Warning: Insect Larvae Ahead by TJ Nichols
May 28

Warning: Insect Larvae Ahead by TJ Nichols


When I was a teen I spent a year living in Tanzania (the country just below Kenya on the east coast of Africa). Like Australia, where I live now, there are lots of things that want to kill you. Deadly black mambas that like to hide in the kitty litter, yellow and black spotted frogs in the toilet, mains water that looked like tea when I ran a bath (and that was after it had been through 3 settling tanks)—it was boiled and filtered before it was drinkable, weevils in the rice (ok, they didn’t want to kill you, but they did make the rice high in insect protein, mmm yummy).

But the thing that scarred me the most was the need to iron every item of clothing before wearing it. Yes, that included all underwear. There is a fly that likes to lay eggs on damp clothing and if you wear it without ironing (thus killing the eggs) the larvae will burrow into your skin. I didn’t include pictures, but if your stomach is strong you can look up the botfly and how to remove it. 

In the novel Rogue in the Making the desert is coming to life with the rains. I’ve watched enough wildlife documentaries to know not to forget about the insects. So, there is a scene involving Angus and a beetle larva that you might not want to read while eating because I was inspired by all the insects that want to live your flesh as they develop. 

I have other disgusting insect stories I could share, but that might be oversharing.