“What is this in the video?” asks this reader in his submission regarding the tiny, red, worm-like creature pictured below. “Pest was very small, probably less than a centimeter. Was found on a roll of toilet paper. In the image, that’s a single square of Charmin it is on for perspective.” Now, despite the minimal context provided, there are some things to unpack here. Firstly, we will not be able to give a concrete answer as to what this creature is, simply because the photo and video provided are way too blurry to pick out the details of its physical characteristics. The most we can do is provide some educated guesses as to what it could be. Secondly, while the video is blurry, it does tell us something about how the creature moves. Its seamless gliding over the surface of the toilet paper tells us that this creature has legs, and is not a worm, but probably some type of larva (if not a millipede or centipede). Thirdly, our reader explicitly states that this is a pest, but does not elaborate on that point. For that reason, we will not assume that it has to be a pest when we suggest possible identifications.
Given what little we can see in the photo, we would guess that this is some type of caterpillar or beetle larva. This is purely based on the bulbous head (which is characteristic of caterpillars) and the legs it must possess. At first, because of its red color, we thought it might be some type of bloodworm (a species of worm whose excess production of hemoglobin allows it to survive in low-oxygen conditions and which gives it its red coloration), but the only bloodworm species we could think of that was this small was the red midge fly larva, and they do not possess the bulbous head that this creature has.
Ultimately, we suggest that our reader clean his bathroom and all of his drains. Naturally, we don’t know where it came from: our reader only reports finding it on the toilet paper. So, it could be that it was accidentally brought inside on our reader’s clothing or shoes, but it could also have come up through the drains, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. In fact, there are plenty of critters which would be attracted to a bathroom which goes uncleaned (and unused) for an extensive period of time, so it is important to maintain a clean bathroom (and home, in general!). When it comes to the little critter our reader found, we suggest moving it outside by brushing it onto a dustpan (or some equivalent) and moving it outside. Since we don’t know exactly what this is, we suggest avoiding physical contact.
In conclusion, we are not sure what this creature is, but given what we can see, we’d think it’s some type of caterpillar. And given its size, it would probably be an immature one. Despite not providing a certain identification, we hope this article helps, and we wish our reader 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.