“What is this?” asks Jennifer in her submission regarding the semi-translucent worm with black markings pictured below. “I found this in my bathroom sink while brushing my teeth. It was wriggling near the sink drain. The picture is magnified several times.” We think Jennifer has found herself a drain fly larva, and it is quite incredible that she captured it in such detail, especially considering the photo is magnified. These guys are really tiny, and to the naked eye they just look like little black worms, so we commend Jennifer on the excellent photo! Neither drain fly larvae or the mature flies are harmful to humans, though they can prove to be quite the nuisance.
“I woke up this morning, granted the second day of a new home and all over the living room floor there were little whitish, worm-looking things”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the organisms pictured below. “What are they? Where did they come from? And how do I get rid of them?” Our reader asks all the right questions, and to answer her first one, we think these are blow fly larvae. ‘Blow fly’ as a term refers generally to a large group of flies (known as an order) called Diptera. The adult flies are characterized by their glossy, metallic bodies, which are typically green, blue, or black in color.
“Translucent, striped, microscopic, hairlike worms in Miami Beach apartment water faucets”, writes this reader in her submission regarding the array of organisms pictured below. “I had previously found this after bathing my dog with Septol. This nightmare never ends. Now I noticed they come from our faucets. What is going on? I’m so scared. Thanks for your help.” The first thing we want to bring attention to is our use of the phrase “array of organisms”; we do think our reader is actually dealing with multiple different organisms that are not necessarily related. For example, the yellowing, segmented worm-like creature pictured below looks to us like a fly larva (maggot). People can commonly get these during the summer as flies enter the home and lay eggs in one’s organic compost. The best way to tackle these is to consistently throw out compost and larvae in trash cans outside, keep one’s kitchen clean, and maybe buy fly traps if the issue is bad enough.
“I noticed these tiny, yellow worms in clusters on the tips of my daffodils (which have just started shooting from the bulb),” writes Desirée in her submission regarding the bright yellow organisms pictured below. “They look to have maybe newly hatched in the wet and seem to have been washed down the leaves when it rained, either into the plant or surrounding soil. Please see a close up of a cluster of the worms in a water drop. Could you please help with ID? I’m located in SE Victoria, Australia. Thanks for your help!” Now, although the pictures Desirée sent are quite blurry, we have arrived at an educated guess based on the context Desirée has provided. We think she has found daffodil fly larvae.
“I would love to get identification of these little things I found on my carpet”, writes Stef from Ireland about the white, semi-transparent, worm-like creature pictured below. “I have a dog and I’m worried that she could have worms, but possibly thinking it could be some kind of fly larvae that came in on wood that we bring in for the fire. Any help is much appreciated!” Without wasting any time, we will confirm Stef’s second guess, that these are fly larvae (commonly known as maggots). The white body and tapered ends, with the small black head, points to this conclusion.
“This worm was found crawling on my bed”, writes this reader in his submission regarding the whitish, worm-like organism with a dark head pictured below. “I just wanna know if it’s harmful.” Our reader does not provide more context, which in this case would have been helpful. First off, we will say that we think this is an insect larva: the segmentation and body shape indicate this. That said, this critter fits the generic descriptions of hundreds of insect larvae, and narrowing it down to one without more context would be extremely difficult. For example, it’s always helpful to know if our readers have also spotted insects around their home, and what kinds, as well as if the creatures seem to be eating something: has our reader found any holes in his bed sheets? Likewise, how big is the larva?
“I bought a ham and cheese and found this nasty sight”, writes Sandra about what we presume to be an organism in the photo below. “My husband ate about half before noticing!” No more context is provided, and unfortunately it is very unclear what the photo is depicting, so we will not be able to provide a certain identification. All we can do is give an educated guess based on the types of worm-like creatures that would be eating ham and cheese, which would be maggots. Finding maggots in one’s ham and cheese would definitely constitute a nasty sight, and most people are revolted by the sight of maggots.
“Please see the larva, it’s near the sink and carpet”, writes Ravi about the cream white, worm-like creature pictured below. “We used to put our carpet outside in the sun for a couple of days. I have a couple of pictures. If you can identify this and let me know what precautions I should take.” Now, a cream white exterior and darkly-colored head is about the most generic physical appearance of a larva: so many species of moths, beetles, flies, and other insects have larvae that look like this. However, given the squared-off rear and tiny, black streak near its head, we think this most resembles a housefly larva, otherwise known as a maggot.
