“This is the second one I have found in our mobile home”, states this reader in Belding, Michigan. She is referring to the minuscule, red worm-like organism pictured below, and wants to know how they are getting into her home.
She adds that when she found the first worm, she “thought it was a total fluke” (not referring to the organism). Likewise, she adds that it “possibly came in on a shoe or my dog’s fur (not sure how, but weird things happen in the country haha).”
“This one was sitting by our back door, when the dog stopped dead in its tracks and didn’t want to go outside in the pouring rain. To me it looks like a redworm that we used to dig up for fishing. How are they getting into my house? I looked at our shoes for taller tread to possibly bring them in, however they mostly are flat, save one pair of boots my son wears to repair cars. Some of our floors need to be replaced due to rain damage. Is it possible they are living in the wood that’s rotted?”
Firstly, we agree with our reader that it does look like a redworm, and we think that it is indeed one. Redworms are a species of earthworms that thrive in environments where there is a lot of decaying organic matter for them to feed on. For that reason, they are also commonly referred to as manure worms, but they are also referred to as tiger worms, red wigglers, and blood worms.
Redworms are not dangerous to humans or pets, and are beneficial to the environment as they help break down these decaying organic materials and return them to the soil as nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Secondly, to answer our reader’s first question, we cannot exactly know how they are being brought into the home, but we think that the suggestions she made are entirely plausible. It is very common that dogs bring in critters when they have been playing outdoors. And it is not entirely impossible that they are being brought in on shoes either, and this is easily checked.
Equally, it is possible that they are coming up through our reader’s drains, though she does not mention where in the home the worms were found. To combat this, she should make sure to clean her drains often as this helps prevent the build up of organic matter.
This ties in to her next question, which is if the worms are living in the rotted wood. Now, this is possible, considering that rotting wood would potentially be a good food source for redworms. The only thing that has us doubting if they would live in rotting wood is that it might not be moist enough, as redworms prefer tree leaves, damp soil or even bodies of water.
That said, it would be easy enough for our reader to check if the worms are living inside the wood, and in any case, if it is rotted, then it is probably best that she replace that wood anyway. Even if these redworms are not living in the wood, it may attract other organisms that would like to feed off the rotting wood (like certain species of beetles and ants).
To conclude, we think that the worms our reader has been finding in her home are redworms. We think it more likely that they are being brought in on her dog or shoes, or something else, rather than that they are living in rotting wood, but the latter is not impossible! We hope this article proves helpful, and we wish her and her family the very best.
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