“I found this worm on the hardwood floor in the living room”, states this reader in her submission regarding the white worm-like creature pictured below. “It’s just under an inch in length. Very thin. One end appears to have a darker end (possibly the eyes/head). I recently got a rabbit. Thought maybe it was a pinworm/threadworm but haven’t seen anything like this before. The rabbit’s cage was clean with no signs of worms.” Now, a thin, white larva with a brown head is about as generic of a description of a worm-like creature as you can get, but nonetheless we have identified this as a stiletto fly larva.
Stiletto flies (Therevidae) are actually not one species of flies, but describe an entire family of fly species. There are over 1500 species of stiletto flies across the world, but they all share common characteristics. With regard to their larvae, they are predatory, and will eat the larvae of other insects underground. Their preferred habitat is dry, sand-like soil, but they will also live in organic waste, such as litter, and under tree bark, as long as they too are dry. We were not told if our reader’s rabbit is let outside, but if it was, it is possible that the larva came into the home on the fur of the rabbit if it was hopping around on the grass. Of course, it is equally possible that the larva just wandered into the home. We think it will suffice to move the larva outside and call it a day.
That said, we need to address our reader’s concern about this being a pinworm/threadworm. To be clear, pinworms and threadworms are the same organism, and they are intestinal parasites which are contracted by coming into contact with, or ingesting, faeces that have pinworm eggs in them. It is possible for rabbits to become infected with them. Our reader did say that no worms were found in the rabbit’s cage and that he was not sure if it was a pinworm. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to provide a concrete answer on whether or not these are pinworms. If our reader has reasonable cause to believe they are, then he should take his rabbit to the vet and be very careful if and when handling the rabbit’s waste (wear gloves!). Likewise, he should disregard the identification made above. Correspondingly, if he does not believe the worms to be related to the rabbit, then we stand by our conclusion that these are stiletto fly larvae.
In conclusion, we think that the white worm-like creatures our reader found on his living room floor are stiletto fly larvae. They are not harmful to humans or pets. That said, given our reader’s concern about parasites, we cannot make this identification with 100% certainty, so if he is concerned about the health of his rabbit, he should take it to the vet as soon as possible. We hope this helps and we wish him, and his rabbit, the very best!
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.