You most likely have come across some tiny black worms in your shower on tiles, sinks, or even drains. They’re not only unpleasant to look at but also not the kind of creatures you would want in your shower.
Read on to get additional information on what these tiny black worms are, how they come to be, how to get rid of them, and so much more.
The microscopic worms seen in your shower drains and tiles are most likely drain fly or moth fly larvae and not worms. These larvae may appear brown or black at first glance, but closer examination reveals that they are pale in the middle and darker at the extremities.
They get their name from the place they mostly live in, which is the shower drains and sinks. Drain flies have other names, like sewer flies, or filter flies.
Most of the time, people confuse these worms with California Black worms, invertebrates that live in muddy swamps or shallow water and are commonly used for lab experiments. It is therefore crucial to distinguish these flies from normal house flies since many sources refer to them differently.
They have fuzzy, hairy bodies with white dots on their wings, similar to fruit flies or gnats. If you break one, you can get a powdered substance on your fingers or on the wall.
Drain fly larvae are tiny, rarely exceeding 10 mm (1/8th of an inch) in length. They have no eyes or legs and resemble black (or dark brown) earthworms. Their anatomy is simple, with a breathing tube, and they cocoon into pupae and emerge as flies after a week or three.
Below is an image of the drain larvae on the tile floor of a bathroom or shower.
The earlier you discover if your bathroom has worms, the better. You can easily check for signs by observing various items in your bathroom. Following are signs that you have black worms
The presence of drain flies in your home is the first indicator of drain worms. Given the fact that drain worms produce drain flies, the adults must have arrived from a nearby location.
Drain flies are nocturnal, and hence they are mostly seen during the night, but they can also be seen during the day. You can see them on the walls during the day if you pay close attention.
When you see black larvae worms in the bathroom or sink, you may have drain worms. Sink worms rarely travel far from their source and can often be found at the drain opening in the shower or sink.
If the prior steps do not work for you, and you are still in oblivion about the black worms, then you can use a tape to find out. This means that you should take a piece of white tape and stick it to the area you suspect the most, and then remove it. If the worms are present, they stick to the tape, and since they are black, it may be easier to see them.
Showers are warm and damp, which creates the perfect breeding ground for drain flies. The larva stage of drain flies is drain worms. They form when drain flies hatch their eggs in a wet environment with organic material for the larvae to feed on as they grow.
The shower is an example of this environment because it is rarely dry, this includes the shower drain. Females can deposit up to a hundred eggs, all of which hatch at once.
Drain worms can indicate a clog or simply a filthy drain with enough rotting material for the worms to eat. Drain flies thrive in damp environments, which are provided by leaking pipes. Black worms, on the other hand, flourish in wet environments.
Toilets, sinks, drains and behind bottles in the kitchen or shower are all places where they can be discovered.
It is rare to find drain worms in regions where there is flowing or boiling water. This means that drain worms are unlikely to infest your drains if they aren’t unclean and clogged, or if they aren’t used regularly enough.
Drain fly larvae can emerge from your drain or reside on the surface of your shower. Drain flies prefer wet environments and reside in stagnant water. As a result, drain flies frequent the standing water in your u-trap plumbing.
Black worms, or even the drain flies that emerged from them, do not harm human beings in any way. However, they are unpleasant and disturbing to look at, psychologically distressing, and make your bathroom smell and look unclean.
For these reasons, they have no reason to stick around your bathroom. There are numerous ways to get rid of black worms in your bathroom. Here are a few proven methods for getting rid of black worms in the bathroom:
The quickest way to get rid of black worms in the bathroom is to cover the drain system. By doing this, you prevent the eggs from hatching and the worms cannot crawl up into the tub due to their blocked passage.
You can cover the drain with a stopper, a plastic cap, a makeshift Tupperware lid, or even temporarily with a plunger.
In the drain, drain flies lay their eggs. Normally, the water level in the trap beneath your sink remains high. The water creates a fragrance barrier in your bathroom, preventing sewer odors from entering. However, biofilm and muck can accumulate on the water trap.
As a result, the drain flies may lay their eggs in the scum that builds up above the waterline. There are two basic methods for getting rid of black worms in the bathroom in this situation.
First, keep the drain flies out. They won’t be able to reproduce in this manner.
Two, keep the eggs safely below the surface to prevent them from hatching. Even if they do, they won’t be able to use the rest of the restroom, resulting in their death.
Pouring baking powder and vinegar down the drain absorbs unwanted smells, unblock clogs, and kills all the worms.
Using vinegar and baking soda are an excellent way to get rid of black worms in the bathroom. If you want to catch and kill them as a way of getting rid of the worms, then bait can be helpful.
Since you know why, your bathroom drain attracts the black worms. You only need to add a few components to your cleansing solution to bait your black worm trap. You can also add table sugar and dishwashing soap to the mix, in addition to the conventional baking soda and vinegar.
The sugar gives forth an incredibly sweet-scented odor that attracts the worms. The soap builds a coating around the worms and flies, preventing them from fleeing. The fizzing reaction kills any existing black worms and drain flies.
The fizzing reaction also dissolves their food source. Bacteria, diseases, germs, and unhatched eggs are killed by the salt, foam, and sizzle. Hence, your bathroom remains worm free and clean.
Because black worms are larvae that hatch from drain fly eggs put on the waterline of your U-trap or P-trap, attacking the trap directly to get rid of black worms can be beneficial.
If the worms are creeping up and out of the bathroom sink, this is relatively simple.
Follow these steps to accomplish this:
- With a bucket, slide beneath the sink and unscrew the trap, releasing the contents.
- Clean the trap with warm soapy water and a pipe brush after you’re finished.
