Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. -Tobias Smollett
Question #91367 posted on 07/03/2018 10:50 p.m.

Dear Rating Pending,

Re: tick question -

Why? Whyyy?? WHYYYY???

- Ick


Dear Ick,

Mature response: It's totally fine for different people to find different things interesting. I'd argue that the information in Board Question #91281 about ticks, especially about their proper removal (tweezers, straight out, no needles, fire, Vaseline etc.) is of general interest and in fact can be very valuable. Also, how do you prevent ticks? Deet is far and away the most effective and long lasting. Don't forget spray your legs and socks before doing outdoor activities.


There are three basic categories of parasitic worms (helminths): nematodes (round worms), cestodes (tape worms) and trematodes (flukes). You could subdivide your nematodes by size, specifically how some of them are large (quite large) and some are so small they live in your blood stream. But that general grouping works for this context.

And this context is "I want to show you pictures of gnarly worms I've taken from the parasitology lab."

This guide won't be exhaustive. I'd like to really dig deep and get down into the parasites (they do it for us - it seems only fair). So I'm linking them to the CDC discussion on each of these if you want further images and edification. 

Pinworm - Enterobius vermicularis 

Do you ever notice your kid itching their butt? Like a lot? Well, make sure they're wiping properly and don't have any diaper rash. Because they MIGHT have pinworms! 

Have you ever heard the old wives tale about worms crawling out of people's butts at night? Well turns out the old wives are right. These worms invade your colon but they do indeed come out at night, can even been seen by the naked eye, and lay their eggs on the skin surrounding the anus. 


So how are you supposed to see these eggs? Well, my friend, you're fortunately up crap-creek ... with a paddle. Specifically, THIS paddle, called a Swube (TM), that is coated with an adhesive. You just touch it to the ... area (I'm talking about the anus) and then look for these flattened-on-one-side ovals which are characteristic and diagnostic for pinworm eggs. 

Pinworm 1.png

Oh and they're HIGHLY infectious. The lifecycle is basically "itch your bum, put your finger in your mouth, repeat." This case was two kids from the same family, both with pinworm. Wash your hands!

Whipworm - Trichuris trichuria 

Let's stay in the colon for a bit longer. The "whipworm" has it's name because the posterior/end of it is thickened while the head is at the end of a long, extremely narrow extension. These worms are pretty nasty - they embed themselves into colon tissue. It's not uncommon for them to be observed during colonoscopies and samples collected at that point. 


Hookworm - Ancyclostoma duadenalis or Necator americanus

Hookworms are pretty wild. You don't get these 


Dear Mr. Crane,

Feeling... itchy?

-Inverse Insomniac


Dear Ick,

Rating Pending hasn't worked on his answer for a month, nor has he responded when we've tried to contact him, so at this point it looks like what you've got above is what you're going to get. We can only assume he's contracted some sort of parasite, and is probably enthusiastically studying its effects on his body.

-The Editors