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Reader with Worms Emerging from Skin Needs Immediate Medical Attention

A reader wrote to us in an understandable frenzy because she has white worms (or worm-like things) coming out of her skin. She included the following picture: Continue reading [...]

Ringworm has Nothing to do with Worms

A reader left a comment on another article asking us to explain the origin of ringworm. Because ringworm is often misunderstood, we thought we would devote an article to it.Before going any further, we should note that we are not medical doctors, and that we are making no attempt to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If our reader, or anyone else, suspects that they or their pets have ringworm they should consult an appropriate medical professional.One of the reasons that ringworm is so misunderstood is that it has nothing to do with worms. Ringworm (the technical name is tinea) is a skin infection caused by fungi that live on the dead tissues found on one’s skin, nails, or hair. Tinea has two other common names that are used when the infection appears on either the feet or Continue reading [...]

Reader May Have Found a Horsehair Worm in the Woods

Recently, we got a note from a reader who found an interesting critter in the woods. He is wondering if this tiny creature is a member of the family Phasmatodea (he has read about Phasmatodea in a couple articles on our website). Continue reading [...]

Some Black Worms Can Live in the Human Body

Today, we answer an inquiry from a gentleman asking if black worms live in the human body. The answer depends on what he is referring to with the words “black worm.” Continue reading [...]

Are Sinus Problems Parasite-Related?

One of our readers believes she might be coughing up a parasite that is infecting her sinuses. Since we aren't medical professionals, there is not much we can do to help our reader out in this scary situation. Rather, we think she should see a doctor immediately. Continue reading [...]
bottom of glass terrarium

Will Tiny Worms In Terrarium Kill Plants?

Our reader has begun an eternity terrarium (pictured), and after three days has started seeing white, threadlike worms in the soil. The soil looks like yard or garden soil, which widens the search, but we think the soil introduced nematodes or nematomorpha-- young horsehair worms. Alongside nematodes, garden soil plays host to a near-limitless number of invertebrates and micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoans and algal forms. Each can contribute fundamentally to the recycling of organic matter into topsoil with the vital nutrients that plants need to grow. It’s estimated that as many as a billion of these micro-organisms reside in a single gram of soil. Eggs and tiny larvae can hitch-hike in with these microorganisms, on unwashed rocks and shells, or any other backyard Continue reading [...]