Currently viewing the tag: "Worst Bug Stories Ever!!!"

Subject: Worst sci-fi nightmare- cockroach in ear
Location: Gamboa Panama
November 8, 2015 8:49 am
While out in the woods in Panama, a bug flew past me and into my ear. It was, as you can imagine, quite painful. We drowned the ear in water, and tried to aspirate it with an aspirator. Looking under a powerful light and it seemed like it was out. Nevertheless, the next day, I went to the doctor to get it checked out. Indeed, he saw it still in there, legs, wings, etc. It had burrowed around the corner of the ear canal and out of sight before it died by drowning.
We irrigated it, bringing out half after 10 efforts. Irrigated it more, and the front finally came into reach, and was plucked out by forceps.
The roach, likely initially attracted to the light of my headlamp.
I’m curious if you know which kind of roach this is.
Real Life Chekov
PS- As the bug split in half in the extraction, I’ve sent you one photo without the bottom half, another with it (and the detached leg) in their place, and finally, a photo that shows the doctor irrigating, and the bug after it got into reach.
Signature: Real Life Chekov

Medical Attention for Cockroach in Ear

Medical Attention for Cockroach in Ear

Dear Real Life Chekov,
Thanks for sending us an account of your harrowing encounter with a Cockroach in Panama.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to help you identify the species.  One of our contributors, Susan Lutz, once provided us a similar account with an insect entering her ear while filming a documentary on Headhunters in the Amazon of Ecuador.



Subject: Worm found in my 10 month old daughter
Location: Davie, FL
February 14, 2013 9:34 am
Hi there,
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

Centipede or Intestinal Worm

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.”

Dear sccabrian,
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

Bug horror story
Location: Stuttgart, Arkansas
August 9, 2011 1:52 pm
I was grocery shopping one night with my two daughters. The youngest saw raisins, and wanted them, so I bought a 6 pack of individual serving boxes.
We got to the car, loaded the groceries, and dug out the package of raisins. I stripped off the cellophane and handed her a box, and drove on home. Within 3 minutes, she wanted more, so I gave her another box. I decided to munch on one myself.
I opened my box, and tumped a few into my mouth. By the second bite, I noticed they didn’t taste quite right. My older daughter turned on the light, and poured the raisins into her hand. Imagine my utter disgust when I saw her hand was full of half-eaten raisins, and living maggots.
I have not been able to eat raisins since…
Since this form requires me to attach a photo, even though I don’t have one relevant to the story, please enjoy my image of ants devouring a pecan.
Signature: Grossed out in Arkansas

Ants Eat Pecan

Hi Grossed out in Arkansas,
We sympathize with your trauma.  We hope your individual box was the only one infested with maggots.  Your letter is definitely worthy of tagging as Worst Bug Stories Ever!!!  It is worth noting that maggots are consumed in some cultures, and we doubt that there will be any negative health ramification other than the psychological trauma.  Your ant photo, though not related to the raisin story, could in itself provide the narrative element for another Worst Bug Story Ever.

ALL of the boxes had maggots….. Ants are my phobia, but even I thought the ants devouring the pecan was pretty cool. But I won’t be eating any pecans from my yard anytime soon since I know I have ants that like them!

Hi again Grossed out in Arkansas,
Perhaps you are raising an entomophage, a person who likes to eat insects.  If it is any consolation, we suspect what you mistook for maggots was more likely the grubs of a beetle like a Drugstore Beetle or other species of beetle that commonly infests stored food products.  Maggots are fly larvae and they would be more likely to be found in garbage that contains putrefying flesh or rotting vegetable matter.

”Mustard” Bug
Location: Manhattan, NY, NY
August 8, 2011 8:17 pm
I bought a pretzel off of a vendor in Manhattan. He put it in a brown paper bag because I was going to take it to go. He didn’t have mustard packets available, but did have a warehouse sized size of yellow mustard on his stand. It’s August and has been consistently humid and a minimum of 85 degrees a day for over a month now. The bottle looked as though it had seen better days, but I figured, once I got upstairs to my office I’d wash my hands after touching it and eat my pretzel. So I proceeded to squeeze some mustard onto the side of the bag and carefully went upstairs, where I tore the bag apart to make a plate and mindlessly ate some pretzel as I worked on my computer. Half way through the pretzel I looked at my mustard and thought, ”what are those green things? Oh no, I hope there’s no dirt in the bag”….ugh! if only it was that good. I moved the ”green things” around and it turns out they were black worms or bugs or larva of some sort. with orange/yellow stripes, legs and antennas! I’m disgusted! I don’t know if it came from the mustard that’s probably been sitting on his cart since the winter, or if they originated from the paper bag and the mustard killed them. Please help me identify these things and let me know that I won’t get a parasite of some sort. I’ve attached pictures.
Signature: grossed out

