Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mango Worms

*Warning* This post may be considered gross by those who have queasy stomachs.

'Tis the season worms. Ugh.

During the rainy season flies lay their eggs in damp, moist places. The eggs/worms burrow into skin and begin living off of the host's body.

Our three little kittens had a rough bout with these invasive creatures when they were just a couple weeks old. This little guy had it the worst. We thought he had a bad eye infection because of this huge pustule-like thing crowding his eyeball. Turns out a mango worm was sharing the eye socket with the eye. This photo was taken one day after we squeezed and tweezed that nasty parasite out.

Perspective: here's a squeezed out mango worm next to Tobi's index finger.

This same little guy had two mango worms in his jaw as well. I popped one out--see the hole, but I couldn't get the other one out at that time.

Small animals can die if they are infested with mango worms. The worms simply consume everything that the animal needs for life. Our kittens were already in a weakened state with their 4 to 5 mango worms a piece.

Of course, humans are not immune to mango worms. I've only had one, and I got it out while it was still quite small.  The worst story I ever heard was of a foreigner who was a runner. Every day he would take off his sweaty shirt, put it on the clothesline, then throw it on again the next day. His back was completely infested with mango worms.

We take extra precautions with laundry during the rainy season: all of it is either ironed or run through the dryer in order to kill any of the worms that have been laid in the seams.

Why are they called mango worms? I don't know. Maybe because they come out during mango season which is also the rainy season.

By the way, our little kitten appears to have completely recovered his eyesight.

1 comment:

Sarah Hensley said...

ohhhhh I can't stand it! the thought of the man's back is too much!!
very, very interesting though.