“What are these white things getting on my pants out in my yard?” asks this reader in her submission. “They are going in my skin.”
Normally, when we are asked about white organisms being found on people’s clothing, we immediately jump to clothes moth larvae: caterpillars that feed on organic-based materials such as those found in textiles.
However, given that they came from the yard, while clothes moths usually lay their eggs directly on a food source, and that they are going on our reader’s skin, we are not so sure that these would be clothes moth larvae.
We really do not know what these could be. Unfortunately, being small and white is about as generic of a description of a larva or worm-like organism that you can give. And the photo our reader sent does not show us any of the finer details of the organisms’ bodies. On top of that, no further context is provided than that quoted above.
In any case, We recommend that she brush off the organisms before going inside and that she launder the pants immediately. She should do the same with any other items she finds these critters on.
Now, seeing as these organisms are getting on to our reader’s skin, we want to provide some resources she can use if she starts experiencing symptoms as a result of this contact. That is not to say that she will experience symptoms, or that these organisms are harmful or parasitic: as we are not medical professionals, that is not our call to make.
Nonetheless, in the case that our reader does grow concerned for her health as a result of discovering these organisms, then we recommend she consult a medical parasitologist: they are physicians who specialize in infections caused by organisms. To find one, our reader can 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.
We should note that both Dr. Amin and Dr. Savaliya are available for online consultation, so our reader does not need to be in the vicinity of their physical offices to get help!
To conclude, we do not know what the minuscule white organisms are that our reader found on her pants in the yard. Given that their bodies are so small and lack detail, they could really be anything. If she starts experiencing health concerns because of these organisms coming onto her skin, we recommend that she consult a medical professional, such as a medical parasitologist. We hope this article helps and we wish her the very best.
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