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How to get rid of small worms in your bathtub

Updated April 17, 2017

If you've ever stepped into your bathtub for a relaxing bath and met tiny wormlike creatures, you likely want to know how to get them out and why they were in your tub in the first place. These worms are actually not worms at all but the larvae of the moth fly. Also known as the drain fly, the moth fly commonly frequents areas in which moisture is present, such as tubs and sinks. The insect's larvae typically look like worms and are legless, grey and usually about 3/8 inch long. Fortunately, getting rid of the moth fly and its offspring is fairly simple.

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  1. Scrub the area around your bath drain. Moth fly larvae tend to feed off the gelatinous material that often forms around drains. Use drain cleaner and a sponge or scrub brush to clean the area. Clean the drain at least once a week to keep the area germ- and larvae-free. If you have a septic system, use safe septic cleaners.

  2. Set a trap over the drain. Cover the underside of a plastic margarine container lid with a thin coat of petroleum jelly and place it on top of the drain. The emerging flies and larvae will likely become trapped inside the sticky substance. Leave the cleaned trap on the drain until collection has ceased.

  3. Clean the pipes that lead up to your shower drain with a long-handled, stiff brush. Cleaning the pipes can eliminate the gelatinous grime in which the larvae feed and cut off their food supply, which will cause them to perish.

  4. Apply an aerosol insecticide to the larvae that is safe to use indoors. The insecticide will kill the larvae, but they will continue to return unless you remove their food source. Most insecticides go directly on the larvae; however, read the directions on your particular product for best results.

  5. Tip

    Caulk or otherwise seal any holes, cracks or gaps in your windows, doors or foundation to prevent the moth flies from getting inside your home and leaving the larvae in your tub.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drain cleaner
  • Sponge or
  • Scrub brush
  • Plastic margarine container lid
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Long-handled stiff brush
  • Insecticide

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