It seems like a disgusting and frightening scene from a horror movie, but can bugs crawl up your bum in reality too? Read on to know all about the shocking worm that does this and what you can do to prevent it.
Usually, bugs do now crawl up your bum, but that’s where the good news ends. There is one type of intestinal parasite that can crawl out of our bum, lay its eggs, and then crawl back in.
This is called the Pinworm, and it affects nearly one bn people across the world, mostly children.
In this blog, we will talk about pinworms, what causes them, what harm they can do, how to treat them, and answer other questions you might have about them.
What Are They?
Pinworms are tiny, white worms that call human intestines their homes. They are white (translucent) in color, and most of them grow to about half an inch in length.
Female pinworms have a unique way of laying their eggs which makes them very uncomfortable for their host. Adult worms crawl out of your anus during the night and lay their egg sacs in the skin near the anal region.
This causes the human to itch uncomfortably at night, disturbing their sleep and also helping spread the worms even further (through the nails).
Fortunately, adult pinworms are not disease carriers. The uncomfortable itching is the only side effect of having them. Moreover, pinworms are more common in younger children than adults and is easy to treat.
What Causes a Pinworm Infection?
When a child with pinworms scratches her bottom, the eggs get attached to her nails. These eggs can stay there for several hours, and if she touches her clothes or other objects, they can survive for up to 3 weeks.
When other children or even adults touch these surfaces, they can pick up the eggs and get the infection. This is why it is very important for children to wash their hands before eating.
Moreover, adolescents who suck their thumbs might also get the worm into their bodies through that route. You should discourage your child from sucking her thumb, and if she uses a pacifier, make sure to sterilize it every day.
Despite popular misconception, pets don’t usually spread pinworms. In very rare cases, a human can inhale pinworm eggs when breathing.
For infected children who already have pinworms, the eggs might remain on the anus and hatch to form larvae. These baby worms then crawl up the anus back into the intestine and start their lifecycle again.
Who Is Most at Risk?
The CDC cautions that school-aged children under the age of 18 are most at risk in regards to pinworms.
Those who live near children, take care of them, and those who are institutionalized are also at risk. As high as 50% of these groups can have pinworms.
Children living in child care centers are especially at risk, since the disease often transfers from child to child.
Pinworms only affect humans; our pets do not get infected by them. Pinworms are the most widespread form of worm infection in the United States.
What Are the Symptoms?
One of the most common symptoms is the uncontrollable urge to itch your bottom. If your child is infected with these worms, they may be very restless in bed at night.
The itching is not a form of the disease, and it is caused because the worms are crawling to the anus to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae crawl back inside to the larger intestine, which is the home of these parasites.
Sometimes, you might see the worms come out with the child’s stool as well. They are easy to spot because they are white and stand out from the poo.
In severe cases, the constant itching at night can become a bigger problem, leading to irritability, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
Occasionally, pinworms might crawl onto the vaginal area as well in young girls. If this happens, girls might experience itching and irritation in the vagina as well.
How Is the Infection Diagnosed?
There are two ways to diagnose pinworms, visually or through a tape test.
Since pinworms crawl out at night to lay their eggs, you might be able to spot one of them visually. They are white and about ½ inch in length. If you see one, it is a sure sign that the child has pinworms.
If you cannot spot a worm visually, apply sticky tape to the folds of the skin underneath the anus immediately after the child gets up.
Take the tape to a pathology lab to get tested; it might have caught the worm’s eggs on it. They can check for it under a microscope.
What Is the Treatment?
For a complete treatment, it is important not just to get the patient treated; you would also need to get everyone else in your family checked up and clean your home quite thoroughly.
Here is what you can do.
Treating the infected person and others in the house
Most pinworm infections are not very severe. Your doctor might prescribe a chewable table called mebendazole to treat the worms.
Depending on how the disease progresses, the doctor may give your child a second dose of the medicine about 2-3 weeks after the first one.
Make sure to get all members of the household checked up because this worm spreads very quickly to others. All those infected needs to take the same medication.
Preventing further spread
To avoid the worms from spreading further, make sure to bathe your child carefully every day as soon as you get up. Also, keep washing their hands throughout the day, after taking meals or using the bathroom.
If your child has the urge to scratch their behind, discourage them from doing so. Moreover, try to prevent them from chewing their nails.
Eliminating the worm from your home
The pinworms’ eggs can remain alive for more than three weeks on surfaces like clothes and plastic. To make sure that the disease is completely gone from your home, machine-wash your sheets and other linen. Then dry them in direct sunlight or at a high temperature.
Moreover, open the curtains in your home and let in sunlight because these eggs cannot survive direct sunlight for too long.
Lastly, vacuum the entire house properly, carefully removing dust from every corner. For surfaces hard to reach with a vacuum, use an oiled cloth to pick up the eggs and then burn it later.
How Can It Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent pinworms is to maintain personal hygiene in children. A few simple steps can prevent the growth and spread of pinworms in your house and to others.
