Found Worm In My Swimming Pool

by Lon J
(Dandridge, TN)

Horsehair Worms

Horsehair Worms

I found a worm in my swimming pool about 12-14" long x about 1/16" diameter, tan very smooth and a very small head, if at all on one end.

It was swimming in our in-ground pool moving around like a snake. I caught it in a net and put it on the driveway and stepped on it. It was wiggling very bad and I thought it would die.

About 2 hours later I came back to see if it was dead, and now it's black, flat, all wrinkled and brittle looking. I picked it up and it felt like there was nothing to it.

I put it in water to keep it from blowing away so that I could show my wife when she came home, and to my surprise, after being in the water for about 2 hours, the worm was now tan again and looked exactly like it did when I netted it in the pool.

It has been 24 hours now and it still appears dead, but for awhile I thought it was resurrecting itself.

Anyone have any ideas on what kind of worm this is? I feel sure it is some kind of parasite due to the small head on the end. I took a couple of pictures of the dead worm.

Worried to go in the pool.

Hi Lon,

How interesting to find this unusual worm in your swimming pool. I wish you'd uploaded the photo so we could have seen it, too. Does it look anything like the photos I've added above?

It sounds like you may have captured a horsehair worm. They are parasites, but their natural host is insects or things like grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, beetles, cockroaches, millipedes, centipedes, snails, slugs, etc.

They live in the host until they can crawl out in water - as they need water to survive, just as you described. They then look for another host insect to crawl into. If they don't find one, they will die.

Horsehair worms are not known to be harmful to humans or pets, so you shouldn't have to worry about swimming in your pool. You can net them out or filter them out if you get more than the one.

Enjoy your swimming!

Comments for Found Worm In My Swimming Pool

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Oct 04, 2013
Horsehair worm NEW
by: Anonymous

I also found one in our in ground swimming pool Took it to my vet and for $80 they Sent it off to the lab and it was indeed that a "horsehair worm". Kind of expensive but for peace of mind....It was worth it. I kind of figured that's what it was when I did the some searching around on the web.

Jul 27, 2012
Horsehair Worm In Swimming Pool NEW
by: Angie from

Hi Brenda,

Well, I can't make any guarantees about anything, but as far as I know and have been able to discover elsewhere, horsehair worms don't bother or affect humans in any negative way.

I don't think you have to worry about your grandkids in relation to the worms in the pool, but I'm sure I'd be checking it regardless before they go for a swim. :)


Jul 25, 2012
worm in my pool
by: Brenda

Oh my gosh, I got one out of my pool tonight. we had'nt had the filter on for a couple of days because of the storms. we've had a lot of rain. are you sure they won't get into humans? I have grandkids and I'd just die if something got into them.

Jan 28, 2011
tan worm
by: Anonymous

My son just took one out of our pool too...I was freaked out by it!

Oct 07, 2010
worm in pool
by: buzzy

I caught one in my pool last night..i have it at home in a jar of water. Tan with a very small head. i will take a pic tonight and download to my computer.

Aug 12, 2010
What's That Worm?
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for the information on the Horsehair worm. I was scared to go near the pool. Thanks for convincing me that they do not bother humans.

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