The sensation feels like bugs, worms or mites that are biting, crawling over or burrowing into, under or out of your skin. They must be there, because you can feel them and you are even pretty sure that you can see them. You may also believe that your home or furniture is infested, but you may be the only one who knows they are there. No one seems to think they exist except you. Nothing seems to get rid of them. So what are they?
University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
During my late teens, I discovered another kind of animal in my life in addition to all the cuddly toys, the domestic animals in books and cartoons, and various real animals of my childhood. These didn't fit into any category of creature I'd previously known. They were, for sure, 'insects', but though I hazarded the odd guess, I couldn't say precisely which insects they were. I knew them by another description: parasites. Funguses can be parasites, but what immediately comes to mind, when I think of parasites, are insects and crawling. The two go together. The other thing I knew about them was that they were my parasites. They lived on and possibly in me. I hosted them. Unwillingly. There was, apart from their very insistence on inhabiting me, no communication between us.
LRB 22 April 2010 | PDF Download