Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mutant Rat-Maggots Panic Cape Town!

CAPE TOWN: Rat-tailed maggots, every bit as ugly as they sound, have been popping out of basins, toilets and taps across Cape Town, sparking a citywide panic that health officials tried to calm.
(Stuff NZ News)

Ivan Toms, director of health for the South African tourist mecca, said the risk the water supply was infested was slim.

"The water is chlorinated and filtered and comes from dams in the mountains where it is extremely unlikely that this maggot would be found," he said in a statement.

The body of the aquatic brownish larva can grow up to 2.5cm long, with a rat-like tail that can be twice that length and in fact serves as a breathing tube.

It later metamorphosises into the brightly coloured drone fly, which looks like a honey bee and feeds on pollen.

The maggots are usually found in stagnant water and the drone fly – possibly on the increase in the city – may have laid its eggs inside hand-basin pipes, Toms said.

If swallowed, the cylindrical, crush-resistant grub-like body was unlikely to cause major health problems, he said.

"Since the rat tailed maggot is quite large and clearly visible to the naked eye, it is highly unlikely that it would be ingested in the first place," he added.


Blogger Dennis Dread said...


12:04 AM  
Blogger Dennis Dread said...

"Maggots, maggots everywhere! Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Maggots, maggots in my hair! Yeah, yeah yeah!
Children running cause they're scared!

11:44 AM  

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