A rather distressed reader wrote to us the other day about some worms he found on the bathroom floor. To his further chagrin and disgust (the word “yuck,” all letters capitalized, appeared twice in the reader’s email), he also found one of the worms in the basket of his dirty laundry. The worms are small, about one centimeter in length, and they are a clear brownish color. The worms also have several horizontal lines on their body. What are these small worms on the bathroom floor, and what can our reader do to get rid of them?
Three possibilities come immediately to mind, and interestingly none of them are actually worms. We’ll begin with the most likely culprit, the larvae of the moth fly. We’ve written about the larvae of moth flies before (in fact, we’ve actually written about them in the context of finding them on the bathroom floor!), so we won’t go into too much detail. Moth fly larvae match the description that our reader sent us almost perfectly. They are a clear brownish color (if that sounds contradictory, think of muddy water), and they do have distinct dark lines that run horizontally across their bodies. These larvae often appear on bathroom floors and near sink drains, as they thrive in moist environments. (What about the one they found in the dirty laundry? It probably got there by latching onto a piece of clothing worn by someone using the bathroom.) Given all the details that align, it is very likely that our reader is dealing with moth fly larvae. So, how do you get rid of them?
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The way to rid yourself of moth worm larvae is mostly preventative, although, of course, your first step should be to remove all the larvae you find. After this, it is best to focus on two things: moisture and organic debris. More to the point, you should focus on eliminating both from your house. Fix leaky faucets, open windows when you shower, and make sure to clean the muck that tends to accumulate around anything in your house that frequently comes in contact with water, like sink drains and the tops of drain pipes. (Good products to accomplish this include Bio Drain gel and Bio Clean powder.) Also, it is good to make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed by using, say, screens. This will help keep moth flies out, and of course moth flies are the source of the moth fly larvae.
As we said, it is overwhelming likely that our reader is dealing with moth fly larvae, but for the sake of completeness, we’ll mention two additional possibilities, both of which are larvae. The first are carpet beetle larvae, which are also brownish color with stripes, although their stripes are pale. They are found not only in bathrooms, but also on walls, floors, and other areas of your house. They are best dealt with by thoroughly vacuuming the area in which you find them. It is also possible that our reader found maggots, the larvae of flies. Maggots thrive in unsanitary places around the house, like a bathroom floor that hasn’t been cleaned in awhile. To get rid of maggots, the best thing to do is remove the conditions that attracted the maggots to begin with – in other words, clean the maggot-ridden areas thoroughly.
So, the “worms” that our reader found are very likely one of the three larvae mentioned above. Follow the advice we presented above to help get rid of the problem.
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