A long pink worm was found in the toilet of this woman who wonders if we can tell her what it is, and if it is a parasite. According to our reader, the worm “seems to have little legs”, although this is difficult to discern from the image provided.
From the worm’s pink coloration and location of discovery we would first assume that this is an earthworm. However, this worm does not have a clitellum, which is the earthworm’s defining trait (the band of thicker skin the middle of an earthworm’s body). Our second guess would be a roundworm, which is indeed a parasite that infests the intestines. Yet, roundworms do not tend to be this big in girth, but are rather slender and long. And they definitely do not have legs. It is rather baffling that this worm has legs to begin with, as there are not any common marine species of worms recorded that possess legs. On the other hand, there are various species of marine worms that possess bristles, such as the bristle worm. We would argue that bristles are not visible in the photograph, but neither are the legs that our reader mentioned, so we cannot use that to rule out bristle worms. Most confidently would we be able to suggest it was a tubifex worm. Also known as the sewage worm, sludge worm, or blood worm, the tubifex worm commonly colonizes pipe systems in large groups to feed on decomposing organic matter, and thus often finds its way into people’s toilets. Unfortunately, given that its resemblance to tubifex worms is not strong enough for us to suppose that this worm is a tubifex with 100% certainty, we would ultimately conclude that we are unsure of what this worm is.
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What we can recommend to our reader is taking the worm to her local county extension office or the entomology department at a nearby university in order to get a second opinion of the identity of this worm. Experts in these areas will likely be able to give our reader a concrete answer to her question. If our reader does have cause to believe that she has a parasite, then it is imperative that she consult with a medical professional. As we are not medical professionals, this is not something we can directly help with. She can go to her doctor, however as most doctors do not get training within the field of parasitology, we advise instead seeking out an infectious disease physician, as they specialize in this area and will be better equipped to help our reader. To do this, she can simply Google search ‘infectious disease physician (name of her city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of her city)’.
Generally speaking, we want to stress the importance of cleaning one’s toilet and bathroom regularly in order to prevent the attraction of worms that are attracted to organic matters.
In conclusion, it is unclear what the worm is in our reader’s toilet. However, we think that if she follows the advice listed above, she should be able to determine the identity of this critter. If any of our other readers have ideas as to what this worm might be, they should feel free to comment down below. If our reader does have cause to believe that she has a parasite, then it is imperative that she consult with a medical professional.if o
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