I’m nearly at my wits-end. I work for a pest control company and I’ve had a gentleman calling me trying to verbally describe a bug that is “burrowing” into his (and his wife’s) skin. He’s been to several Doctors, Dermatologists, and Emergency Rooms – nobody can identify the problem.
The gentleman described the bugs as winged and ant-like in appearance. Daily, he and his wife have to “dig” these insects out of their bodies – they claim they burrow into their skin, about 1⁄2 an inch down, and feed and/or lay eggs. He says his urine and stool have become green – (a possible by-product of medications that he’s been prescribed). He further claims he has passed larvae in his stool, and they “adults” sometimes crawl out of their bodies (nose, ears, etc.). He fears they are killing him; his wife is hysterical every time he calls. I don’t know how to property treat the house because I’m unsure exactly what I’m dealing with. All the literature I have doesn’t really list any parasitic or blood-feeders that aren’t standard fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mites, or bedbugs. He’s sent bloodwork, samples, etc to local universities, but they all tell him it will be 4-6 weeks before they get any results. They put him on medications to fight infections, and he says when he started the meds the bugs because crawling out of him. The most strange thing is that he swears he’s got “sacs” in his body where there may be eggs. Scans have shown that he does have larvae in his lungs. He said he was a missionary years ago, so it may not be a pest exclusive to Florida, where we are located. I don’t know if this falls into a true “bug” category, but this was the only place I could think to turn. Your website is fantastic and a great resource for my industry. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Premier Lawn and Pest Management
We are struck dumb by this poor couple’s dilemma. We really don’t have any advice to provide. Travel to tropical countries, especially missionary duty deep in the jungles, sounds to us like a sure recipe for contracting unusual diseases and parasites. While we have no advice for you, we would advise you to let yourself off the hook on this one. This is well beyond the scope and domain of an exterminating company. This couple needs medical attention. This is, however, a strong contender for our Worst Bug Story Ever.
Update: Delusory Parasitosis perhaps
About “Internal parasites”
Well, this sure sounds like a classic case of delusional parasitosis to me! I know you can’t say that on WTB. You can read about delusional parasitosis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_parasitosis and here: http://delusion.ucdavis.edu/delusional.html All good wishes to you, WTB is great!
We did strongly consider that possibility. Charles Hogue refers to this disorder as Delusory Parasitosis or Delusory Cleptoparasitosis.
Hi again Daniel.
The only hesitation I have is, that when people read one or two really weird horror stories (which are probably in reality cases of delusional parasitosis or DP) on WTB (which has a lot of credibility) and where these weird stories are pretty much presented as being (probably or possibly) a real case of actual bugs, well… I am concerned that it might encourage more people to think that this could actually happen, or is happening, to them. My husband’s brother had a case of delusional parasitosis a couple of years ago. It was really weird dealing with him about it; there was no way to get through to him that he might actually be misunderstanding what was going on, that no insect species could behave in the way he described. I think he actually had some formication going on (I have had that a fair bit and I know how it feels) and he was extrapolating from there that it had to be actual insects. For more info on formication take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formication Then there is that “Morgellons” phenomenon or belief system which seems to be spreading like wildfire. Maybe you are familiar with it? If not take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgellon You guys are doing so much worthwhile work with WTB in terms of helping people get over their fear of insects and be more rational towards them, I am just wondering if these weird DP stories might have the capability to push more than a few people in the opposite direction… All good wishes,
In regards to the PARASITIZED COUPLE
Your latest story about the couple plagued by unknown parasites ( Internal Parasites (06/12/2008) Bug? Dilemma ) reminded me of something I read about once. Morgellans Disease, which I think one of the symptoms is delusional parasitosis. More info can be obtained at the following link: http://www.morgellons-disease-research.com/delusional-parasitosis.html Regards,
reply to the Internal Parasites or Delusory Parasitosis?
Along with checking with their dermatologists, they should be checking with qualified entomologists. Unless we see the results and “scans showing larvae in the lungs” I would say Delusory Parasitosis. I work for a mosquito control and I had a man call and say that they had a bad case of “no see ums”. He said that they were getting into their skin and were everywhere. They were coming out of the grown left and right. He kept blaming the water company for flooded yards. I sent my surveillance crew to investigate the area to make sure there wasn’t any flooded areas and to check for possible mosquito breeding. They came back and told me that the guy was crazy. There was no water and he kept pointing to these bugs that didn’t exist. Plus he started to chase the “bugs” with pesticide. I know that insects make up 75% of the living creatures on earth and there are a lot of things that are unknown. So there could be a small chance of some strange insect doing this. He said he did missionary work several years ago so the problem couldn’t just show up now. To have something this strange it would have to be foreign not from Florida. His description of the insect doesn’t ring a bell for me either. I would advise Scott Murrell to step out and recommend that they ask an entomologist with experience in exotic species. He can’t treat what he can’t see. By the way I love your site. I constantly get asked to identify insects so sometimes I cheat and just come to your website. J
HELP FOR DELUSORY PARASITOSIS
October 21, 2009
Here at the University of Georgia we are conducting a research project on Ekbom Syndrome (the clinical name for delusory parasitosis). We know responding to these individuals can take a lot of your time, so please feel free to refer them to us at 706-542-9033 or Insects@uga.edu.
Dr. Nancy C. Hinkle