Tiny Worm

At one point or another you are bound to notice a tiny worm in your house, in your bed (let’s hope not, but it happens!), in your sink, or perhaps, and very likely in dog poop. Worms range in size from the very huge to the very very tiny.  It’s easy to identify the large ones – they’re often easily identifiable (who doesn’t recognize the easily unforgettable segmented body of an earthworm from your childhood)?  The hard part comes however when you try to identify a tiny worm.  Sometimes they can be so small that you don’t exactly know what it is.  It’s important however to identify even these smallest of worms, as they can often be the first sign of some type of infestation…or worse!

In order to figure out what kind of worm you have and what it means, you need 2 things…

  1. Identify what the worm looks like.  Some general categories are listed below.
  2. Identify where you have found the worm.

With these two pieces of information  you can usually figure out what type of worm you are looking at.  So, let’s take a look at different types of tiny worm that you might find around.

Tiny White Worm

  • In Dog-Poop: If you see a tiny white worm in dog poop or feces is usually an indicator that the dog has tape worms.  What you are likely to see are not actual tiny worms, but tiny worm segments.  With a tape worm infestation in a dog, little segments of the worm get stuck in the feces or around the anus, signifying an infestation.  If you are seeing these tiny white segments in dog-poop, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian, and they will start the deworming process.
  • In a Fish-Tank: Tiny white worms in a fish tank can sometimes signify the presence of  Planaria.  Planaria are flatworms that live in both saltwater and freshwater, and usually are an indicator that your aquarium is in dire need of a cleaning.

Tiny Black Worm

  • In cat bed: Are they wiggling or not?  If they are not wiggling, and you are just seeing black specks in the cat bed, it might be flee dirt (aka poop).  If the tiny black specks are moving and wiggling and look like tiny black worms they are usually flea larvae, a visit to a veterinarian can provide a concrete diagnosis.

Tiny Brown Worms

  • Around the house: Tiny Brown worms around the house are usually insect larvae.  Larvae are newly hatched, wingless, wormlike looking things.  The larvae of many insects are brown in color, resembling a tiny brown worm.

Red Worms

  • In Swimming Pool: Tiny red worms that you find in a swimming pool are usually Chironomidae Larvae – sometimes commonly referred to by aquarists as “bloodworms” – are the larvae of some midges that lay eggs in the water.  They typically mean your pool is in need of a cleaning.
  • In the toilet: If you spot tiny red worms in the toilet you could be looking at Tubifex worms (aka sludge worms or sewage worms).  These worms are usually found by people that have large holding tanks of water, and since the tubifex worm lives on decaying matter, it could indicate septic sediment in the tank.


  1. We recently have found very tiny worms that look like dirt but then if you stare closely you can see that they move, they are very very small. I can’t tell if they are segmented or not, they are too small. The only thing I can think is that due to moths and other mosquito hawks that have infiltrated the house, this must be their offspring. They are only on the kitchen table which is glass and wood. We have take the glass off and cleaned but this morning they were back. They really look like dirt, I took the one potted plant I have near the table outside. Any thoughts?

    • I have noticed the same (possibly, hard to tell without pictures) type of worm on my kitchen table, just 5 minutes ago. I have a small microscope that I used to look at it, and it is indeed segmented, and appeared to be trying to burrow into the table (unsuccessfully). I used a piece of tape and clear plastic wrap to make a makeshift slide of it, and am going to try to identify it. I also thought it was a tiny white speck of dirt on the table until I saw it moving out of the corner of my eye. It can’t be any more than 1 mm long, and maybe only slightly thicker than a hair. I have not had any problems with moths or mosquito hawks in my house, but I do own two indoor cats. I will post any further information I get as it comes. Please do the same.

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