the critter pictured below. “Live in a thatched apartment. Found on the bed.” Based on the fantastic picture, we think our reader found a scarlet malachite beetle larva. The scarlet malachite beetle belongs to a family of beetles called soft-winged flower beetles (Melyridae). Many of the larvae that belong to this family look similar: three sets of prolegs, a bulbous, darkly-colored head, and a segmented body. It is native to Great Britain, but was also introduced to North America in the 1800s. Unfortunately, the scarlet malachite beetle is quite rare in Britain today, as it is considered a protected species.
Carpet Beetles and Cream-colored Worms Invade Linen Closet
“I found these larva-like creatures in the bottom of my linen closet, where I found beetles coming from an enclosed space where it is difficult to get to clean”, writes Jeanna in her submission regarding the black, speckled beetle pictured below. “These beetles have brown larva, so I know it’s not their larvae. Besides, one of these worms is much longer than the others, leading me to believe they are not larvae at all but perhaps worms or some other creature. They are tiny. I couldn’t see them with my naked eye; they just looked like dust balls. But when I took a picture with my phone camera and magnified it, these worm-like creatures appeared. They are cream-colored, with a black spot on one end that seems to be a head or eyes. There are different lengths of them here. I found more of them in other locations in my house, in varying humidity levels: at the base of the toilet, behind my sofa, on the baseboard of the hallway, on the rug in my bedroom, behind the washing machine, etc. What do you think they are?”
Pink, Microscopic Debris in Shower Needs a Professional’s Eye
“Are these worms?” asks Rene in their submission regarding the pink object pictured below. “This is a high resolution photo of ‘debris’ in my shower drain and in my bathroom that are not visible to the naked eye. Thank you.” Rene sent in multiple photos, the first of which we included below (and the only one showing a worm-like organism), and we are not sure which photo Rene is referring to as being “high resolution”, or if they accidentally forgot to send in that picture, because none of the photos included in the submission were high resolution. Like the photo below, they were all very blurry.
Colorless, Long Worm Could be Lint
“What is this?” is all Shawna asks in her submission regarding the thin, translucent object pictured below. Suffice to say the photo is quite blurry: all we can tell about the object Shawna is asking about is that it seems to be clear, long, and hair-thin. The only worm that comes to mind is the horsehair worms, though they are not colorless like this one: they tend to be black or white in color. Without any context, it will also be impossible for us to identify the worm based on information that could have given away its identity, such as the location in which it was found, or if it was found on or near a pet’s food or bedding.
Red Sesame Seed-like Objects Found in Stool Cause Concern
“I have been having these weird things in my stool for a long time now”, writes this reader about the ovate, red objects pictured below. “They look like red sesame seeds but they are not something I ate. Do you know what they are or where I can send this picture for assistance? I have had several stool tests but no results!” To begin with, we have to say immediately that we will not be able to tell our reader what they are, and the reason for this is because of her medical concerns. In any situation where a reader has a medical concern, or believes that an organism is in any way affecting their health, we cannot involve ourselves so far as identifying the relevant organism. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified or legally able to do so, as identifying such organisms is tantamount to providing a diagnosis, which only a medical professional can do.
Tiny, Segmented Creatures in Bedroom are Duff Millipedes
“Can you identify this tiny creature?” writes Timothy from the South West of England regarding the gray and black, segmented critter pictured below. “They appear on the walls and ceiling of the bedroom, possibly originating from the window but cannot locate a source. I saw a similar post that was unresolved but think I have a better picture, see below. They’re around the size of the body of an ant or smaller. Hope you can help.” We have to commend Timothy on his photography here: to capture a tiny creature in such detail can be pretty tricky, but he did just that! And it greatly helps us identify the organism.
Dozens of Brown-striped Worms Under Bed are Carpet Beetle Larvae
“We have a problem with dozens of worms under the bed”, writes this reader about the brown-striped bug with bristles on its rear pictured below. “The first issue happened about 1.5 years ago. We found lots of worms under the bed, then made sure to clean it all up, by moving the bed and every closet in the room, and made sure the floor was clean. Then, we kept looking under the bed for several weeks and made sure they didn’t get back. We thought the worms may be related to food, so we made sure no food would enter the bedroom. Yesterday we found out there is a new occasion of the worms, again under the bed. This time we know it’s not related to food, we wonder maybe they are related to the wood of the bed, but we’re still trying to figure out what it is. Location is Israel. Thanks.”
Dark Brown-striped Worms in Bathroom Could be Carpet Beetle Larvae
“I am finding a ton of these tiny worms in my bathroom”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the tiny, dark brown critter pictured below. “I vacuumed and sprayed some pest spray, but within two days they’re back in full force (close to 100 worms will cluster up within a week). I’ve done this at least four times. I RARELY see them move. It’s like they show up and 90% are immediately dead? At first I thought it was drain fly larvae, but we’ve never seen a single drain fly. After seeing your articles on CARPET beetles, I’m noticing it looks identical, but it’s weird that it’s only by our toilet! We struggled last fall with cigarette beetles, but now I’m wondering if they were carpet beetles. Again, the beetles were only in the bathroom (but in the shower, not by the toilet). Help! Here are photos of the worms!”
Pink Worm in Washer is a Palm Flower Caterpillar or a White-blotched Heterocampa Caterpillar
“I was washing towels and removing them from the washer and found this worm in the bottom”, writes this reader about the pink, worm-like organism pictured below. “I am a new renter in this home. Please help. What is it ? How can I prevent this from happening again? Thanks for your help!” Based on the photo alone, though it is quite blurry, we would say this looks like a palm flower caterpillar or a white-blotched Heterocampa caterpillar. Neither species of caterpillar is harmful to humans, though we do suggest avoiding physical contact, as allergic reactions can still occur.
Brown-striped Bugs on Couch Cushions are Carpet Beetle Larvae
Segmented, brown larva-like creatures were found on the couch cushions of this reader’s couch, pictured below. Her story is as follows: “We went in to tidy up a guest room ahead of some relatives visiting. There is a couch in the guest room – it’s only a few years old (we had purchased it new) and is rarely used (maybe a handful of times a year), except as a napping spot for our cats. We noticed some small larvae on the couch cushions towards the end of our clean up. At first I just started picking these up with a tissue, but became concerned, so I emptied our handheld vacuum that we had just used to vacuum the couch onto a white trash bag to see if I could see any others. I’ve included photos below, but am having trouble identifying what they might be as they are varied in size and color. Any insight would be appreciated! There were quite a number of them. Thank you!”