Re: eyelash gnats

Thom Quinn (
Sat, 24 May 1997 11:45:46 -0500

The Low Golden Willow wrote:
> On May 23, 6:49pm, Kennita Watson wrote:
> } migrating about on extracted eyelashes. As many as 25 mites have
> } been seen clinging near the root end of a single eyelash, "packed
> } together like sardines" (Coston, 1967). The infested eyelashes may
> } be soggy or waterlogged, and sometimes can be pulled out with
> } virtually no resistance (English,1971).
> The original claim was "I heard from someone that little bugs keep our
> eyelashes in. And when our eyelashes fall out its because the bugs die."
> The NOVA reference Mr. Quinn provided did not mention this phenomenon;
> the above text seems to contradict it.
> Mr. Quinn's statement that "Its true. The human body is more than just
> human cells---it a symbiosis with several other species in benign
> interactions like these." is not entirely to the point. That lots of
> beasties live on us is not only true, it is rather old news as far as I
> am concerned. That mites keep our eyelashes in has had no evidence
> presented in its favor, and was the idea which caused much
> righteous furor.

If you watch the actually NOVA episode, they do say that the eyelash do
not do very well without the mites. See the episode as the photograph is
the best to date of the microworld!