One of our readers sent us quite a few pictures of something she is dealing with in her home. She said that these are unidentifiable parasites and she is worried that they could be many different things. She has said that when she leaves food out for only small amounts of time, these parasites pounce on the food in a matter of minutes. She is afraid that it could be anything from scabies to larvae. She is in contact with medical professionals, but she wanted us to put her mind at ease on these creatures.
This is a rather tough one. With many types of parasites, it is always best to contact a medical professional and wait for their advice, and of course we are not medical professionals, so if our reader is concerned that these may be parasites that may infect her, she should seek the advice of a doctor immediately.
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That said, it is very unclear to us how parasites could just pounce on food in so little time. An infestation of parasites can occur over time in the pantry if food is left out or uncovered.
Secondly, scabies is an infection of the skin, so these parasites could not be scabies if they are going directly to our reader’s food. Scabies are not as large as the parasites that our reader is seeing. We are very unsure of why she mentions scabies, but we do suggest to anyone thinking they have scabies to see a doctor immediately.
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We are sharing her email with all of our readers as well as a picture. Perhaps some of our readers can share any input with her.
In summary, we are unable to help our reader identify these parasites that are attacking her food. If they are on the food, they are not scabies, but could be a type of larvae. Our reader is in contact with medical professionals and it is important that she work with them if she feels that they are some sort of parasite that may infect her.
Here is her email:
“I’ve been finding some bizarre unexplainable and unidentifiable parasites. I am absolutely lost and desperate for your advice. I’m unsure if this is larvae or a worm. I have scoured the internet endlessly and cannot find anything similar than a varied carpet beetle. When I leave food out momentarily [go to the bathroom, step away for a phone call, etc.], I’ve been finding these in my food! One time in my slow cooker with food inside, one time in my soup when I microwaved it. One time in Indian food, and one time in pizza – but this time I found them with small shield shaped crusts [what I thought were dried up scabies, but scabies don’t eat human food.] I thought maybe it just fell in there but they seem to be making frequent appearances also. I’m now second guessing these might not be scabies crusts.
I have no idea how it’s possible they are getting in there without me noticing. They will range from 1/2 to 2 1/2 in. They don’t move but vary from tan to darkest brown. They are very rubbery, bouncy texture, and have these white and black rice like specs meshed in with its body if tan color.
I had submitted these to an infectious disease doctor but awaiting results. I am not hopeful in their competency and thoroughness with biopsies and stool samples due to a recent culprit of scabies. My vet identified it when five doctors could not diagnose my scalp infection for the past six months!”