Small Worms in the Laundry Room

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A concerned reader wrote to us about the small, brown worms she has been discovering in her laundry room for some time. Actually, the reader not only found the small worms in the laundry room, but also in the kitchen recently, which took her distress to new heights. She was wondering if the worms (if they are worms, which probably isn’t the case because they look like larvae – more on that in a moment) were “invading” her house. The reader was also particularly worried about the “worms” because she has two kids in her house, one of whom is only two years old. What are these small, brown worms (or larvae), and should our reader be worried about them?

Helpfully, the reader sent us a picture:


As we mentioned, we suspect that the reader is dealing with some type of larvae, not a worm, and to the reader’s credit, she never claimed she saw worms, but merely “worm type creatures.” What type of larvae? Like most of the answers we provide, we can’t be certain, but we think she has come across the larvae of moth flies, which are quite common. Moth flies – also called “drain flies,” “filter flies,” and “sewer flies” – tend to be a dark gray color. They are commonly found in bathrooms, particularly around the drains (hence the moth’s alternative names); indeed, they can be found around drains anywhere in your house, and a few other places as well (mostly places that come into contact with water).

Moth flies are of course the source of moth fly larvae, and the latter are our real concern in the present context. Like the adult form they grow into, moth fly larvae are generally found around drains. They are also commonly found in pipes, but the average person wouldn’t observe them there because, well, they are in pipes. Basically, the larvae are attracted to moist places, so this is where you will find them. Why our reader is finding them in the laundry room is something we can’t answer. Is the laundry room damp? Are there drains in this room? We don’t know, but if there are moist places in the laundry room, then too there can be moth fly larvae.

These larvae tend be about a quarter of inch long, and they are often a brownish color. This description seems to match the picture above, although we aren’t sure what kind of coin is featured in the picture, meaning we can’t be sure how long the creatures are. The good news for our reader is that moth fly larvae do not bite or sting. The bad news is that they can carry a lot of bacteria on them because of where they like to dwell, and of course certain types of bacteria can be harmful to humans. So, finding moth larvae is not a catastrophic problem, but you do want to get rid of them.

How do you get rid of them? Mostly by preventative measures. The reader insists that she keeps her house very clean, and we have no reason to doubt her, but perhaps she hasn’t been focusing her cleaning efforts on the right areas (i.e., drains and other moist areas). All these areas should be thoroughly scrubbed to destroy the moth fly’s breeding ground. It is also a good idea for our reader to eliminate moisture to the extent that she can by, for example, fixing leaky sinks and opening windows when people in the house shower. Finally, our reader should make sure that doors and windows in her house are sealed (screens are good for this), as this will help keep moth flies out of her house.

We hope this helps our reader deal with her moth fly larvae problem, assuming she is in fact dealing with moth fly larvae. It seems fairly likely that she is, but, alas, we can’t be sure.


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8 thoughts on “Small Worms in the Laundry Room

  1. We keep seeing this of worm coming through our front from the porch. How do we get rid of them? We have been spraying ant and roach spray around the door and window inside and outside.

  2. Hi! I was just laying in bed on my phone about to go to sleep when I saw a TINY work-like thing on my phone. Just wiggling around. It was SOOO small. Like, I wouldn’t have been able to see it if my phone screen wasn’t illuminating it. I can’t even think of anything to compare its size to because it was almost microscopic. Any idea about what this was?

  3. I found this same little tiny gray worm on my foot just now and when i saw it i tired to pick it up off my foot but i couldnt seem to get it off and then i tried to swipe it off when i removed my hand it wasnt there anymore and i looked around and i couldnt find it anywhere. I am worried though. Do these tiney gray worms get inside of people? I terrified

  4. Hi I have a worm problem also but it just started today. So I was downstairs doing my job which is laundry and I go to put towels in the washer and I notice there is a small dark worm on one of the towels. I thought it was dead and so I went to pick it up with these pincher things but it started moving. After that I put it in a dirty sink we never use and told my mom. It wasn’t dead so my brother went to get it and put it outside. As soon as I was done I looked it up and realised that it is acctually a larva. I don’t know what to do and I have never seen them before. I wish I would have taken a picture to show you but it didn’t come to mind at the time so I’ll just give a description. It was about an inch long dark brown-ish black and when you flip it over it had a small thin line of pink. But when I found it the little thing was curled up in a circle so I don’t know what to do!

  5. I found a TINY black worm on my laundry detergent bottle. Never seen anything like it before. Maybe 1-2 mm in length, about as thin as a strand of hair with a slightly larger roundish head, and it was moving like an inchworm, and “standing up” lifting it’s head in the air. I wish I had taken a picture (though I’m not sure it would’ve even shown up in a pic) before smashing it. It was so small that when I smashed it there was almost nothing left.
    I have small kids in the house and just wanted to be sure it’s not anything parasitic in my house. I’ve searched the internet and can’t find ANYTHING by that description. Would you have any idea what kind of worm it was?

  6. ive got some lil microscopic black worms very very tiny crawling on my bed not sure if from my cats but ive deflead n wormed them n changed my bed sheets but they still their

  7. I have these same 1 inchish dark not gray bulb headed worm? like things in my home. They are not in the “wet” areas of my house they are in the floor boards. I watched one come out between the slats in my living room and when I went to kill it it moved very fast kinda of snake like. I am writing this because today I awoke with one as a bed partner, not cool. Please if there is anyone with information on these I would like to know what they truely are.I have small animals and I don’t want any of us to have problems with these things.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

  8. Hi, im having the same problem!
    but my case is a bit different, i’ve been seeing these worms for quite some time, they are about a inch long and a redish brown, i dont think that they are centipede or millipede as they dont have any legs….
    i mostly see them on the bathroom and today i saw two of these worms on my bed!!
    they seem very identical to the ones shown in the picture, NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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