“I went to take a bath before work and felt something moving on my knee”, writes this reader about the white, worm-like creatures pictured below. “I grabbed it, thinking nothing of it and it started squirming in my fingers. I found 11 of them in the water with me, and I clean my tub before every bath I take. My boyfriend later that night took a bath, and not a single sighting of one, and I extensively looked! It was small, short, and white with a brown head. Is it me who is infected or my water?” To begin with, we think our reader found some kind of insect larva in her tub, as that is what these most resemble. What species in particular is hard to say, as a white body with a dark head is about as generic a description as you can find of an insect larvae: beetles, moths, and flies all share larvae that fit this description.
“?Can you please identify this strange-looking worm?” asks Bryan about the odd-looking creature pictured below. “It’s approximately six-inches long, and if you zoom in it looks like it has eyes all over its body, very strange! I took this video in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina.” Well, Bryan might be surprised to know that those are indeed eyes all over the “body”, though it isn’t just one body, but many. This isn’t just one worm, it’s a moving pile of them, kind of. They’re not technically worms, but larvae: specifically, fungus gnat larvae.
“Are these worms in this tree and this black stuff on a rock wall?” asks this reader about the mass of organisms pictured below. “It is from Mansfield, Ohio. Thank you for your time!” Based on the photo, this is nothing we think we have encountered before. The black organisms on the rock do not necessarily look like worms to us, and we cannot make out what organisms we are supposed to be looking at on the tree. Upon zooming in on the photo of the rock, it looks like the organisms could possess wings. That said, the photo makes it difficult to see the details of the organisms’ bodies, so this is merely an educated guess. In any case, we think these could be black bean aphids (otherwise known as blackflies). Usually, they are found swarming plants that they suck the sap from.
“What is this?” asks this reader about the semi-transparent worm-like organism pictured below. “I was in my house and it was on the back of my neck. I have pets and I am disgusted.” Based on the shape and features of this creature, we would say that it is definitely an insect larva of some kind, though what species in particular we are not sure. The black tip and tapered shape of its body reminds us of a black soldier fly larvae, yet the transparent nature of its skin suggests otherwise. Based on that, we would say it is likely that it is some kind of fly larva.
“I had a horrific feeling of something crawling up my nose”, begins this reader in her submission about the worm-like creature pictured below. “I blew my nose continuously and it still hurt. When I breathed in, it hurt. I sneezed and sneezed. Finally, I blew out this tiny worm, white/beige: it had a sharp point at the end. I felt intense relief. I had no other symptoms. It is about 1 cm (0.4-inches). It was very much alive! Now, I am paranoid that I am infested with pupae. Do you think this could be a one time event? We live in the country, deep in the woods, in the South. We do have all sorts of insects around. I do my best to keep them out of the house. I will enclose a picture. Thank you so much!”
“I found this worm while eating my salad from a restaurant”, writes this reader in their submission regarding the translucent worm pictured below. It appears to have visible entrails, a dark head, and a bubble of sorts at its rear. “Can you please tell me anything about it? I’m so worried I’m sick! It’s almost an inch long. Thank you!” Based on our reader’s story, as well as the photo, we have concluded that these are likely fungus gnat larvae. As their name suggests, fungus gnats like to feed on fungi, but they also like other plants as well, in particular young plants.
“Are these maggots?” asks this reader about the worm-like organisms he found on his toothbrush. The creatures appear to be very small, with thin, white, nondescript bodies that appear to be legless.
“I found this on our water while I was filling the tub”, states this reader in her query concerning the black worm pictured below. She is not sure if they are leeches or something else, and wants to know if it is harmful.
“I have found about seven of these tiny white maggots on my bathroom floor this morning in various locations” states this reader about the short, maggot-like creatures pictured below. Our reader additionally asks where the creatures may be coming from and what she can do to get rid of them.
“Can you please identify whatever it is that these things are?” asks this reader about whatever unphotographed “things” he is referring to in his query. He was told by an exterminator that the “things” are Indian meal moth larvae, but nothing he does seems to help in getting rid of them.
“I have found cream colored maggots with brown heads two years in a row at this time of year in November,” says this reader. She does not provide photographs, but instead a decent amount of context that we will use to try and figure out how best to help our reader.
‘How do I get rid of moth larvae and common house fly larvae in Northwest Georgia’ asks this reader in his one-line query to us. Despite the lack of photographs and context, we will do our best to answer this question.