“My mom found this worm in her cat’s water dish”, writes Jade in Atlanta, Georgia about the red, clear worm pictured below. “My mom said that it was not happy to be removed from the water/seemed like it belonged in water. We sent a photo to her vet and are waiting to hear back, but I am very curious what it is, even if it’s not a kitty parasite. Thanks so much! Attaching two photos and a video showing how it moves.” Firstly, we just want to thank Jade for the ample context and the excellent photo and video: they really help us narrow down the possible identifications for a given organism. Secondly, we have to say that, given that this was found in her cat’s water dish, we will not be able to give an identification that is 100% certain, given the possibility that it is related to the cat’s health – which Jade makes clear by affirming that she has consulted her vet. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to provide advice in these types of instances. Such advice includes making identifications. So, in the case that her vet decides that this worm is tied to her cat’s health, then Jade should disregard any of the information we give in this article.
“I live in Austin Texas and found this worm in my shower. It was about 2 inches long”, states this reader with regard to the long, pink-brown worm-like creature photographed below. “Do you know what kind of worm this is?”
Red worms were found in the toilet bowl belonging to this man, who wishes that we identify them and provide instructions on how to get rid of them. The picture provided does not offer much insight into what these worms look like, other than the fact that they are minuscule in size, and that their bodies are very flexible, and they can bend and curl in many different ways.
Unless you are a fisherman who lives along the Northeastern coast of the U.S., there is a good chance you haven’t heard of worm picking or worm digging, at least not as a profession. However, worm picking, or the gathering of bloodworms to be sold as fish bait, is a multi-million dollar industry with thousands of licensed practitioners. In any given year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of worms are gathered and sold. But before you quit your job and head northeast to strike it rich, you should know that worm picking can be a brutally difficult job that is really not that remunerative. A lot of luck is involved, and the competition for worms can be fierce. It is also potentially dangerous since a bloodworm bite can cause an allergic reaction.
We received a very specific question from a reader a few days ago about cultivating the “marine bloodworm Glycera dibranchiata.” Glycera dibranchiata are commonly used for fish bait, so the reader’s motivation for rearing or breeding bloodworms – essentially, setting up a bloodworm farm – is presumably tied to fishing. The reader was first of all wondering if bloodworms can be cultivated “successfully,” and if so, he was wondering how he might go about doing so. He also wanted to know if there are any publications that are available to assist with the rearing task.
A reader wrote to us a couple of days ago about a long, thin red worm that she found in the air vent of her bathroom. The worm is about three or four inches (seven to ten centimeters) long and “about half as thick as your typical earthworm.” The head of the worm had two “‘horns'” on it. (The reader put the word “horns” in quotes, of course indicating that she is using the word loosely, and hence the double quotes in the preceding sentence.) The reader had only one question: what is the long, thin red worm (with some sort of horns) in the air vent of the bathroom, assuming it is even a worm?
We recently received an email from a reader who found a small and thin red worm crawling on her shower curtain. The reader immediately goes on to say that she is “assuming the worm is a bloodworm,” and we think this is as reasonable of a suggestion as any. The reader planned to remove the small red worm from her curtain after her shower, but by the time she had finished, the bloodworm (sometimes written as “blood worm”) had disappeared. The reader thought that this might mean that the bloodworm “hitch-hiked a ride somewhere on my body,” which led to her question for us: are bloodworms harmful?
A reader wrote to us a while ago about the prospect of breeding blood worms (sometimes – nay, often – spelled “bloodworms”). He was wondering how to set up a successful blood worm cultivation operation, and sought our assistance to that end. This may seem like a fairly obscure question (and we guess it is), but we’ve actually been asked about breeding worms before; in fact, by far the strangest question we’ve ever received was about breeding worms. However, we’ve never written about breeding blood worms in particular, and we haven’t written a lot about blood worms in general either. So, below is some basic information about blood worms, including a bit about breeding blood worms for the sake of our curious reader.