An infestation of “worms or larvae” have been troubling this reader for two years, taking over her home and her own body. These larvae have been found everywhere, from the fabrics in her home, to her refrigerator, to her dog’s hair and her own!
The pictures provided by our reader are close ups of what we assume to be our reader’s hair. It is hard to make out any worms or larvae, but in some of the photos, one can make out some beige-colored specks, which we assume is the creature in question. Our reader states that she has almost lost all of her hair at this point, and she does not know if the worm is “eating” the hair itself “or sucking nutrients” from it. As previously mentioned, the worms have also been found in her dog’s fur, but she does not specify if the dog has also experienced more hair loss than what is common for a dog.
The dilemma here is that while this worm is infesting our reader’s fabrics, her “leather carpet” and her refrigerator (for all of which we could name a few larvae that would be commonly found in these locations), it is these same larvae which are in our reader’s hair and her dog’s fur. And not only that, the larvae are giving our reader symptoms, namely hair loss, meaning they are likely parasites. For that reason, this query becomes medical in nature and we can thus not provide an identification of the worms. Doing so would be tantamount to providing a diagnosis, which we are not qualified to do seeing as we are not medical professionals. What we can do is give our reader some advice as to where she can go to get a professional opinion on these larvae.
Firstly, we always recommend seeing a parasite specialist over seeing one’s doctor/GP. This is because the majority of doctor’s do not receive training in the field of parasites and would thus likewise not be qualified to help anyone infested with one. Further to this, going to the ER is likewise not necessarily going to ensure immediate treatment. ER doctors also have a limited and focused scope of knowledge, and are there to treat life-threatening conditions (which they typically do very well), but they are not trained to identify or treat parasitic infections. On the other hand, an infectious disease specialist is trained to identify whether a given medical issue is the result of a parasite, fungus, bacteria or virus. They are going to be an expert in this field and should be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. To find one, our reader can simply search for ‘infectious disease physician (name of her closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of her closest big city)’.
Secondly, taking samples of the larvae to one’s local county extension office or to the entomology department at a nearby university might also be a good idea so that one can gather as many opinions on the identity of the larvae as possible. Doing this prior to a visit with a specialist might also help the specialist narrow down the suspects and reach a conclusion on the identity of the larva faster.
In conclusion, we are not able to identify the larvae that are infesting this woman’s home, hair and dog. Given our lack of medical expertise, it would be a disservice to our reader if we even began to try to identify the critter, as any information given without qualification can be dangerous to those who use it. Regardless, we hope that our reader does seek medical help and that this issue is resolved quickly. Best of luck to her!