“What kind of worms are these?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the pink worms pictured below. “They are less than an inch long, and there were quite a bit of them. We are from Louisiana. We found them on our dog’s blanket outside which had been in the mud.” We must say that the photo is unfortunately quite blurry, meaning that when we zoomed in to get a better look at the worms, it got even blurrier. Since we can’t make out the finer details of the worms’ bodies, we can just go off their general shape and coloration.
Given that, we think these could be earthworms or glycera worms. Earthworms are, of course, the token worm: the creature that first comes to mind for many people when you just say the word ‘worm’. They are harmless creatures that live underground, feeding on decomposing organic material and returning them to the soil as nutrient-rich waste. They tend to come out in droves after rain, as their burrows fill with water, forcing them up to breathe. Since these were found near mud, it sounds like the soil had indeed experienced some heavy rain, and it would not be implausible to suggest that the worms dug up through the mud and sought refuge on the blanket.
On the other hand, glycera worms are bristle worms that tend to live on the bottom of shallow bodies of water, making them marine worms. They are also considered bloodworms, due to their excess production of a hemoglobin-like protein which allows them to sustain for such long periods of time underwater. These creatures are predators, eating smaller creatures found at the bottom of these bodies of water, and they can indeed bite humans and pets. They do have four jaws, so they can pack quite a powerful bite at that! Additionally, they do secrete venom through their bite, so it is possible to experience an allergic reaction if bitten by a glycera worm. Given that possibility, we recommend that our reader avoid physical contact with them. That said, we do think it is more likely that they are earthworms, given where they were found.
To conclude, the worms our reader found on her dogs’ blanket look like earthworms or glycera worms, though, given the context, we think it’s more likely that they are glycera worms. We hope this helps, and we wish our reader, and her dogs, the very best!
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