“Can you please identify this dude?” asks this reader at the end of his query about the white worm-like creature he found in his toilet bowl. The creature was found in the morning, and our reader has “not yet ascertained whether this thing came from [his] body or not.”
Firstly, we thank our reader for the photographs he sent of the creature. He states that the picture was taken using a “hand-held bike light” and apologizes for the blurriness of the photos. However, we think the photo is quite sharp considering what our reader was working with, and we can see enough to make conclusions about the creature’s identity. Secondly, we need to make clear that if our reader has, at this point, concluded that the worm did indeed come from him, then he should ignore all of the suggested identifications in this article. This is because if the worm did come from him then the situation would be medical in nature. As such, we are not qualified to identify worms that come from humans, because we are not medical professionals and cannot diagnose medical problems. What our reader would need in this case is a medical professional’s opinion, and we will link resources to infectious disease physicians later on in the article.
That said, as our reader does not state that the worm definitely came from his body, but that he simply found it in his toilet, then there is a chance that the worm did not come from his body and that the situation is not medical in nature. In our non-medical opinion, the creature in the photograph would not have come from our reader’s body, as it does not resemble any common parasite. Instead, it resembles some type of larva, most likely a clothes moth larva or pantry moth larva (these being the most common white larvae found in the home that have brown heads and forelegs). With this in mind, all our reader needs to do to deal with this particular larva is move it outside; it likely ended up in our reader’s toilet by accident. Additionally, our reader may want to check his clothes and textiles for more clothes moth larvae and his kitchen and pantry for pantry moth larvae. For more information on how to control and eradicate infestations of either species of moth larva, our reader can consult the links above for past articles that will provide this.
Now, if our reader does think the larva came from his body, or wants to get a medical professional’s opinion just to be sure, then we recommend that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in his area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
To conclude, we must stress that if our reader, at any point, suspects that the larva did come from his body (perhaps he starts developing symptoms, or more of these come from him), then he should disregard our identification of this creature as a clothes moth larva or pantry moth larva. Not only can we not make identifications of parasites, as we are not medical professionals, but these larvae are not parasitic anyway. What our reader should do in this case is consult one of the resources listed above and get a professional’s opinion. We hope that this article answers our reader’s question and that it proves helpful!
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