“Can you help me identify what this thing might be that I found on my bathroom counter?” asks Linda in her submission regarding the photo she sent in below. “Sincerely appreciate your time and effort.” We were not sure what she was referring to in the photo below. There are some black, hair-like objects, as well as a red, lint-like object in the photo. But since Linda refers to the “thing” in the singular, we are going to assume she means the red thing. In our opinion, this does not look like an organism, but just like a piece of lint, but that could be because the photo is so blurry that the details of the organism’s identifying features are muddled, making it look like a piece of lint. Regardless, since the photo is as blurry as it is, we will not be able to provide a confident or accurate identification.
With that said, we will still provide our best educated guess. Based on the color and size alone, we suppose this could be a red midge fly larva. These guys flock to fresh water bodies like ponds, lakes, and streams, but will also congregate in other stagnant bodies of water like puddles or even water troughs for farm animals. They are not harmful to humans or pets, contrary to what people often think of them; red midge fly larvae are often associated with other species of midge flies which do bite people, but the red midge fly is also referred to as the ‘non-biting midge fly’ for the very reason that it is one of the species that does not display this behavior. Red midge fly larvae live on the bottom of bodies of water where they feed on organic materials like algae, decaying plant matter, and faeces.
Now, why would a red midge fly larva end up in Linda’s bathroom? Since they are attracted to stagnant bodies of water, it is not impossible for red midge flies to get into people’s homes and lay their eggs in the bathroom, where there is stagnant water in the toilet and in the drains. Typically, this occurs more often in bathrooms that are not often used, so the water is not being run that often, like in a guest bathroom. Equally, if Linda has been away for a while, the eggs might have been laid during that period. If none of these apply to Linda, it is still not impossible that a red midge fly larva laid its eggs inside her home. That said, we are more inclined to suggest that these are not red midge fly larvae, but, of course, this suggestion is based on the fact that the photo is too blurry for us to conclude if this is an organism in the first place.
To conclude, we are not sure what Linda found, because the photo she sent in is too blurry. Now, Linda does not insist that this is an organism, so we do want to bring up the possibility that this could just be a piece of red lint, or something else. If Linda does believe it is definitely an organism, then our best guess is that it is a red midge fly larva. We hope this helps, and we wish Linda the very best.
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