One of our readers recently reached out to us with a worm-related health concern. She explained that she has discovered tiny black worm-like organisms in her house and on her skin. She described the mysterious creatures as “the size of a head of a pin.” She wants to know what she is dealing with. She sent us a photograph of a minuscule specimen on what we think is either her arm or leg. Using a strand of hair for size comparison, we can understand just how tiny this organism is:
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We aren’t sure what this creature is. One thing that is throwing us off is the fact that the specimens are not only on her skin but also around her house. We are curious where exactly they are in her house. Is the population limited to a specific area or room, or are they everywhere? These details are important since the location of where worm-like organisms are discovered can be really helpful when trying to identify them. This is because the discovery location usually also reveals the desired food source of the creature, which is a big clue when determining species. For example, if our reader found this creature in her bathroom, we might believe it to be a drain fly larva, since drain fly larvae eat the organic material that builds up in a drain. On the other hand, if the organism wasn’t found in her bathroom but in her bedroom or living room, we might explore the possibility of it being either flea larva or carpet beetle larva, since the materials they eat are more likely to be found in a bedroom or living room and less likely to be found in a bathroom. Without more information, we can’t confidently attempt to name this specimen. Also, since these worms are on our reader’s skin, we think it’s a good idea for her to make an appointment with a doctor. This worm doesn’t look like any of the parasites we are familiar with, but since we aren’t medical professionals we think it’s best she confirms this with a doctor.
To deal with the organisms in her house, we recommend that she thoroughly cleans whatever area the worms are in, or her entire home if they are all over. No matter the species, getting rid of most household pests depends solely on cleaning since cleaning will often eliminate whatever food sources the creatures are munching on. She can start by dusting, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming her home. She might also want to wash all of her bedding, linens, towels, and sofa covers, especially if she has pets (since some organisms feed on animal hair and dander.) As we mentioned above, we encourage her to clean in addition to seeing a doctor, just to be on the safe side!
While we weren’t able to offer an exact identification for whatever creature our reader is dealing with, we hope cleaning her home and seeing a doctor will help her say goodbye to these tiny black worm-like organisms.
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