We recently heard from a reader in California. She explained that she found several red/pink worms in her shower on 3 different occasions. Some of the worms were only a quarter of an inch long, and the largest were 2 inches long. She said that she wipes down her shower regularly with bleach, and every time she has discovered these worms she bleached everything. She thinks the worms might be earthworms but isn’t sure. Here is the photo:
Our reader is especially curious about these worms because she said in the past year she has been experiencing an alarming amount of hair loss/thinning. She has been to see a specialist, who diagnosed her with genetic hair loss, which runs in her family. She trusts the doctor, but is curious if these worms might have anything to do with the hair loss. She also noted that she hasn’t experienced any of the typical worm-related symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, or weight loss.
We are confident that the worms our reader discovered are bloodworms! Bloodworms, or midge fly larvae, are named for their bright red color which comes from the hemoglobin (a red protein) in their bodies! Like most larvae, bloodworms feed on organic matter. Since our reader has bleached out most of her shower, we suspect these larvae might be feeding up on the buildup of grime in her shower drain. To get rid of these visitors, we recommend she scrub out the drain and pipe using a cleaning agent that is designed to kill organic material.
To sum up, one of our readers found some small red worms in her shower. She thought they might be earthworms, which are indeed small and red. We think bloodworms are a better match for what she discovered. We don’t think these worms have anything to do with the hair loss she mentioned, especially since she has already seen a doctor and doesn’t have any other symptoms of parasitic worms. Although of course if she is still concerned that there might be a connection, she should return to her doctor, as we are not medical professionals and not qualified to render a medical opinion.