“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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