“We seem to have an infestation of moths and what we’re thinking might be larvae,” states this reader in her submission regarding the array of photos below. Our reader wonders if the appearance of this moth and its larvae could be connected to parasites “in some way.”
Our reader and her fiance, who live in Alabama, have been experiencing “symptoms of what appears to be parasites” and she desperately seeks help for their situation. From the pictures alone, we can tell that a lot of these organisms clearly are moths. Infestations of moths are not unlikely, especially of those species whose larvae like to feed on things commonly found in the home, such as the pantry moth and the webbing clothes moth.
Furthermore, there are indeed parasites which take insects as their hosts, such as the horsehair worm. For that reason, it is not impossible for moths to carry parasites. That said, it is improbable that a moth would transmit parasites to humans. Parasites are almost always transmitted through ingestion, secretions of faecal matter and/or vomit into an open wound, or biting. Now, unless our reader and her fiance are eating the moths, it is not likely that the moths or their larvae are connected to any parasitic infection, as moths do not bite nor do they tend to land on humans and secrete things into their wounds.
With all of this in mind, we are not saying that our reader and her fiance are not experiencing a parasitic infection: as we are not medical professionals, this is not a conclusion we can draw. All we are saying is that it is not probable that the moth infestation caused this infection. If our reader wants answers concerning her symptoms and a possible parasitic infection, then we suggest that she consult a medical professional, specifically a parasitologist.
What we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com. 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
To conclude, it is highly unlikely that an infestation of moths has anything to do with a parasite infection, but that is not to say that our reader and her fiance’s experience is invalid. If they have cause to believe they are experiencing a parasitic infection, or if they are simply concerned about their health, then they should definitely consult the opinion of a medical professional, who will be qualified and capable of providing the answers they seek, as well as the help they may require. We hope that this article helps, and we wish our reader and her fiance the best!