Sunday, December 9, 2012

Can You Guess?

Do You Recognize This?

By JccKeith
(No, these are not pictures of me nor did I take them, my camera doesn't take pictures this clearly)

Alright, well, as many of you have probably already guessed, this is in fact, a human eyelash and those little round butts burrowing in around it's base are Eyelash Mites.  And yes, those are the butts of the Eyelash Mites, also known as Demodex.  The entire creature actually looks like this:

Demodex are the creepy little parasitic mites that live in and around hair follicles, most often, the eyelashes.  They are fairly common and don't cause any problems.  But one more thing you might want to know about these little arthropods is they only come out at night.

While you are asleep, they crawl out onto the skin of your face and mate.  Then they crawl back into the follicle and the female lays a bunch of eggs.

But on the beneficial side, their little bodies are covered in scales which help anchor them in the hair follicle.  Their mouths are little pin like parts which feed on the dead skin and oils which accumulate in your eyelash follicles.  So they're your friends, helping keep your eyelash follicles clean.  Just consider them buddies.

It does make me wonder about something.  Whenever I put on mascara and eyeliner, am I ruthlessly slaughtering thousands of innocent mites?  Am I unknowingly committing mitocide?  And more importantly, now that I know, do I really care?

Should I care?  These mites are just minding their own business, going on about their little mite lives.  They have just as much right to life as any other species on our vast planet.  Their existence is just as valid as my own.  Is having more noticeable eyes worth the cost of so many lives?

Looking at my eyes in the mirror and how amplified my eyelashes are with mascara I made a choice.  Yep, it's definitely worth it.  I'm good with it.  Screw those mites, let them eat mascara!


  1. Thank you so much for this, now I'm thoroughly freaked out!! I have an intense fear of bugs, and now I'm terrified! Ew!

  2. Sorry about that. Honestly, if they really give you the heebie jeebies, you could get rid of them by putting vaseline on your eyelashes at night. Vaseline is a great way to clean mascara and eye liner off the eyelashes and it seals in oil to keep them hydrated. It's oily, sealant properties also means it would seal the hair follicle and suffocate any mites living there. Viola, bugs be gone!