“I have been dealing with bedbugs, fleas and possibly head lice for 9 weeks,” reports this reader in his submission. He asks that we identify the gray-black organism pictured below, which appears to have a frail body and a bulbous, black head.
Married Couple Battle Doctors and the Internet in the Hope That Their Parasitic Infections are Taken Seriously
“My husband and I have been battling parasites and doctors for two years now,” says this reader, who reaches out to us in a desperate time in which her health is declining and she is not getting the help she needs. Our reader and her husband have been diagnosed with strongyloidiasis, Morgellons and some type of filarial infection, among other things.
This frighteningly long worm was found by this woman who wonders if we could help identify it. The worm in question appears to be wrapped around some sort of concrete post, and sports a glossy, black body with darker stripes at regular intervals, with a reddish head at the end visible in the photograph.
In rural Virginia, a woman calls for help as her daughter is severely affected by a parasitic worm infestation. The “maggot-like” worms have left pustules in their wake, and caused symptoms of itching, burning, and sensations of something crawling under her skin.
A concerned mother wonders if this worm pictured below is harmful to her two year old son. The worm appears thin and long, and although its coloration is difficult to tell from the photograph, we would propose that it is pink or tan in color.
A woman recently contacted us with the following image of a bug she estimates to be about 1/4-inch or smaller. She found this creature on her couch, and from the picture we can see it is brown and tan striped in color, with a darker brown head at one of its ends.
A reader recently sent in this image of a long, brown worm she found in her toilet. She is trying to determine if the worm is an earthworm or an intestinal parasite.
A woman recently found a bucket of worms (quite literally) in her son’s sandbox in Pennsylvania. The worms in question appear to be dark, olive green in color and have white/tan stripes down the length of their back, as well as a black head at one end, and a tip with many points at the other end.
A reader concerned about an “outrageous infestation” of small brown worms outside her home sent in this image below of a small worm with a triangular tipped tail and a brown, ridged body.
On August 13, a reader sent us this picture of a mass of living worms on her driveway. The worms…
A reader wrote to us recently about a worm that got into her home. She said that she had been finding these worms on her and her daughter’s skin and in her kitchen. She said that they liked to crawl on their skin and did not seem afraid to be indoors. She was worried because she thought they were coming from her and was interested to know exactly what they are and where they came from. She did mention that her daughter had brought some flowers inside of their home from outside.
One of our readers sent us an email explaining that she and her daughter have found tiny worms wiggling around in water that was left near the coffeemaker. They are trying to figure out what they are and how to get rid of them. The reader did not have a picture to show us, but we have done a lot of research on this topic and we do have a solid idea of what these worms could be. In fact, they are probably larvae and not worms at all.
A reader wrote to us recently about some worms that she found in her shower. As she notes, they look like earthworms, but they are “smaller and thinner.” The reader is uncertain how they ended up in her shower, but she offers some speculation: they might have come from the drain, or she might have brought them in herself, maybe in her hair, as she took a shower after taking a hike. Our reader is wondering what she found, and she is also wondering if she should be worried about the worms that turned up in her shower.
We received a puzzling question recently about some worms that our reader found in the hair of her cat. The worms (or whatever they are) have been caught in the cat’s hair on a couple of different occasions, and the reader is concerned that they might be harmful to her cat in one way or another. They might just be getting caught in the cat’s fur, posing no threat, but they also might be “something worse feeding off him [the cat].” The reader offers a lot of information and a picture, so we’ll try to make some sense of the situation with what we were presented with.
We recently received a question through the All About Worms Facebook page about “two red worms in the toilet bowl.” The worms were “10 cm long, thin, like one millimeter in diameter, and alive, even in the water, they were still moving.” The reader didn’t actually ask for an identification, but instead asked if the worms might be parasites. This is his main concern, and we will focus on this question, although the answer is of course tied to what exactly the reader found, so we’ll touch on the matter of identification as well. What might the red worm in the toilet be, and are they parasitic?
We received an interesting question from a reader through the All About Worms Facebook page about a “greenish grey worm” that his cat found on his lawn. The worm (or probably larva) is “2-3 inches long and had rings around it so he looked like a bunch of inter-tubes stacked on each other.” However, the defining characteristic of the creature is that it made noise. The reader was wondering what kind of worm or larva he (or technically his cat) found.
A reader recently wrote to us about what appears to be a small larva that she found in her soup. (We mentioned a possible “worm” in the soup only because people so often call larvae “worms.”) The reader is wondering what she found, and she also asked if she should be concerned if she accidentally ate one. We’ll tackle each question in turn, suggesting a possible identification and then discussing eating larvae, both in general and as it relates to the reader’s specific circumstances.
A reader asked us through the All About Worms Facebook page about “white worms with yellow bottoms [that are] eating my Dogwood trees.” These white worms with yellow bottoms are very likely white larvae with yellow bottoms, so we’ll adjust our usage accordingly. The reader asked us for an identification, and we’ll largely limit ourselves to this specific matter to keep things short and simple.
Via the All About Worms Facebook page, we received a message from a reader who found about 15 to 20 “worms” in her cat’s food dish. These “worms” are almost certainly insect larvae, so we’ll go ahead and refer to the larvae in the cat food from here on out. In addition to the cat food dish, the larvae were found in the bag of cat food, and in fact this is probably their point of origin, as various types of larvae will infest bags of pet food. The reader also indicated that one of her cats threw up the other night, but it isn’t clear if this is connected to the pet food larvae. No specific questions were asked, but the reader indicated “any info will be tremendously helpful,” so we’ll offer what we can and hope that it helps.