“Do they affect humans in any way?” asks this reader about a mystery worm or creature that is left unnamed. “Will they crawl into your mouth or ears?”
Now, our reader does not provide any photographs, nor does she write anything other than what is above in her submission, so we have very little to go on. First of all, we do not know who “they” is referring to, so we do not know what type of worm-like creature our reader may be talking about (we suppose that since she wrote to AllAboutWorms.com, the creature must resemble a worm or larva somewhat). Secondly, we likewise do not know how to help our reader if she really is experiencing something crawling into her mouth and ears. What we will do in this article is take a brief look at some examples of the types of worms that do have an effect on humans, both directly and indirectly, as well as talk about some creatures that could potentially crawl into one’s mouth or ears.
The topic of worms and the effect they have on humans is one that has been discussed aplenty; there are numerous scholarly articles, scientific researcher and newspaper articles that talk about anything ranging from how the extinction of worms would doom our planet , to the dangers of finding parasitic worms on white fish , to the fossils of ancient worms that tell us about the origin of our planet
. Worms actually can affect humans in many ways. The fall armyworm is an international threat to agriculture, which directly impacts the welfare of humans. Millipedes are environmentally beneficial and are often found in people’s gardens, where their dung acts as fertilizer in the soil; they indirectly impact the welfare of humans. Parasitic worms, which are worms that feed off of another organism’s nutrients without giving anything in return, can be detrimental to a human’s health and thus directly impacts it. These are all just some examples of the various worms that affect humans in one way or another.
When it comes to creatures that crawl into one’s mouth and ears, earwigs come to mind. They are not worms, but rather small insects with pincers on their rear that they can use to pinch people as a defence mechanism. The name of the earwig comes from the myth that it crawls into people’s ears at night when they sleep and feed on, as well as lay eggs in, one’s brain. While it is true that earwigs can crawl into someone’s ear, just like any insect of a similar size could do the same, this is not only uncommon, but they also do not crawl up to the brain to feed or lay eggs on it. Otherwise, there are no species of worms or other critters we can think of that would actually crawl into someone’s mouth. However, this question does bring a couple of things to mind, first of which is another myth, namely that one swallows up to eight spiders per year in their sleep. This just simply is not true as spiders have no interest in crawling into a large, damp tunnel that blows hot air out of it; that is not the ideal climate for a spider. Secondly, it brings to mind the kissing bug, which is an external parasite that feeds on the blood of the mammals it bites (including humans) in their sleep. What makes them dangerous is the life-threatening parasite they often carry within themselves that they then transfer to the mammal they bite. So yes, this story about an insect feeding on humans in their sleep is unfortunately not a myth. But fortunately, it’s also a pretty rare occurrence.
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To conclude, it is a shame that we really have no idea what our reader was referring to and what she was looking for when she sent in her query. We can only hope that this article touched upon at least one thing that our reader wanted to know, and that the brief overview of the worms that affect the human race is insightful to some extent. We wish our reader the best of luck and encourage her to write to us again if she wants to expand upon her query, as well as send in some photographs of whatever might be troubling her!