Tiny, Skinny Black Worms that May Bite

A little while back, we received a very detailed email from a reader about a worm, or what is believed to be a worm, that he encountered. The reader described his situation in some detail: he was sitting on his porch, which is enclosed by screens, when he felt as if he was being bitten on his arm. In response, he examined his arm and found what appeared to be a very small thread. However, the “thread” moved, becoming longer and then contracting again. Because of this movement, the reader concluded that he had come across an extremely small worm. Later, the reader found a few additional tiny worms on his arms and legs.

[NOTE: This reader did not submit a picture with their question. The featured image is of another small black “worm” from our archives.]


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Unfortunately, some contradictory information was given. At first, the worm is described as a “tiny skinny black thing,” but then a sentence later, the reader says the creature “isn’t really black” – rather, it is red from blood (from sucking blood, perhaps?). Moreover, the worm “had a slightly larger bulge at one end, which [the reader] realized was a head,” but then exactly the opposite was said later in the reader’s description. Despite the inconsistencies in the description, we’ll try our best to offer some information.

To begin, the worm our reader found doesn’t really sound like a worm, primarily because of its size. While there are certainly small worms in existence, the reader described the creature he found as “very very tiny,” which leads us to think that he might have found some sort of larvae. The larval stage is part of the life cycle of creatures like flies and moths – they are what emerge from the eggs. Without more information, we simply cannot say what kind of larvae our reader might have come across (if indeed he is dealing with larvae at all). Because the reader (kind of) implied that they were a blackish color, the creatures probably aren’t fly or flea larvae, which are a pale, white color. Indeed, this seems to be the case with many forms of larvae, as the larvae of the moth fly, a common type of larvae found, are also a pale, white color. In any case, these types of larvae, or really any kind of larvae that we are aware of, are not known to bite, much less suck blood.

Given this fact about larvae, it is conceivable that our reader has found extremely small leeches, which would explain the biting and sucking of blood our reader experienced. Leeches are often a blackish hue, and they do have heads that are discernible from the rest of their bodies (even though it isn’t clear if the reader’s creatures have discernible heads). Most leeches live in aqueous environments, so if our reader did find leeches, they most likely attached themselves when our reader was in water. However, a few species live in terrestrial habitats, so our reader still may be dealing with leeches even if he hadn’t been in water before finding these creatures.

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Based on the physical description of the creature our reader found, it sounds like some type of larvae, which are common, and therefore it wouldn’t be unusual to find them around one’s home. However, the fact the reader described being bitten, and also that the creature seemed to suck blood, leads us to think that he might actually be dealing with a very small leech. Yet another possibility is that our reader has Morgellons worm (a.k.a. Morgellons disease), a bizarre ailment that some believe is carried by nematodes, but the disease is not recognized as a parasitic infection by most of the medical community. We are not medical doctors, though, so this of course does not count as any sort of diagnosis, and we only mention it because of the considerable uncertainty surrounding our reader’s situation. Better to include too much than too little, at least in this situation.

Unfortunately, we can’t be certain what our reader is dealing with, but hopefully the options we listed help.

5 thoughts on “Tiny, Skinny Black Worms that May Bite

  1. Ok, hi. I’m going CRAZY! No ONE, will take me SERIOUSLY or even correctly look at my head for a lice check! I feel, jumping biting, moving things in my hair, which is blonde.it used to be down to my shoulders. In early spring of last year, I live in Pennsylvania. I walked under, a big tree out front of my apt. I felt, something fall directly on the top of my head.
    I took videos and pictures? I don’t know, what I’m looking!? But, they BITE, burrow and my hair is now very coarse and almost bald. When, I magnify the phone, lens to take videos these are UGLY and mean looking creatures! They, NOT only ate my HAIR? But, they BITE. I’ve TRIED EVERYTHING. Bleach, clorox, dishwashing,gain, alcohol, everything.. NOTHING, works. When it first started,THERE was only ONE bug that took all my might to, pray it off my scalp. It looked like a cenipided, but, with 4 long black legs!? A yr and a half LATER, there’s all different kinds, they are fast, they go into my eyes, ears nose and mouth. I taped my head, with clear packing tape, the need air. What I saw, looked liked fast slugs made of mucus?! Please, help!I’ve even tried picking ONE up off my scalp as it wiggled to get out of my grasp I noticed, the bartered I heard it it would HEAT itself up so HOT, I had to let go!
    There’s ONE LARGE black one At the base of my head/ hair/scalp? They hide from light a n roll, up in my HAIR to disguise themselves. I’m being treated, like a PYSCHO! I assure you, I’m NOT! Some I know what your going to think I thought it to, under the lens magnified. Some, have the face of a DOG or ear!? I know, I’m not crazy cause, my boyfriend saw one moving and tried to take it off.. It was gross, he said it bit him but then once it was off he squeezed it and it was like mucous!? I don’t know, what this is or what to do? I’ve gotten my kids taken from me and no-one will help!!!
    They also, bite but lay eggs!? I had green, and looked like moles on my head that really hurt! My bf, once again pushed it out, it was very painful but these things come out? Some are even translucent in color! Please help, they fall out of my hair and roll down my back into my areas!? I’ve been placed, in 4 Psych ward’s! I don’t know what to do? Who to trust!? N I look horrible, used to be somewhat pretty n my HAIR has always been fine n thin.please call at 610-910-1034 or email [email protected]. Please, help!! Thank you.. I wear hats, like tight beanie hats. I want my children back! It’s hurts BEYOND belief

