One of our readers recently reached out to us about a worm-like organism he discovered in his toilet. The creature in question is 8 inches long, flat, and brown. He explained that the specimen was on the inside of the bowl, not floating in the water. He found the worm about half an hour after he had used and flushed the toilet, so he isn’t worried that it might have come from him. He believes it is a hammerhead worm, but he didn’t notice the distinctive arrow-shaped head, which might have just been due to how it was positioned in the bowl. He wants to confirm with us that this is indeed a hammerhead worm, and not something he should stress about. Here is the photo he sent us:
Like our reader, we don’t see the signature distinct head on this specimen that a hammerhead worm has. It might just not be visible due to the angle and positioning, or this might be a different specimen. Hammerhead worms belong to the Bipalium genus, which is made up of predatory land planarians, also known as flatworms. Flatworms are worms that belong to the Geoplanidae family. So, the creature our reader found is likely a flatworm but not necessarily a hammerhead worm.
Flatworms, also known as terrestrial flatworms or land planarians, are active predators of many invertebrates including snails, slugs, earthworms, and sometimes even other flatworms! Most flatworms live on the forest floor in leaf litter, debris, and soil. We aren’t sure why this flatworm was in our reader’s toilet or how it got there. As long as our reader doesn’t continue to find flatworms (or other specimens) in his toilet, we don’t think he needs to worry about this discovery. If he does find more creatures in his toilet, then there might be an issue with his plumbing that needs to be addressed. In the meantime, he can remove the worm and give his toilet bowl a thorough cleaning for good measure.
To conclude, one of our readers discovered what we believe is a flatworm in his toilet. We don’t think he has anything to stress about, but if he is worried about his health he should of course visit a doctor since we are not medical professionals!