“I found this bright red worm in my bathroom sink (washbasin)”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the striped worm-like creature pictured below. “1) Should I be worried? Are they dangerous? 2) Did it come from the tap, therefore possibly from the house’s water tank? Or did it come up from the drain? 3) What steps should I take?” To start with, we want to compliment our reader on the fantastic photo, as well as the great questions she asked. They are all fantastic questions to ask when finding a worm, or any kind of unknown organism. In our opinion, this looks like it could be a California blackworm.
“Thin black worms, the size of red wigglers, are coming in from outside under the door,” writes this reader about the critter pictured below. “It’s been raining heavily during the night in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I do not see any legs. I live in a long term care facility and don’t want to see them harmed. Thanks for your help.” Firstly, we want to thank our reader for the very helpful context, which in this case is especially helpful since the photo is pretty blurry. Knowing that it does not have legs rules out a lot of possible identifications and helps narrow down the possibilities. Secondly, we commend our reader for not wanting to see the worms harmed. We know, and understand, that a lot of people’s first instinct when they find worm-like critters in their home is to kill them, even if they are harmless.
Blackworms can be found in just about any city, town or rural area in the United States. They typically live in muddy areas, especially shallow water. Blackworms can be found in droves in ponds and marshes. Blackworms belong to the Phylum Annelida; Class Name Oligochaeta, Genus and Species Lumbriculus variegates. Blackworms are also called “California blackworms” and “mudworms.”