Why black ‘toilet worms’ appear in your bowl even after it’s been bleached – and how to get rid of them


A MUM was left horrified by small black worms swimming in her toilet and took to Facebook to seek a remedy to rid of the creatures, after revealing bleach only seemed to attract them.

The woman, from New South Wales, Australia, admitted the worms appear every time she scrubs and cleans her toilet with bleach – but they are more common than you might think.

The woman, from New South Wales, Australia, asked for help in dealing with the ‘gross’ worms in her toilet

Taking to Facebook to ask for help identifying the pests, dozens of other users from across the globe shared they too had been fighting off  the worms which are naturally repellent to chemicals including bleach.

Known as drain fly larvae, the black creatures are a warning sign of a build up of waste in the toilet drain – as they feed off the hair and sludge that coats the underground pipes.

Completely harmless and not carrying disease, the flies are known to only cause a nuisance and not any damage to homes, giving toilets and kitchens the appearance of being dirty.

And while most of the bugs are native to countries with a warmer or more humid climate, many species can still be found hiding in the sewage systems of the United Kingdom.

The woman took to Facebook to ask for help identifying the pests, with dozens of people replying that they too suffered with the larvae
Known as drain fly larvae, the black creatures are a warning sign of a build up of waste in the toilet drain
Getty – Contributor

Not everyone will suffer from the little black worms infesting their toilet, with the pests growing into flies after only a matter of weeks – with the most common form of infestation made by the fly adults.

“Major grossness alert,” the mum wrote on Facebook, alongside a photo of the black worms. “I’m hoping someone can shed some light on what these little wriggly things are?

“Our loo is clean – I put bleach in and left it for a good few hours – and I’ve never had them appear before, which is what I’m finding so bizarre. Any ideas on how to get rid of them for good?”

Many commenters explained the best way to get rid of them for good was to call in pest control or a plumber to clean the drain mechanically, as this completely removes the sludge build up the flies will feed on.

How to get rid of drain flies

While it’s best to call in a plumbed or pest control expert to handle an infestation of drain fly larvae, if you want to attempt the job without a professional, the experts have shared their top tips with Flies Only: 

  1. Clean the drain pipes from the outside – eliminate dirt and slime desposits by pouring warm water over the outside of the drain to loosen the sludge. Use a metal pipe brush in an up and down motion in the pipe to remove the excess waste. 
  2. Use a drain cleaner to rid of any excess – a strong drain cleaner gel will coat the sides of the pipe and remove any excess organic matter. Leave in the pipes for a few hours beforr flushing it our with water.
  3. Use chemical sprays to kill any remaning adults – even if you have removed the larvae from the pipes, adults can return to lay more eggs, so use a chemical spray to kill the remaining flies. If you are cleaning indoor pipes, use either a fly swatter or a liquid dish soap mixed with water to kill the flies without spreading harsh and toxic chemicals.

But others suggested DIY ideas for cleaning the pipes of the pesky worms, including flushing them with chemicals, hot water in the pipes and even bicarbonate of soda.

“Pour bicarb down your dream every day followed by a kettle of boiling water,” one man suggested. “Do this for a week, and make sure you run any taps that aren’t used often at least three times a week with hot water.”

“Treat your toilet regularly with a strong bleach and flush the toilet multiple times after the treating,” a woman added.


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