Long-tailed, Black and White-striped Worms Found on Bathroom Floor are a Mystery

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“Found about 10 of these on my bathroom floor”, states this reader about the black and white-striped worm-like creatures pictured below. “Less than a centimeter each. I have cats and a dog. I live in Kentucky. It just warmed up into the 70s for the first time this week, in case that would matter. Thanks!” To start with, we must thank our reader for the excellent picture she sent: the details are clear and the lighting is excellent, which makes it much easier for us to get a grasp on what kind of worm or worm-like creature this might be. That said, we must admit that we have never seen anything quite like these. From their shiny silver heads, to their black and white stripes, to their oddly-angled bodies, and finally to their gray, hooked tails: they almost look like artificial fish bait.

It looks like a mix between a caterpillar and a rat-tailed maggot, though that hybrid is most definitely impossible. Unfortunately, we do not think we will be able to give our reader a confident identification on this one. Perhaps it is a distant relative of the rat-tailed maggot, given its similar, long tail. Rat-tailed maggots are the larvae of the drone fly, so perhaps this is also the larva of some fly species. Of course we cannot be sure of that, since we do not know what this is. And on that note, we recommend that our reader stay cautious if and when handling it. In fact, we suggest she doesn’t directly handle it at all. Physical contact with unknown organisms can result in allergic reactions, especially if they are able to secrete some type of fluid (not to mention that we do not know if these can bite or sting!). We recommend that she scoop these larvae up onto a dustpan with a brush and move them outside.

Generally speaking, when it comes to finding organisms in one’s bathroom, there are a few things one might want to do and check to figure out why those creatures ended up there. Typically, when any kind of organism shows up in one’s toilet (or any of one’s drains for that matter), it’s because there is a leak somewhere in the plumbing underground. Our reader can check for signs of a leak by paying attention to the water: Is the water pressure inconsistent? Is it lower than usual? Is the water discolored or dirty-looking? Does the water smell or taste strange? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then she might want to contact a professional to have a look at her plumbing to see if there is a leak. Additionally, organisms have also been known to show up in bathrooms if the bathroom has not been used or cleaned in a long time: ensuring that one employs a consistent cleaning regime in one’s bathroom (and entire home) is key to preventing organisms from being attracted to that home.

To conclude, we are not sure what these worms are: we have never seen anything quite like these. If any of our other readers have any ideas as to what they could be, they are more than welcome to share their insights in the comments section below. That said, if our reader really wants to know what it is and soon, then she might want to consider taking some of the worms to her local county extension office where someone will be able to physically examine them. They might have a better chance at identifying the worms. Although we were not able to provide a concrete identification, we hope something in this article proves useful. We wish our reader the very best!


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Long-tailed, Black and White-striped Worms Found on Bathroom Floor are a Mystery
Article Name
Long-tailed, Black and White-striped Worms Found on Bathroom Floor are a Mystery
"Found about 10 of these on my bathroom floor", states this reader about the black and white-striped worm-like creatures pictured below. "Less than a centimeter each."

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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

2 thoughts on “Long-tailed, Black and White-striped Worms Found on Bathroom Floor are a Mystery

  1. Hello-

    We have these in our home as well! Found multiple in our bathroom one day, all appeared to be dead- and recently, found a few on our stairs inside our home. We have no idea what they are, or where they are coming from. This is the only post we have ever seen that has a photo of these “worm-like” creatures and we are stumped as to what they are, and frankly, a little grossed out. We do not wear our shoes in our home, and only have an indoor cat- this is not something that we have dragged in. I called a pest control service, and they sprayed our home for roaches? Never seen a roach in our home in eastern Kansas- we are in the subarbs outside of KC.

    Any new ideas as to what these are?

  2. So I have no positive identification obviously – but I’ve found some things similar in my home. I live in a house built in the early 1900’s and it was made rent ready. So when I moved in everything “looked nice”, but coming to realize more and more there was just really nice lookinf lipstick on this pig. And that I’m a guest to some of the original occupants….

    The house has proven to be rich with weird ass bugs, microscopic noseeums, beetles, aphids, springtails, termites and then there’s the worms that come from these bugs. Sigh. Anyway its like a science project over here, an ecosystem of its own.

    Anyway, specimen are plentiful and I’ve found something similar to what I feel like I found relating to your photos may or may not be a worm.

    In my opinion, if it’s a worm, I’d look into barber pole worm or angiostrongylus.

    It could also very well be the legs of certain spiders,crickets or centipedes. Diestrammena asynamora crickets came up in my lens search. Apparently they will feast on ANY organic material, living OR dead! Yikes! I’m still bothered by the way the one is curled like an ascarid or nematode…

    So yes, Spiders, Crickets and Centipedes can be infected with worms that can be infected with their own worms. So there may be a bunch of things going on here and worms for sure. But it It could be the legs of a pest or those of pests that carry their own pests. Lol.

    I see people mention rat tailed maggot but the curling makes me think this is some kind of roundworm…or nematode. But the legs and worms of a parasitized cricket are second.

    We know that parasites can alter host behavior. So it may or may not bother you or your pets depending on what you have going on in the environment.

    I hope you figure it out and of course wash the blanket. And if you can afford a new one, and just need a blanket go to the clearance section and ditch this one. Peace of mind right?

    Good luck.

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