“I found this in my toilet… what is it and did it come out of me?” asks this reader, who has sent in pictures, as well as a video of the organism mentioned in his query. This organism appears to be short in length, white in color, and has a darkly-colored head.
Besides his photographs, our reader does not include more context in his query. But no matter, we can still answer his question. To us, this does not resemble any parasite that one would pass through one’s stool, but rather resembles a different household pest that is not parasitic or dangerous to humans in any way. This critter looks like a clothes moth larva. So in short, this creature is likely a clothes moth larva and did not come out of our reader. Of course, we will expand more on the creature’s identity and what it might mean for our reader.
Video of Larva Crawling About
Clothes moths are any species of moth whose caterpillars feed on animal-based materials such as fur and textiles. People commonly find them in between the folds of clothing, in or under carpets, in attics and other areas where unused garments may be stored. The adult moth is small in size, and varies in color depending on the species. The two most common clothes moth species are webbing clothes moths and casemaking clothes moths. In their adult forms, the webbing clothes moth is an off-white color, while the casemaking clothes moth is black and gray in color; it also tends to be much larger than the webbing clothes moth. Now, when it comes to the larvae, the two species tend to be equally destructive and likewise resemble each other physically as well (white bodies with darker-colored heads). One can best tell the larvae apart by what they leave behind. Casemaking clothes moth larvae get their name from the fact that they spin silken tubes that they drag around with them and retreat into when they want to feed on a piece of lint or material in peace. Webbing clothes moth larvae will also leave behind patches of webbing, but will not leave behind tubes. Both species can also leave behind faecal pellets, as well as holes in the material they feed on, naturally.
Now, how did a clothes moth larva end up in our reader’s toilet? The most likely explanation is that the larva was on our reader’s person at the time, perhaps feeding on his sweater, and when our reader went to use the toilet, the larva fell off his clothes and in the toilet. It could also have fallen off anyone else that used the toilet prior to our reader (he did not specify if the larva was found before or after using the toilet). What our reader is going to want to do now is search his home for any more roaming larvae. Homes are prone to infestations from these critters unless they are handled quickly.
If our reader does discover an infestation, he can consult a past article we wrote on webbing clothes moth larvae that details how to control an infestation of clothes moth larvae and gives some more general information on clothes moth larvae. It also discusses some other common white larvae that one can find in their homes, which is something we considered and is worth noting here. There is a possibility that this larva is a weevil larva (grub) or fly larva (maggot), and those possibilities should be ruled out. That being said, we think it more likely that a clothes moth larva ended up in the toilet, rather than a weevil or fly larva.
To conclude, the white critter our reader found in his toilet is a clothes moth larva. It likely ended up there by accident, falling off the clothing of whoever was using the toilet before our reader found it. Clothes moth larvae are not parasitic, so it did not come from our reader. We hope that this article has been informative for our reader and that we were able to put his mind at ease!