“Is this a tapeworm?” asks Tammy in her submission regarding the clear, whitish worm-like critters pictured below. “I’m sure it must be. But the strange thing is I found it coiled up, I thought it was just some type of elastic on the side table in the bedroom! How would it get there? I freaked out that I touched it, but realized it was strange if elastic. I put it in a baggie with some eye drops to keep it moist. I’m freaking out because I don’t understand where it came from to end up on a table! I have no pets in this room. I thought worms came out in poop! And rarely seen as a whole worm. Please help me with this ASAP. I’d really appreciate.”
“I found a dozen of these on my sidewalk, what type of worm are these?” asks this reader in their submission regarding the long, white, tangled worms pictured below. No further context is provided, but we do have to point out that the photos our reader sent in are just fantastic: it is this level of quality that lets us, as well as our other readers, more easily identify the organisms in the photo. It helps us identify the creatures faster, and it helps other readers identify the worms they might be dealing with. In our reader’s case, we think these could be roundworms or horsehair worms, though given the nondescript nature of the worms’ bodies, it is hard to tell for certain.
“I’m in need of your assistance with the identification of the suspected worm in the short, attached video,” writes Helena in her submission regarding the super thin, black, worm-like creature pictured below. “More information will gladly be provided if needed, and upon your request. Your help is greatly appreciated! As the video shows, it was on me. I’m not suggesting it came from me. When I removed it, the worm had fallen to the floor and I couldn’t locate it to take any other photo or video of it. I’d just never seen anything like it and thought you might be able to identify it as such. If so I’d greatly appreciate your knowledge of what type of worm it could be or who might know, if not yourselves.”
“Can horsehair worms be killed or exterminated by spraying them with a vinegar mixture?” asks Tom in his submission. “Thank you.” Now, he does not send any photos of any worms, so we assume he is asking as he is generally curious. To answer his question, yes, it is possible to kill horsehair worm eggs with a vinegar mixture, though we do not know how effective it is against the adult worms. With that said, we do not recommend killing horsehair worms, as they are harmless to humans and pets.
“I found this in my apartment and cannot seem to find anything online that looks similar”, writes Heather in her submission regarding the clump of black and translucent matter pictured below. “Any idea what it could possibly be?” Now, we are not sure if our reader is referring to the black, hair-like objects, or the translucent, ovate objects that seem to be tangled up in the ‘hair’. In any case, we will provide options for what either object could be.
“May I ask what these are?” asks this reader about the black worms, as well as the single, beige, worm-like creature, pictured below. “Are they all the same? Location: Philippines.” Well, we have to say that the photos are quite blurry, especially the second one of the light brown worm. We can’t make out anything other than its color and general shape. For that reason, we have to say that we will unfortunately not be able to identify these creatures with 100% certainty or accuracy. Of course, we can still try our best to provide an educated guess, though this will also be based on very little as we were provided no context other than that our reader is based in the Philippines.
“Can you help tell us what this is?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the thin, black worms pictured below. “And if it is common, or coming from one of us? And any possible ways of stopping worms in the toilet? My mum bleaches frequently and is super clean.” Despite our reader’s short submission, there are a lot of questions to be answered here. Firstly, we can definitely help our reader in identifying the worm-like creature pictured below. We think this is possibly a horsehair worm. These worms are somewhat common, though they are more common in nature than in people’s homes. They would not be coming from our reader or her mother, despite being parasites.
“I was wondering if the white, string-looking thing in the attached video was some kind of worm”, writes this reader about the creature pictured below. “I saw it in a bucket of dirt/rocks I’d brought home from a stream in South Dakota. They were visibly moving in the water but shriveled up quickly after taking out and putting it on a rock. Thanks for the help.” Based on the context, as well as the excellent photo and video, we would say it is possible that this is some type of worm. The only thing that has us questioning this is the video: the way that worm is blowing in the wind as if it’s a dry noodle seems a bit odd. We’re not sure a worm would be blown about quite so easily in the wind, even if it was dried out. But then again, we haven’t had a lot of experience with dried worms blowing around in the wind, so who are we to say?
