We received this message from one of our readers, “I keep finding what appear to be earthworms in my bathtub and on my bathroom floor. I was under the impression that earth worms couldn’t climb, let alone climb ceramic tiles or drains. Could they be coming up through the drain? We have had a leak from the ceiling and have had an issue with the pipes from our toilet leaking, but both are on the other side of the bathroom from where we found the worms. This has happened 7 or 8 times now, so they’re definitely not coming in from us! I have searched your site and I’m certain they aren’t moth fly larvae or midge fly larvae. The first two we found were a couple of inches long and fairly fat, like earthworms usually are, but more recently they’ve been very small and thin, but still dark pink with a light pink band. We aren’t concerned about them hurting us, but it’d be nice to know that they aren’t dangerous. Overall, we’re just very confused and intrigued as to what could be happening.”
Our reader didn’t include any photos with her message, but we trust her identification, especially based on the description she provided. So, where are these earthworms coming from? Well, readers find earthworms in their bathrooms fairly regularly, but they usually just find one specimen and not 7 or 8! Since our reader has been finding so many, we think the issue could be with her plumbing system. In other words, they might be coming from the bathtub drain. In contrast to what our reader thinks, some earthworms actually can climb! It depends on the species, but some earthworms can crawl up walls and ceilings, and therefore could potentially be able to crawl up the drain and into our reader’s tub. Earthworms need a moist environment to survive. They breathe through their skin and if their skin dries out, they suffocate and die. So, as long as the surface they are climbing up is sufficiently moist, they might be able to get up it. A bathtub drain seems like a moist enough surface, so this could be how the worms are getting into our reader’s tub. Since she has found so many, there might be a crack in a pipe leading to the drain that the worms are crawling in through. We think the next step for our reader would be to call in a plumber to investigate!
In summary, one of our reader’s reached out because she has found earthworms in her bathtub on several different occasions. We think they might be coming from her drain, and we encourage her to hire a plumber to have a look around. Luckily, earthworms aren’t known to carry or transmit human diseases!