Near-transparent Worm in Towel Closet Could be a Flea Larva

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“I found these worms in our towel closet in the restroom”, writes this reader about the near-transparent, worm-like creature pictured below. “I then washed all of the linens and towels that were in the closet and sprayed down the whole closet. Looking for the source of the worms. So far I have not found that source but I have identified a couple of things that I believe to be eggs. I also then found the same worms coming from the seam of my dresser, and I have not looked anywhere else yet, but I would like some help please thank you.”

Given the context provided, our best guess is that these are some type of insect larva that likes to feed on the organic fibers in fabrics, much like carpet beetle larvae and clothes moth caterpillars: two of the most common clothes-eating pests. Of the two species, this critter more resembles a clothes moth caterpillar, as they are also translucent. That said, clothes moth caterpillars are not nearly as translucent as the creature photographed by our reader (they are more of a translucent white or yellow color), and they will also have a distinguishable head, which is either brown or black in color, while this creature does not.

With all of that said, one characteristic that is noteworthy about this creature is the dark stripe running down the length of its body. At first we thought it might have just been a shadow or a trick of the light, but it is possible that these are actually the entrails of the creature that are visible through the skin. This brings to mind two insect larvae: the fungus gnat larva and the flea larva. Of the two, flea larvae would make most sense, given that they are also typically found on clothing, bed sheets, or even towels. The reason for this is because flea larvae, unlike their adult counterparts, do not feed on the blood of mammals, but rather the organic debris left behind by them, such as faeces, fur and hair, or even entire dead insects.

If our reader has pets, he might want to take them to the vet, to see if they might have fleas. Otherwise, he should not worry for himself, as the species of fleas found in urban areas typically do not bite humans. It could be that these larvae were accidentally brought in from the outdoors. It’s a different story if our reader lives somewhere rural, and especially if he lives on a farm: then there are species of fleas which do bite humans. If he is worried for his health, he should consult a medical professional. Either way, we recommend laundering all the towels in that towel closet, as well as any other fabrics in there, even if our reader cannot see any other larvae on them. It is still possible that there are eggs on them which would not be visible to the naked eye. Likewise, it would be a good idea to vacuum that bathroom, and even the rest of the home. Likewise, if he finds more larvae in other areas, he should launder the textile items in that area as well.

To conclude, we think it’s possible that our reader found a flea larva in his towel closet. The species most commonly found in cities and towns will infect pets but not humans, so if our reader has any pets, we suggest taking them to the vet. That said, the larvae do not bite pets or humans. We hope this helps, and we wish our reader the very best!

 

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Summary
Near-transparent Worm in Towel Closet Could be a Flea Larva
Article Name
Near-transparent Worm in Towel Closet Could be a Flea Larva
Description
"I found these worms in our towel closet in the restroom", writes this reader about the near-transparent, worm-like creature pictured below. "I then washed all of the linens and towels that were in the closet and sprayed down the whole closet. Looking for the source of the worms. So far I have not found that source but I have identified a couple of things that I believe to be eggs. I also then found the same worms coming from the seam of my dresser, and I have not looked anywhere else yet, but I would like some help please thank you."
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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