Thursday, July 9, 2015

The return of the OxterBug

By +Tina Cruris

It would seem that I am becoming the resident entomologist at STP, with my post about avoiding mosquito bites last month and now this story about the resurgence of an insect thought to be eradicated. The Axilla Beetle also known as the OxterBug is a parasitic insect related to the head louse, which makes it's home in the human armpit, feeding on the blood of the host and laying it's eggs in the humid human equivalent of the Amazon rainforest.

An oxterbug going to town on an armpit
Not to scale - an oxterbug munching a celebrity armpit
It was thought that the Axilla Beetle was eradicated in the 80's as no reports of infestation had been recorded since 1986, but so far this year there have been about a dozen reports of symptoms congruent with Axilla Beetle bites, and 2 confirmed cases of Axilla Beetle hosting in the US.

The Axilla Beetle grows to about 1 mm (1/32 inch) in length and enjoys the warm, sweaty paradise that is the human armpit. Like it's cousin the head louse, it lays it's eggs at the base of the human hair so that the emerging larvae can feast on the ample blood supply flowing just under the skin.

Scientific opinion is that the reemergence of the Axilla Beetle is a direct consequence of the female fashion trend of cultivating underarm hair. Chinese feminists, Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham from 'Girls', Sarah Silverman, Madonna, and Miley Cyrus are all leading the charge for female follicular freedom and refusing to shave their pits.

Hairy Pit Chicks
These women are revolting... against underarm shaving
The Axilla Beetle is mostly harmless, in so much as it does not carry or transmit any disease, but their bites can cause severe irritation some of which can get infected if not treated quickly and completely. The most effective method of keeping these parasites at bay is to run a fine toothed comb through the pit hair twice daily followed by a liberal dousing in Axe Body Spray. Even though the Axilla Beetle has no nose, the close proximity to such high concentrations of Axe has an effect similar to that of pepper spray on humans. The crying and choking is so intense that the bugs lose their grip and just fall off the body.

Pink Pit Comb
No OxterBugs here
Are your pits itching now? Do you shave your pits? Do you recognize the celebrity armpit in the first picture? Share your thoughts, feelings and opinions in the comments section below. We love to know what you are thinking.

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