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.
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!
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!
|No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?