  2. Just now I’m sitting at a bar and I feel a sting on my inside Lower arm And I look down and see a very small, thin, blackish worm and I brushed it off and the bite turned Into a small red raised bump and a few minutes later it doesn’t sting or itch .

  3. I was mowing and weeding my yard in south Texas this past weekend. As I reached down to pull some weeds, I felt a sting on the inside of my arm, just at and above my elbow. I looked to see a very tiny, skinny, red thread-looking thing. Maybe 1/4 inch long, it moved like an inchworm. Brushed it off pretty fast and saw two tiny red marks where it bit or stung me. Kind of felt like fire ant bites. It’s Tuesday and those two little red marks are much bigger and wider and itchy. One is 1/2″ across and the other is over an inch. No infection that I can tell. I’m not sick. NO idea what that thing was. Sounds like your description in the original post. Any info?? Thanks.

  4. I have had a worm coming out of the pores in my scalp, nose, and mouth for over 2 years. I have been to my doctor, the dermatologist, psychiatrist and e.r. Doctor at UCLA. This worm comes in three colors, black, brown and white.malll 3 are different lengths, different widths but have a v shaped end which I assume is the head because that is the end that is in front when it moves forward. When in water it can swim and when on skin it can move like a worm but I so not know how because it seems smooth without legs. The second worm That comes out of my head is brown with a roundish head that stands straight up, looks around, and can bend over. The third worm is shiny black with a pointed end moving forward and a tapered end on the other end. IThose are about an inch long and slimmer and dives in and out of the pores opposed to the others that come out only but can be endless in length. The v shaped white are long and some are short,the short being the only one with a definite straight across end as if it had been cut in half with scissors. The last one is pinkish, no defines head or tail, some cylindrical yet some fluke light shaped, more larvae looking. I have lost all my hair. I wear wigs and under the wig I wear a knee high stocking. When I put the stocking under running hot water it blows up like a balloon making the contents visible. The shape, size and color are clearly seen as they swim frantically in an attempt to get out quickly out of the stocking. Imhave pictures and videos of a stocking that came off while I was in the pool and you can see the worms poking thru, some dropping out. There mare bulges where you can see hundreds of eggs, cleanish and white roundish balls. They have these eggs I think, before they drown because it happens after the stream of hot water has been pouring over them for a while. The stocking can twist itself into,a,knot as it tries to avoid being under the stream of hot water, darting, constricting and backing away. while one end of the blown up stocking gets itself tangled under the water faucet the other end of the stocking is pulling the whole length safely away from the steaming water, looking like a bloated ship on the ocean, with all the contents wildly poking out in different directions. I have videos and ofcourse am never without new opporturtumities as I wear a new stocking 3 or 4 times a day. I never use a stocking twice. The e,r, doctor at UCLA was the only doctor who would take a look at my pictures and videos and when he saw them he told me to,get back home to the town I drove from, see my doctor and get a referral to see an infectious disease specialist and return to UVLA immediately. My Opthamologist saw the brown worm in my eye as it very quickly went by.They are in my eyes, all three different colors go from my eyeball, down my face, enter my nose or nose or mouth. I wear dentures and use denture glue. They have made holes in my dentures,,enabling them to live and eat right in my mouth. Please help me,if you have any information.
    Thank you and please help me.

  5. I noticed a black clump on my wall next to my sliding glass door in my bedroom. I took a tissue and wiped it off. I looked at it closely and there were tiny black wormlike creatures wiggling in the tissue. It definitely looks like what was described above. Not to mention I leave the door open often on cool evenings without the screen. Which allows moths and other flying insects to enter. Not a site to see just before I fall asleep as it invites nightmares.

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