“I found this worm on my sink, what is it?” is all Shelley writes in her submission regarding the long, thin, dark-colored worm pictured below. Unfortunately, the photo is of a poor resolution, and the lighting is also poor, meaning that it is impossible for us to make out the finer details of the creature’s physical characteristics. Because of this, it becomes very difficult for us to identify the organism based on its appearance, and without any context, it becomes virtually impossible.
“So I got a rental home in Glendale, AZ, and the first month me and my family were fine”, starts this reader in his submission regarding the long, thin, black worm-like critter pictured below. “Well, the second month being in this home, the city of Glendale decided to clean out the sewers. Ever since then it has only been me and my dog and I feel like we are the ones being infected by these things. I honestly think I have a few that I have in mind. I think it’s microflair or lymphatic filariasis, and the other two I think are a Guinea worm, which I contracted from my dog, and horsehair worms, AKA Gordian worms. So I see black and white thin-like parasites, but the black ones are a lot bigger and huger, I guess you can say. And then, when they, like, go over each other, they produce a greyish little one – well, that’s what it looks like to me. My husband and the people I live with honestly think I’m going crazy.”
“Can you tell me what this is?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the long, white objects pictured below. “I found it on the steps to my deck in Mansfield, Ohio. They look like long blonde hair but some of it moves like a worm. Thank you for your time!” Now, if we were to assume that these are organisms, and look only at the photograph our reader sent in, we would suggest these could be horsehair worms, as they can look like this – like long strands of “blonde hair”.
“What is this?” asks this reader about the long, thin, white worm pictured below slithering over some big rocks. “It is a live worm as thick as a thread of cotton. Many thanks.” She does not provide more context than this, though based on the photo alone, we would say this most resembles a horsehair worm. Unfortunately, the horsehair worm has garnered an unsavory reputation that is founded in a lot of misinformation. Also referred to as a Gordian worm, because of its tendency to tangle in on itself like the mythical Gordian knot, the horsehair worm is a parasitic worm that only takes insects and other smaller invertebrates as hosts.
“I found this on my bathroom floor!” states this reader about the gray, segmented creature pictured below. “Pretty large! I live in Anderson, California.”
Horsehair worms are one of the most common parasites found in nature, and also one of the most misunderstood. Between the myths that surround them, as well as the vast claims that many make about them, this article intends to clear up any of the misinformation about horsehair worms, particularly their relationship to humans.
“I found this in my sink,” states this reader in her submission concerning the objects that look like bunches of wet hair photographed below. “Can you identify it?” she asks.
“What kind of worm is this?” asks this reader in Dallas Texas regarding the long, thin objects pictured below. At a glance, the photo seems to display hair-like strands of matter that lay scattered around a big twig.
A long, black worm-like organism was found in the toilet after this reader flushed it. Our reader, who is based in Chennai, India, asks us what this “worm or creature” is.
“I really hope you can help us” pleads this reader in Oklahoma, who is concerned about the “long, very thin, clear worm things” she has been finding in her clothes. “I don’t think that they are parasitic, but they are seriously horrible.” Upon moving in to a new place, our reader discovered these organisms on her clothing. After drying her clothes, the spots in which the worms were found were still damp. “I have tried everything I could think of to get them out of our clothes, but nothing has helped,” she reports. At this point, all of her clothes are infested, and she is looking for help from us.
Man Seeks Help for Potentially Parasitic Worms After People Online Tell Him They are Horsehair Worms
“I’m scared to death,” states this reader, who writes to us in a call for help. After consulting people online, he has been told that he has “horsehair nematomorpha”, even though doctors have told him that it is impossible.
“I need help please” starts this reader in his query in which he asks for our “thoughts on these” organisms pictured below. The first photograph shows what looks to be a long, thin, dark red worm-like organism tangled in hair and other debris, and the second photo displays what we can only describe as white, cloud-like matter.