Long Worm in Shower is Likely Horsehair Worm

We just heard from a reader who found a creature in her shower that she believes might be either whipworm or horsehair worm. She said it was 4 inches long and stuck to the shower curtain. From the photo, we can see it is brown and is thicker on one end and skinnier on the other. She finished by letting us know that she lives in the Northeast U.S. in an older house near a lake. We are very curious what this creature could be!

Based on the picture and description, we agree with our reader that she has found horsehair worm! Although these worms can be frightening to look at because they can grow up to a foot long, they are not harmful to humans. However, horsehair worms are parasitic to insects. Horsehair worms bore holes into insects and reside there, and then escape when they detect that they are near water. The most common hosts are beetles, cockroaches, crickets, and grasshoppers. Also, although they are parasites, horsehair worms do not kill their hosts.

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Horsehair worms often travel in packs, and are found in bodies of water like lakes, pools, streams, and puddles. Sometimes they get stuck in the hair of humans, but they can be removed by simply picking them out. We aren’t entirely sure how this horsehair worm ended up in our reader’s shower, but we have a few guesses. It could have gotten stuck in her hair somehow, or gotten into the pipes from the lake. The more likely option is that the horsehair worm was living in a host insect that was inside our readers house, and it exited the host when it detected it was near water in the shower.

Since a house isn’t the optimal environment for horsehair worms, our reader shouldn’t have a difficult time getting rid of this creature. She should simply put it back in the lake next to her house. If these worms continue to end up in her shower, there might be a leak in one of her pipes that they are getting in through. If this is the case, she should contact a plumber to handle the issue.

In summary, our reader discovered a long worm in her shower that we believe is a horsehair worm!

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Long Worm in Shower is Likely Horsehair Worm
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Long Worm in Shower is Likely Horsehair Worm
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We just heard from a reader who found a creature in her shower that she believes might be either whipworm or horsehair worm. She said it was 4 inches long and stuck to the shower curtain. From the photo, we can see it is brown and is thicker on one end and skinnier on the other. She finished by letting us know that she lives in the Northeast U.S. in an older house near a lake. We are very curious what this creature could be!
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