Here are some things to consider:
Ask children to wash their hands after every meal, each time they go the bathroom, or every time they come home from the playground.
Wash your bedsheets, bed linens, mattresses, and other decor items regularly and dry them in sunlight or at high temperatures.
Pinworms can reoccur if your child comes in contact with them again. If this happens, try to see where the worms are originating from and avoid sending your child to the place.
Other Bugs That Might Crawl On Your Anus
Can Centipedes Crawl up Your Bum?
A curious case happened with an infant whose parents spotted white bugs coming out of her anus in 2013. After that, several people also reported finding a centipede in toilet bowl or a worm coming out of their anus.
Investigation showed that it was possible that these bugs were soil centipedes inside the human body, who might have crawled up the baby’s nose and into her intestinal area, ultimately getting out through the baby’s bum.
While centipedes are usually considered harmless, this rather bizarre instance showed that there is a remote possibility of these bugs also crawling around a human’s anus.
Can Ants Crawl up Your Bum?
No, ants won’t be able to survive the journey even if they try. Ants are smart creatures; they would most probably not even try something like this.
But if you insist on knowing what happens if an ant crawls up your bum, the answer is that our body will be able to trap them in flesh or mucous, and most probably, the ant would die much before reaching anywhere near the bum area.
Can Spiders Crawl up Your Bum?
No, it is unlikely that a spider will crawl up your bum. Spiders do not like to be around humans. They sense movement and scurry away from large animals, so a spider would rarely crawl up your skin, leave alone get into your buttocks.
There is an internet hoax about brown recluse spiders climbing and living in human anuses, which is a complete fabrication.
Is it Possible That I Peed out a Bug?
It’s very unlikely that you can pee out a bug. Our urinary orifice is far too small to carry a bug, and even if it were bigger, a bug is unlikely to survive inside our body.
In most cases, this is likely going to be a case of the bug already being on your toilet bowl when you start peeing, and you end up thinking that it came out of you.
Crawling Feeling in Anus No Worms: What Can It Mean?
Most likely, it is a case of pinworms. Pinworms are hard to detect since they come out only at night and lay their tiny eggs on the anus.
You can try the tape method to get yourself tested for pinworms; any qualified pathologist will be able to confirm their presence.
Can a Roach Crawl in Your Anus?
Roaches are far too big to crawl into your anus. They prefer to stay away from larger animals, so it is unlikely that roaches would want to crawl up your butt.
In any case, even if a roach gets inside your anus, it will die almost immediately by getting crushed or getting stuck in your bodily fluids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can bugs crawl into your private parts?
Apart from pinworms that can crawl around your anus, the other famous bug that infests humans’ private parts is pubic lice.
Pubic lice can affect the genital area in both men and women, and these bugs are bloodsuckers. They are commonly known as crabs.
What STD has bugs?
The trich STD (Trichomoniasis) is a common disease that happens because of protozoan infection. The Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite that infects private parts of humans.
In most cases, it is hard to tell if someone has this bug. Out of nearly 2 million infections, only 30% of people develop any active symptoms of the disease.
Can you get lice in your vag?
Yes, pubic lice can infect your vaginal area. Pubic lice are bloodsucking parasites that reside mostly in the pubic area.
However, one can also find them in other spots that have hair, such as armpits. Pubic lice often get transferred during sex.
What causes lice in private parts?
In most cases, lice in private parts get transferred to new hosts during sexual activity. If a child is showing signs of pubic lice, it is a red flag for sexual abuse, especially if they are found in eyebrows or eyelashes.
They can also be transferred when you share your bedding, clothes, towels, or other home decor items with someone else.
While bugs crawling up your anus is a horrible thought, pinworms are actually quite harmless. Apart from causing irritation in your child’s bum and a lot of restless nights, there isn’t any disease that spreads through them.
Medication and good hygiene can easily bring these bugs under control in just a few weeks. Keep your clothes, bed sheets, and all surfaces in your home clean at all times, and encourage your children to wash their hands regularly. Thank you for reading all about pinworms!
This article was prompted by a very unique inquiry from one of our readers, checking in with us about a parasite that was passed in their daughter’s stool.
Do read the rather unfortunate but fascinating story below.
Letter 1 – Can Centipedes really Crawl up your Butt???
Subject: Worm found in my 10 month old daughter
Location: Davie, FL
February 14, 2013 9:34 am
Two days ago we had our kids in our pool and the baby who is 10 months old was crawling around on the top shelf of the pool. She had no diaper on and I noticed something kind of hanging out of her rear end. Upon closer inspection my husband and I realized it looked like a worm! He pulled it out and a worm about 4 inches came out. I took her to the ER with the worm (my husband put it in a plastic solo cup for me). They gave her some medicine to treat tape worms although, they all said they never saw this type of worm and half the staff was convinced its not a tape worm. I don’t think it is either. They kept the worm and sent it to pathology to be tested, and they still haven’t figured out what it is. She passed one more in her poop, smaller and dead that night when we came home. Nothing else since that I’ve seen. She hasn’t been out of the country. Has never been outside on the grass. She only eats baby food out of the jar and her formula is a hypoal lergenic formula as she has a severe milk protein allergy. The only animals shes been near is our 2 dogs (whom I should mention spend a great deal of time outside with our neighbors horses and with our African spur thighed tortoise). She’s never been near our tortoise. The dogs unfortunately do eat the horses and tortoises poop sometimes :-/. She has on occasion gotten a hold of their dog food bowls and gotten a piece or two in her mouth. We’ve actually relocated their bowls to an area she cannot get to before this even happened. For over a week now she’s had diarrhea, loss of appetite and has been more sleepy then usual. She has been rather cranky as well, which is all very out of character for her. I hope you can help us out. We’re concerned as you can imagine and just want to know what this is.
