“I have been finding 3-5 brown and black worms in my shower occasionally (every few days)”, states this reader about the long worm-like organism pictured below. “I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia in a home built in the 60s. Sometimes these worms are brown and black combinations, sometimes they are all black. Last week one was alive in the shower while I was showering and it appeared to be attached to the edge of the shower with its mouth like a leach, while its body waved around in the water. They appear to be worms, however. I usually find them dead in the shower before I start the water; apparently they come up out of the drain after I shower and leave the bathroom, and then dry out and die once the water has evaporated. They don’t appear to be earthworms, and they’re too large to be drain fly larvae. I’ve attached a couple pictures of one I found a couple days ago. I will check back to see if anyone can help identify these guys. Thanks!”
While the water and bubbles make it a tad difficult to make out the finer physical characteristics of this worm, we can see where a stripe runs the length of its body, dividing it into its black and brown colors. This stripe almost makes it look like the worm is twisting around; at first, we thought this worm looked circular, but given this detail, it might not be. This has us thinking that this might be a flatworm. Flatworms are predatory worms that feed on insects, larvae, snails and other flatworms. They are not directly harmful to humans, though they can secrete toxins which may cause irritation and/or pain if touched. It is these same toxins they use to hunt other creatures: one of them paralyzes their victims, and the other quite literally dissolves them.
With that said, it would be strange for a flatworm to make its way up a drain, as they typically do not go underground, which is usually how worms (and other worm-like organisms such as drain fly larvae) find their way up people’s drains: through a leak in an underground pipe. So, with that in mind, this could very well be an earthworm: our guess about the body not being circular is really just that, a guess. Like we said, the details in the photo are a bit muddled. Now, our reader does not think that this is an earthworm, which we understand given the coloration, but it should be noted that there are multiple species of earthworms, and they come in all kinds of colors. There are even species of earthworms which are an electric blue color.
To prevent worms from coming up one’s drain, it is important to clean those drains consistently, using boiling water and bleach (or some other effective cleaning agent). Likewise, if our reader notices the following things: foul-smelling or -tasting water, discolored water, and/or changes in water pressure, he might want to contact a professional to check if there is a leak and to have that fixed. This is really the best our reader can do to prevent more worms from coming up his drain. We wish there was a quicker, more permanent solution.
In conclusion, we are not entirely sure what these worms are, though they could be flatworms or earthworms. We hope this helps our reader and we wish him the very best!
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