One of our readers sent us a few photographs along with the question, “What is this!?!?!?!” He explained that he found the worm-like organism in his shower after he stopped using it for a long time. The creature in question has a black body with one pointed end and one round end:
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We are confident that this creature is a drain fly larva. Drain fly larvae, which are also known as sink fly larvae, sewer gnats, and filter fly larvae, are some of the most common household pests our readers inquire about. These larvae are extremley small and breathe under water through a small dark tube on their posterior end. Drain fly larvae are covered in tiny water-repellent hairs, which helps protect them from drowning.
Like most larvae, drain fly larvae feed on decaying organic matter. Drain fly larvae typically inhabit sewage systems and plumbing drains, including shower drains! These larvae are harmless but can be quite annoying nonetheless.The grime that builds up in a drain serves as both a breeding and feeding source for these larvae. Therefore, the most effective way to get rid of these larvae is to thoroughly clean out the drain they are living in.
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We recommend our reader start by using a pipe brush to clean off the sides of the pipe, then use a plumbing snake to pull out clumps of hair and whatever else might be built up in the drain. Next, he should use a drain cleaner that is designed to kill organic matter, followed by running lots of water down the drain. To ensure that there is no more organic matter in the drain our reader should turn the water on and plunge the drain for several minutes. The last step might be overkill, but to be sure these larvae don’t return any time soon, he should fill a large pot with boiling water and dump it down the drain. After the drain is clean of gunk, he shouldn’t find any more drain fly larvae! The best way to keep these larvae from returning is to clean the drain once a month.
To end, one of our readers discovered black larvae in his shower. We believe these are drain fly larvae, which breed and feed in shower drains!