Cockroach Nymphs

Dear grossed out,
Your pretzel vendor is serving immature Cockroaches with his pretzels.  We will be tagging your submission as one of the Worst Bug Stories Ever.

Tick tock
Location: US, California, Santa Monica
July 26, 2011 3:14 pm
Did I ever think I would be writing an email to someone called the Bugman. No. lol. But now I am glad I found you.
Dear Sir,
I have what looks like a tick? Photos to follow.
Location: Santa Monica, California. Douglas Park just off Whilshire Blvd.
Tues July 26th, 12pm, 70 degrees.
Douglas park is a few acres big, tons of people moving about. Veterinarian hospital next door to it (matter?) Has three duck ponds. The ponds are closed off for renovation. No water in the ponds just dug up and moved earth for now. Hey maybe it has something to do with the bugs? idunno
We sat on a bench for about 5-8mins in the park. NO trees hanging over head so the bugs came from bottom to top. My counterpart was covered in mite sized tick looking bugs. Approximately 100 to 150. I had only a few on my shoes. She had a long pair of cloth stretchy pants that touched the ground. So they must have climbed her cloth and they had trouble on my sneakers. She was covered, I was not. We sat side by side.
They were inside her pants and outside. I had to beg her not to get naked at the park.
I brushed them off and noticed they seemed to be getting squashed, so I would say soft body insects.
I told her they were aphids to calm her down. But in my mind I was freaking out. Covered, covered, covered. They only made it to her lower body.
When we got back to the house I set her clothes in the sun and they all vacated into the seams and darker areas of her clothes. They hated the sun? I also noticed that they would raise there lower body into the air and try to barrow into my shoe. So I figured it was a tick?
I suppose they came from the park. Do we need to notify anyone? Can you help ID these suckers?
Signature: what does this mean? Please don’t worry about signing it?


Please don’t shoot the messenger.  You’ve got Lice.  While this is most certainly a Louse, and we are linking to images of Human Lice on BugGuide, we do not have the necessary skills to determine what species of Louse this is, however, we have a strong suspicion it is a Human Louse.  BugGuide indicates that Sucking Lice in the family Anaplura which includes the Human Louse are:  “Parasites of mammals. Most species are restricted to one or a few hosts” and that they are characterized by being “Wingless, flat-bodied. Resemble chewing lice but the head is narrower than the thorax. Mouthparts are fitted for piercing skin and sucking blood.”  It is possible that the person who sat on, or slept on the park bench prior to your arrival had poor hygiene habits, perhaps from a lack of bathing, and the Lice remained behind.  If there is a high indigent population frequenting the park, it is highly likely that would be the source of the Lice infestation.  We haven’t tagged anything as Worst Bug Story Ever in quite some time, but we think your experience warrants tagging in that category.  We would strongly recommend seeking professional attention to prevent any spread of this infestation to family and friends.



Louse, probably Human Louse

So yes,  I was informed yesterday that they are lice. Gross.  Lice that crawled up from the ground.  Interestingly,  if they were on the bench we were sitting on, they would have gotten on my shorts.  But they only got on my shoes and her shoes and pants pants.  They for sure climbed up from the ground not the bench in this case.
So it is day two.  After having the bug ID last night, I went and bought lice shampoo.  We both used it.  But, neither of us have yet had an itch yet.  So I am freaking out waiting to itch.  I have searched her high and low.  Ans myself. nothing so far.  No itching just yet.
I guess it would be safe to say if nothing serious happens after 7 days I am in the clear?
But this is only part way into day two.  So I am trying to aggressively dodge this bullet and not wait.
If we get lice I will let you know.  I am so disappointed.  So bizarre to.

Hi Antony,
You are lucky you began treatment immediately.  Please keep us posted.

