“I found this strange-looking, dark brown worm in my toilet, just floating there,” states this reader about the organism pictured below. She thinks it was already there before she used the toilet, and she asks if we know what the creature is.
Based solely on the physical characteristics of the creature, which appears to be segmented and have three sets of prolegs, we would say that this is a caterpillar of some sorts. What species exactly, we do not know. At first, we thought it could very well be an inchworm, given its slender, long body, but given that we cannot see legs on the other end of its body, this identification was quickly dismissed.
In any case, if the caterpillar was found prior to our reader using the toilet, then we do not think she has anything to fear. Additionally, it does not resemble any common household pests that we know of, so we do not think the presence of this caterpillar indicates an infestation. That said, it is always worth checking the rest of the home for more creatures when one finds a worm-like critter. If our reader does not find any more caterpillars, then this is likely a one-off incident. The caterpillar probably ended up in the toilet by mistake; it could have been brought in by our reader on a plant or on her clothes, or it could have crawled through an open window or door. Likewise, it may have come through a tear in a window screen, as many bugs can enter the home this way.
With all of that said, if our reader starts to suspect that the caterpillar did come from her, or that it is, in any way, negatively affecting her health, then we urge her to seek medical consultation. In this case, what we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.
3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
In conclusion, the creature our reader found in her toilet is a caterpillar. We do not think she has anything to fear, but if she does start to suspect that her health has been impacted by the presence of this caterpillar, then we recommend seeking the advice of a medical parasitologist. We hope this article helps, and we wish her all the best!
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