One of our followers recently contacted us by means of messaging our Facebook page. She sent us the photo pictured above and asked if we could offer any assistance in identifying the creature in it. She found the “little red fellow” in her toilet.
When we hear about a red worm in a toilet bowl, it is usually one of two worms, and we believe this is the case in this instance as well. We are confident that this is either a bloodworm or an earthworm. Based on the photo, we gravitate towards identifying it as an earthworm. However, it is difficult to say for sure based off of the picture alone, so we will explain both of our ideas.
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Bloodworms are technically the larvae of midge flies, meaning they are not actually worms. They need a lot of moisture to survive, so a toilet is a common hiding spot for them in human homes. Bloodworms are sometimes smaller and darker red than the worm featured in the photograph, but this might still be a bloodworm. Bloodworms don’t carry diseases, but if our reader is eager to say goodbye to this little larva, she should give her toilet a proper cleaning, making sure to use a product that destroys organic matter that might be lining her toilet pipes and serving as a food source to the worm.
We think it is more likely that this is an earthworm. We couldn’t see any segmentation that is typical for an earthworm on the creature in the photo, which is why we couldn’t make a definite identification. Earthworms find their way into toilets in various ways. Sometimes they are accidentally imported to the bathroom by being attached to a pet or a shoe. They need a lot of moisture to survive, so once getting inside the house they might have sought out the toilet bowl as a refuge. It is also possible that the worm entered through the pipes. This is especially more likely if there has been a lot of rain recently.
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Whether this is an earthworm or a midge fly larva, our reader should place the specimen outside and not worry about it too much more. However, if she cleans her toilet and yet continues to discover creatures in her toilet she might want to contact a professional to investigate if there might be some issues with the plumbing!
All in all, a reader sent us a photo to our Facebook page of a red worm in a toilet. We think this is likely an earthworm, but it might also be a midge fly larva.