SK: For those who feed live or let your skunks forage

sb sb at
Sun Feb 1 21:38:19 PST 2009

SkunkLady2 at wrote:

>  This information was certainly news to me!  I just heard this on
>  Survivorman and checked online......TAKE NOTE!
> ........clip......... In
>  many places around the world, grasshoppers are eaten as a good source
>  of protein. Raw grasshoppers should be eaten with caution, as they
>  can contain tapeworms.

There are many types of tapeworms (Cestoda) that infect different 
animals. Normally, each type of worm lives in specific hosts but 
accidental infestation can sometimes occur and cause problems. For 
example, a dog tapeworm in a person causing a cyst in the brain.

The worms that infect grasshopper are the hairworm. They received recent 
press coverage when a group of scientists, I think French, determined 
that unusual behavior of grasshoppers - jumping into water and drowning 
- was related to parasitic infections by the hairworm. This was 
interesting because of the parasite causing a change in behavior of the 
infected species. The Cestoda found in grasshoppers can sometimes infect 
birds but not skunks or people.

I think this is a case of bad information self-perpetuating itself on 
the net. Despite all the "survivalist" websites warnings about eating 
grasshoppers, the danger of tapeworms comes from beef, pork, and fish.

More information about the Skunks mailing list