A reader wrote to us recently about some “things” she is finding in the bathroom, although they are occasionally found in other parts of the house as well. The reader only refers to the things in the bathroom as, well, “things,” but she presumably is finding some sort of worm, larvae, or other bug, or else she wouldn’t have written to us with her question. The reader provided us with a bizarre description of the bug in question, which we quote in full below, and then asked us if the bug could be harmful or dangerous to herself or her animals. What could this mysterious bug in the bathroom be?
First, here is the email the reader sent to us:
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“I have these funny looking ‘things’ mainly in my bathroom, but have been in other places in the house, they are approx 1cm long and are shaped like two triangles back to back, they are quite flat, and they have like a long thin brownish “head” that seems to be able to come in and out at both ends, it is greyish white in colour and can climb up walls although it doesn’t seem to have legs. Please advise if you know what they could be, and if cause any health issues to me or my animals??”
This description is strange in that it seems to say something and nothing at the same time. It says something in the sense that it contains several descriptive details about the creature in question, but is says nothing in the sense that these descriptive details lead us no closer to a possible identification. Our questions are legion: how exactly are we supposed to understand “two triangles back to back”? Does this mean the creature is a diamond shape, or perhaps it is roughly in the shape of an hourglass, or maybe something else entirely? The diamond-shape interpretation seems the most promising, but this isn’t particularly helpful. We also aren’t sure how to understand the “‘head'” (to quote the reader’s quotes) of this creature, which is described as thin and brown, and evidently stands in contrast to the grayish white color of the rest of the bug’s body. Is the head somehow incongruous with the rest of the body, perhaps in the sense that it doesn’t appear to be connected to the gray part of the bug’s body? We offer this interpretation because we have no idea how to make any sense of the claim that the head is able “to come in and out at both ends.”
Since we can’t even begin to picture what this creature may look like, we can’t offer any possible identifications. It is rare that we have literally no suggestions, but this is also a rare type of question. If anyone of our readers has any notion of what the above description might be referring to, please let us know in the comments. We are utterly stumped.
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One thing we will say in conclusion is that most common household pests aren’t particularly dangerous, at least not in and of themselves. They can be vectors for disease, and hence are worth getting rid of, especially if there are a lot, but generally finding the occasional larva or bug isn’t cause for concern. So, we can offer this one piece of information to our reader, but unfortunately nothing else.