“This worm/larva was found crawling up a shower curtain”, states this reader living North of the 45th parallel. “Any ideas what it might be?” he asks. No further context is provided, but the photo below depicts the white, semi-transparent organism our reader is asking about. It seems to possess a darker-colored head, which is perhaps gray or black in color, as well as a darker-colored piece of matter inside (presumably its entrails). Additionally, upon zooming in on the photo, it looks like the creature might possess two or three sets of prolegs, all of them the same color as its body, though it is unclear if this is the case given that the photo becomes quite blurry when you zoom in that much.
Seeing the semi-transparent skin and the dark entrails, our first instinct is to say that this is a flea larva. However, the bulbous head and the (potential) prolegs tell us that this may instead be the larva of something else: perhaps a moth. It is difficult to say with any certainty what species of insect it might be, though it is at least clear to us that it is an insect larva. Its coloration and appearance is very generic: it could be a flea larva, or a moth larva, or a beetle larva.
In any case, we do not think this larva should be harmful. Even flea larvae are not harmful; they do not attach themselves to living beings to suck their blood like their adult counterparts do. They only feed on dead organic matter, like hair, faeces and dead insects. Of course, we cannot guarantee that they are not harmful, since we do not know what species they are. For that reason, we still advise caution when moving the larva outside (which is what we recommend he do): scooping the larva up onto a dustpan and avoiding skin-to-skin contact when doing so is the best way to transport the larva and ensure that it cannot cause any harm (either through biting or through allergic reaction).
To conclude, we do not know what this creature is, though it is most likely some type of larva. We would guess it is either a flea larva or a clothes moth larva, though for either of those species to be found on a shower curtain is peculiar. In any case, since our reader just found one, we think moving the larva outside should suffice in dealing with it. We hope this article helps and we wish him the very best!
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