“I found this on my floor”, states this reader about the slimy, translucent, white worm-like organism pictured below. “Are they worms?” she asks, concluding her short submission. Now, as is the case with most submissions with little to no context, it is difficult to identify the organisms in the picture unless it is a common and easily recognizable creature. Unfortunately, we do not recognize this creature just by looking at it: its shape is almost tadpole-like, and its almost complete transparency makes it look like a wad of mucus. We would have needed more context to figure out what this might be.
What our reader can do is take the organism to her local county extension office. That way, someone will be able to physically examine it, and they might then have a better chance of providing an identification. Similarly, if our reader has any health concerns tied to the discovery of this organism, we recommend consulting a medical parasitologist, as they specialize in identifying organisms that negatively affect human health. To find one, our reader can do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.
3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
We should note that both Dr. Amin and Dr. Savaliya are available for online consultation, so our reader does not need to be in the vicinity of their physical offices to get help!
Additionally, our reader does write “are they worms?”, implying that there are many of them. If our reader is concerned about an infestation, she should search through her home for more worms and take note of where they are most concentrated: this will be the source of the infestation. She should clean this source, by vacuuming and sanitizing (and laundering if necessary), as well as clean any other places the worms were found. Infestations can be tricky and time-consuming to eliminate, so if she needs to clean those spots (or her entire home for that matter) multiple times, then she should do that.
To conclude, we do not know what this translucent creature is, as we have not seen anything like it before. Of course, our reader is not sure herself if it is a worm, so there is the possibility that it is not an organism at all. However, if they are moving, they might be. Despite not being able to provide an identification, we hope that the information that was provided was helpful. We wish her the very best!