unknown wormlike parasite

Steve J. Upton coccidia at ksu.edu
Wed Aug 27 08:35:18 EST 1997


Jack J. O'Brien wrote:
> 
> Dear Ginhu:
> 
> I agree with Steve Upton and believe that the "worms" that you have seen
> in your bathtub are probably larvae of flies of the family Phoridae or
> humpbacked flies.  The larvae of some species of this family are commonly
> found in the drains of sinks, toilets and bathtubs in houses.  The larvae
> feed upon mold and fungus growing in the pipes are are quite harmless to
> humans.  Adult flies can be recognized by their characteristic humpbacked
> shape causes a swollen thorax, the area where the fly's wings attach to
> the body proper, and gray, rounded wings with few veins.

-----cut, snip ------

People bring these in to me once or twice a year, usually from their
taps, drains, etc.  

Although larvae usually cause no problems, I did have have one situation
where the larvae did affect someone.  About 12 years ago a student of
mine developed chronic eye inflammations.  She wore contacts, and I
suggested she pay better attention to cleaning her lenses.  The problems
persisted.  After quizzing her, I learned that she washed her lenses
each day in distilled water that she periodically took home from the
University.  She kept the bottle of water under her sink at home -
'uncovered' (the lid had broken).  I had her bring the open "jug" in,
and it had hundreds of decaying larvae in the bottom.  I didn't pay any
attention whether they were dipteran larvae or moth larvae.  After
disposing of this container and its contents, her eye inflammations
cleared right up.

Steve Upton



More information about the Parasite mailing list