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How to Identify Human Intestinal Worms

By Jennifer Habersham ; Updated July 27, 2017

One of the scariest things you can face is finding something in your feces that you don’t remember eating, especially when that something is moving. It is a fact of life that even the cleanest of people can pick up an intestinal worm. You can become infected with these parasites from infested animals, tainted food, water and even walking around barefoot. While many types of intestinal worms are invisible to the naked eye, others are quite easy to identify.

  1. Complete the process of having a bowel movement in your normal manner. Do not flush the toilet.

  2. Put on your gloves, remove your feces from the toilet and place in your clear container.

  3. Pull your feces apart and search for worms.

  4. Identify the worm. Pin worms (which are usually found around the anus and not in a stool sample) are white, thin, and look like a thread or string. Roundworms are long (8 inches and up), thick and off-white in color. Two types of worms are invisible to the naked eye: Hookworms are dark in color and have a hooked mouth, and tapeworms are long and flat (think strips of fresh pasta), and over 14 feet long.

  5. Contact your doctor if you find a worm in your stool, or if you think you have a worm. Worms like Schistosomiasis and Toxocariasis can only be identified by microscope or a blood test.

  6. Tip

    Where a mask over your mouth and nose if you feel that you will be ill from the smell of your stool sample. Throw away the clear container when you are done examining your stool sample.


    Intestinal worms can be very dangerous and sometimes fatal if left untreated. Worms can be transferred easily. Always wash your hands and cook your food properly.

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