We just received this message from a reader, “Would ya’ll happen to know what kind of worm I’m dealing with? This is the fifth time I’ve found a worm inside my toilet at the bottom of the bowl. In an effort to learn about it I’ve attached a picture taken from my phone camera. The last time I found one I scooped it out in a plastic bowl, the next day it had died. This time I’ve scooped it out and dropped a few crumbs of bread and sure enough, it seemed to be eating. I did this yesterday. It’s still alive today, maybe the bread is making a difference. I’d love to find out what these little critters are.” Here is the photograph he sent us:
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The “worm” is thin and probably just under an inch long. It has a white/translucent body with a black stripe on its back, and it has a black head. We believe the yellow blob next to the worm is the breadcrumb our reader fed it. The next picture shows the worm in a different position surrounded by bread crumbs.
Our reader is dealing with drain fly larvae! Adult drain flies lay their eggs in decomposing organic matter. When the eggs hatch, the larvae then live in and feed on the decomposing organic matter. Drain fly larvae are often found in the gelatinous film that lines a toilet or bath drain. To get rid of these larvae, our reader simply needs to scrub out his toilet! He should use a pipe cleaning brush and a cleaning agent that is designed to eliminate organic matter. Even though these larvae live in total filth, they are harmless. They aren’t known to pass on any diseases to humans!
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To conclude, one of our readers found a few small larvae in his toilet and wanted to learn more about them. We are confident he has discovered drain fly larvae. Our reader is currently keeping these larvae alive by feeding them bread crumbs. If he wants to avoid a drain fly larvae infestation in his house, we recommend he move them outside where other organic material will be available as a food source.