- To finish off any eggs or drain fly traces that you may have missed, rinse it thoroughly and disinfect the trap.
- Finally, reinstall the trap by filling it with clean water and tightening the screws.
It is worth noting that dismantling the trap is more difficult if the black worms are writhing around a bathtub drain or shower tray.
To dismantle everything and gain access to the pipes below, you may need the help of a plumber or a contractor.
The fact that drain flies live in sewers gives them their name. They survive and reproduce in drains that are clogged with biological materials like hair, bacteria, dead skin cells, and grease.
To grow, they require that natural muck. It’s the food they eat. As a result, you’ll need to use an enzyme drain cleaner to help clear your drains of the food they’re eating. Use a thorough clog-removing kit that contains a drain enzyme and eliminates hair from your drains to get the best results.
It devours everything from eggs to pupa to worms and everything in between. To get rid of any signs of bathroom black worms, wipe down all bathroom surfaces with chlorine bleach, but an enzyme spray is preferable. Ensure there is proper aeration in the bathroom when using chlorine.
Examples of enzyme cleaners include Flo-Zyme, Green Gobbler, Bio-Clean, and Bio-Fresh.
You can also concoct homemade enzyme cleaners by fermenting fruit peels and citrus rinds in a vacuum-sealed bottle. These DIY products can get smelly though, so label, brew and use them with care.
Sometimes, the blockage in your bathroom drain is obvious. Other times, you can not spot it as easily because it’s draining slowly but isn’t completely clogged.
But in both cases, the debris in your drain is creating the perfect nest for black worms, drain flies, and other nasty critters as it provides them with food.Try the most common tricks to unclog your bathroom sink or drain.
These include plunging, using a plastic drain snake or metal wire, triggering a reaction with baking soda or caustic soda plus vinegar, installing a drain screen to catch matted hair, or bleaching the drain.
By clearing up any unseen blockages, you make your bathroom less attractive to black worms and drain flies. You also get rid of any eggs, worms (larvae), or pupa that may be hanging out in your P-traps. Diatomaceous Earth is a helpful tip too. Sprinkle it around the sink.
You cannot drain or drown black worms and drain flies. If you open the tap, though, you may find the worms sticking their tips out of the water. They do this to breathe, which is why you could see more of them after a very severe downpour.
When their pipes, sewers, and drains overflow, they come up for air. In the bathroom, look for black worms under neglected buckets, product packs, or shampoo bottles.
While boiling water scorches them to death, a cold beverage can be just as effective. Especially if it’s a caustic, syrupy, bubbly beverage like Coca-Cola. Any black worms in the drain are killed by pouring a can down it.
To eliminate germs, use white vinegar, then rinse with boiling water to remove any remaining sugar. After all, the sticky soda residue is a perfect food source for other pests.
Consider getting fans if you do not already have them. It is the most efficient method for eliminating black worms in the bathroom.
Keep in mind that they are drawn to moist environments, whether it is a drippy faucet or a steamy one, high-traffic shower that runs many times a day.
To avoid watermarks and stagnant pools, clean the walls and sinks and ensure that they are always dry. You can also use a timed fan to turn on after each bath or shower.
Any extra moisture or water vapor is drawn out of the bathroom, leaving it dry. A dehumidifier or air conditioner can be used as well.
If you cannot afford fans or electronic gadgets, you can open all the doors and windows for ten to thirty minutes every time you go to the bathroom.
Remove towels and anything else that does not belong in the bathroom.
This method is fast and easy to follow. Simply do the following:
- Remove the cap off the bleach container and fill it with bleach.
- Then pour the bleach cupful down the drain.
- That amount of bleach is more than enough to destroy insects and their larvae inside the pipe. The drain is sanitized, and the flies and their eggs are killed.
This is a do-it-yourself option. The use of soapy water and chlorine can be very effective. Here is how you do it:
- Thoroughly combine equal proportions of chlorine and liquid dishwashing soap.
- Pour the solution down the sewer.
- Leave the solution in place for 3 to 4 hours for optimal efficacy.
- Afterward, wash away the sludge and grease with hot water.
You can pour salt and vinegar inside the tank or down the drain.
Both salt and vinegar have antiseptic qualities that can destroy germs and bacteria. In the process, these cleansing ingredients prevents black worms and drain flies from settling and increasing.
Prevention is better than cure, and the earlier you start preventing these black worms reduces the risks and their numbers from increasing. There are several ways to prevent them and here are some ways.
You can prevent drain flies or black worms by keeping your drains unclogged so that the drains can flush with water freely. Clean out your pipes with a drain cleaner every few months to ensure that you kill any small larvae before they can hatch and infest your home.
There is a discovery on insecticides which you can use to kill and prevent drain worms. Insecticides like Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are ideal for this because they destroy a wide range of insects, from drain worms to millipedes, while causing no harm to the property or its occupants.
Bathroom crevices produced by defective caulk or tiles must be repaired because they harbor filth in moist circumstances, which drain worms flourish in.
Because drain worms and drain flies feed on biological filth like dead skin, hair, and soap, an enzyme drain cleaner like Green Gobbler, Drain Clog Dissolver, aids in the dissolving of their meal.
This causes them to starve to death and makes it impossible for them to reproduce. Drain worms can also be killed with CLR, DF 5000, and InVade Bio Drain gel.
Wet and moist environments are ideal for drain flies and drain worms. By ventilating the bathroom and using a dehumidifier, you can reduce the quantity of moisture in the air and so prevent it. Tighten or replace the showerhead if your shower won’t stop flowing and the floor is constantly wet.
Drain worms and drain flies may not frequent your bathroom if you follow these procedures. To avoid drain worms and debris in general, learn how to clean the entire shower.
More on Insects, Bugs & Pests in the Bathroom