Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Congo Glossary: Mango Worms

For all the future travelers to Congo (you know you want to), here is one of the especially charming things you might want to know about.

Mango Worms

This could be one of my worst bug nightmares come to life.

Mango worms are actually flies and they are horrible little jerks that lay their eggs on damp and wet surfaces. If you touch or brush against where the eggs have been laid, the eggs can burrow into your skin to lovingly "incubate". A few days later, you will notice painful bump-like things on your skin. Good news, this is a little maggot growing inside. I have heard that the solution to this problem includes covering the bumps with vaseline to "suffocate the worm out" which then allows you to pop the maggot out like a gross and evil pimple.

Worms. Wriggling around and throwing parties under your skin until they are ready to make their grand entrance. It's horrifying. Do I need to say more? It's like Satan and Osama Bin Laden got together and devised these little bugs as a plan to personally torment me.

When I first learned about Mango worms, I was convinced I already had them and could picture them popping out of my eyeballs at lightening speeds. Thankfully, that was not the case, and I have avoided the Mango worm experience thus far and hope to continue this trend for the duration of our Congo stay. I am fairly certain that if I ever acquire the Mango worm situation, I am going to need a medically induced coma and/or a weapons-grade sedative.

I really despise bugs.


  1. I have hosted two of the little jerks in as many months. The itch is unbearble, but then the sharp pain as it grows. It must nibble at the skin to keep the skin open for air. And yes, spreading petroleum jelly over the site does cause the worm to show itself as it seeks air. Then you pop it like a zit. Relief is quick. Iron all your clothes and bed linens to kill the eggs, which are practically invisible.

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  3. OMG! This sounds horrible. I'm a bug hater too and can't imagine getting into that situation. Eeew!!