“I am going on three years now having had strange organisms in my clothing and home” states this reader in her query regarding the creatures in the photos below. Our reader is leaning toward the explanation that “humans and human homes are made up of the same cells and material which would leave behind the same debris”, but she would still like our opinion on the matter.
Our reader adds that after consulting our webpage and finding pictures that matched what she found, she wanted to check with us to see if it was anything to worry about, seeing as she has pets, visitors and children in her home often. She also wonders if her dogs “don’t bring the stuff in on their fur”, rather than it being clusters of human “cells”. These organisms all look very different, and we doubt they all belong to the same species. Likewise, the resolution of all three images is quite low, meaning it is difficult to make out any of the finer details on the organisms that would help us identify them. We suppose that the long pink worm could be an earthworm or a bloodworm of some kind, but we could not say this with 100% certainty, given the low resolution. When it comes to the organisms in the other two photos, we also do not know what they could be. The oblong, dark gray creature with the spade-shaped head reminds us of a hammerhead worm, only because of the shape of its head. Yet, the head would not be this big and the body would be far longer, so we doubt it is a hammerhead worm. The second gray (or beige, perhaps) creature is completely unidentifiable as the quality of the image is simply too poor.
What we recommend that our reader do is take these three organisms to her local county extension office to get them identified there. As they will be able to see the organisms in person, they will be able to inspect them in far greater detail to give our reader the certain answers she requires. Alternatively, if our reader wants us to have another go at identifying the organisms, she is welcome to send sharper photos taken in better lighting, so that we can better see the minute details on the creatures that might give away their identities. Either way, a good method for keeping one’s clothes free of organisms in general is to launder the infested clothing at the highest temperatures they can muster, vacuum the area around the clothes (and the entire home for good measure), and vacuum-seal any unused (or rarely used) clothing. Generally speaking, keeping one’s home regularly cleaned is vital in preventing infestations of any kind. If the infestation is getting out of hand, our reader may also want to consider calling pest control. Likewise, if our reader thinks the organisms may be affecting her health or her children’s health, then she may want to get the opinion of a medical professional. In that case, 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.
In conclusion, we are not able to identify the organisms our reader found in her home, given the poor resolution of the photographs. As we said, our reader is welcome to send us better photos if she wants us to give it a second try, but otherwise we hope that the advice listed above proves helpful to our reader, and we wish her the best of luck in dealing with these organisms.
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