Signature: Concerned Mommy
Dear Concerned Mommy,
We are not qualified to deal with medical issues, and we believe you have done the right thing in seeking professional assistance in this matter, however, we will offer you our opinion. The creature in the photo you supplied looks like a Centipede and not an intestinal parasite. The appendages like legs and antennae are far too developed for an intestinal parasite. We suspect your infant somehow encountered a Centipede that fell in the pool. As far as her lethargy goes, we suspect that might have to do with the medication. We would suggest you contact the ER to see if the medication they gave her would lead to her symptoms. You should also take the second organism she passed for professional analysis. We might be wrong on this matter, but we are giving you our opinion.
Thanks for the quick response, I really appreciate it. The lethargy and other symptoms began prior to discovering the worm and before taking the medication. The worm/centipede was literally pulled out of her anus (so sorry for bring so graphic). The smaller piece you see was what was hanging out of her rear, when my husband pulled it broke off. He grabbed the other piece that was hanging out of her rear and the longer piece is what he pulled out of her. I’d changed her diaper before then and there was nothing there. She was on the pool shelf just minutes before I saw it and she was right next to me. I can’t imagine it crawled up in her that fast without me noticing? Do you think iymt crawled in her?
Dear Concerned Mommy,
We are speechless on this matter. We would love a followup email when the pathology report on the critter comes back.
Update: Soil Centipedes reportedly passed through human gastrointestinal system
This is a real long shot, but it is not entirely unheard of to have passed centipedes. It is thought that they may be ingested along with vegetable matter. Geophilus carpophagus has been removed from humans before, and it lookd fairly similar to the one in the picture. Check out the book “Sanitary Entomology” by William Dwight Pierce. It’s an old one, but it covers a few accounts like this. I’d never have thought it possible if I didn’t read it myself. It seems that the species in Geophilus are the most “common.”
Thank you for this fascinating bit of information. According to BugGuide, the Soil Centipede order is Geophilomorpha, but BugGuide does not recognize the genus you mentioned. The book was published in 1923, so there are most likely significant taxonomy changes since that time. We did a web search of “Geophilus sanitary entomology pierce” and we were led to page 490 where the following information is provided in columns: “Disease … Pseudoparasitism of nasal and alimentary passages by centipedes; Causative organism … Chaetechelyne vesuviana, Geophilus carphophagus, Geophilus cephalicus, Geophilus electricus, Geophilus similis, Himantarium gervaisi, Julus londinensis, Julus terrestria, Lithobium forficatus, Lithobius melanops Polydemus complanatus, Scutigera coleoptrata, Stigmatogaster subterraneus; Insect transmitter … Same as preceding. [note Blatta orientalis]; Method of insect transmissions … Inflammation is caused in the nasal and alimentary passages due to the accidental entrance of centipedes, probably during sleep or in fresh vegetable foods. Nature of Insect role … Direct attack.” The book does not indicate if the Soil Centipedes are able to pass through the G.I. tract alive, but we seriously doubt it. We cannot understand why “Same as preceding” in the Insect transmitter column has any relationship to Blatta orientalis, the Oriental Cockroach except that perhaps Cockroaches might also create problems if they are eaten. Thank you so much for providing this information. We don’t know what Concerned Mommy’s doctors will be able to do with it though. If our understanding is correct, eating a Soil Centipede can cause Pseudoparasitism or false parasitism which is an inflammation of the alimentary passages. For many years we have been claiming that House Centipedes are perfectly harmless, but the obsolete scientific name for the House Centipede is Scutigera coleoptrata and it is on the list of causative organisms. We will have to caution our readership that House Centipedes might crawl up their butts. Sanitary Entomology seems to imply that introduction of Centipedes into the alimentary passages might occur from either end, “probably during sleep.”
Update: February 17, 2013
Oh my goodness Daniel :-/
To think that thing crawled up her nose inside of her. How terribly sad. I guess on the bright side (if you can call it that), its better than worms in her body. The hospital lab still does not have the pathology report! I spoke to them on Friday and they are just at a loss for what to say or do. They asked me to call back and check with them next week. As soon as that report comes back, I’ll be more than happy to share the findings with you.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to look further into this for me, and for communicating with me on such an odd occurrence.
Have a great Sunday!
You are most welcome Carolina