Dodging the Lice bullet
July 29, 2011
Well I think it is safe to say that we dodged the bullet here!
After my GF being cover, truly infested with lice, over 150 lice crawling all over her shoes and pants.  Well nothing made it higher.  I suppose most people find out they have lice after the fact.  We had the complete opposite.  We visually discovered it before they made it to the top.  I have never heard of a case like this.  Neither one of us have been itchy or have any bites, nit or egg looking particle in the hair, or anything and the discovery of adult lice swarming the lower body happened on Tues am. It is like a miracle.
I spoke to the ground crew at Douglass park in Santa Monica.  He mentioned there are so many bums sleeping around the park that one of them must have had clothes or items on the ground under that bench.  He had seen someone sleeping near the bench earlier that day.  We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is sad to because so many kids play there and parents and folks relax there, that to have bums laying around the park covered in lice is a terrible mix.   I will be forever scarred from the visual of 150-200 lice swarming the pant legs of my hysteric GF.  Me telling her they are aphids though I thought they were ticks.  Turns out they were lice…lol.
Happened Tues and it is Fri.  I think it is safe to say we made it?  We dodged 200 lice.  Go figure?  Thanks for your help, I have researched lice and seen way to many lice pictures on the internet that if I ever encounter this again I will not be as freaked out.
Thanks again,



Location: Urban ”forest” Surrey BC
May 13, 2011 2:31 pm
Dear Mr. Bug man
moved into ground level condo one year ago 3 months ago rash developed. shortly there after began seeing moth like winged guys (once or twice) very late at night in kitchen. Got extermination stuff. dr said the moth and rash were not related and that rash was scabies. Did treatment washed everything in house steamed extra. while doing scabies treatment small slightly transparent creature came out of my eye and then went under my fingernail. Husband dr. and mother think I am crazy. Other strange occurrences. Husband acnologes moths as pests but refuses to believe my story. I have been under stress at work… dr says the mind is very powerful and my stress has triggered these delusions.
Can you give any insight into this?
Heres some specimens i have collected. There are also ”lint” like cases attached to many of our clothes… which everyone also says I am over reacting to…. Ive never had so much lint. also had two budgies recently die…. related? or have I gone mad?
im hoping I have gone mad…
Signature: An otherwise normal happy slightly exentric housewife

Indian Meal Moth

Dear Christina,
We need to begin our response with a disclaimer.  We are not doctors and we have no qualifications to diagnose any health related issues, nor are we entomologists, so any insect identifications we provide are questionable at best.  We are artists who have a mission to promote an appreciation of the lower beasts as well as to make people aware of the interconnectivity of all things on our fragile planet and beyond.  With that stated, we are convinced that the moth in your photo is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, and that you have also supplied us with a photo of its larva.  You may find information and photos of the Indian Meal Moth on Bugguide and you can also compare your larva to this image of an Indian Meal Moth Larva on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the Indian Meal Moth:  “infests a wide variety of stored food products such as flour, oatmeal, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, powdered milk, biscuits, chocolate, and bird seed”   With that said, it is senseless to try to exterminate your Indian Meal Moth problem with pesticides since they are feeding on your food.  The pesticides would need to be applied directly to your food before they would have any effect on the problem.  You should thoroughly inspect the food in your pantry and definitely discard anything past the expiration date.  Pay close attention to corn meal, oatmeal and any boxed cake mixes or flour products.  You should be able to locate the place where the larvae are feeding and dispose of those items.  Larvae are the destructive stage and adult moths do not feed on stored foods.  It is virtually impossible to rid you home of all insects, but you can take certain precautions to guard your clothing against clothes moths.  Sachet was a popular item in days of yore.  There are certain herbs that are known to discourage insects from damaging clothing.  These dried herbs can be sewn into small silken pouches and hung on hangers with woolens and other organic fibers.  The herbs of choice include lavender, sage, rosemary, wormwood and peppermint.  Not only will this sachet repel moths, it will also make your clothes smell nice.  We do not know what caused your birds to die.  If your doctor believes that stress is contributing to your condition, you should follow his advice or perhaps seek a second opinion.  There is a condition known as Delusory Parasitosis and here is a link to a journal article called Delusory Parasitosis by Nancy C. Hinkle that originally appeared in American Entomologist, Volume 46, Number 1 in Spring 2000.  Stress can cause the mind to trigger delusions, and “Bugs” are an easy target.  We hope your condition improves.

Larva of Indian Meal Moth