Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Shower worm


Shower "worm"
Shower "worm"  
I am not sure if this is even the place to get the answer but I have looked everywhere trying to identify these things. I can scrub my shower everyday and every night they are back. They seem to be coming from under my slidding shower doors. I have taken the doors off and bleached but thet still come back. Identifying them may be my only help to get rid of them. I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old. I'm worried they may hurt them. Please help me identify what this is.

Hi, Tiffany:

Well, I can't tell *exactly* what you have there, but I can guarantee it is nothing that will compromise the health of your family, or pets, or property.

One very likely candidate for your creature is the larva of a "drain fly," also known as a "moth fly."  Here is a blog post I wrote about them:


Another possibility is the larva of a dark-winged fungus gnat, family Sciaridae, though I think that is less likely.  Here is more about them:


Lastly, if the creature had legs all along the length of its body, then it is a millipede of some kind.  Millipedes occasionally show up indoors, but they feed on decomposing organic matter like the other two organisms already mentioned.  A few millipedes have toxic secretions they use in self-defense, but unless a child puts one in his or her mouth, or licks their hands after touching one, there is no harm.

The overriding circumstances that lead to these organisms being present indoors are:  constant moisture and/or humidity, and the presence of organic matter to feed on.  They *may* indicate the presence of mold, so you might want to investigate that.  Mold *can* be dangerous and should be addressed quickly and effectively.

Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving and that this will set your mind mostly at ease.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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