SK: For those who feed live or let your skunks forage
sb at aroint.org
Sun Feb 1 21:38:19 PST 2009
SkunkLady2 at aol.com wrote:
> This information was certainly news to me! I just heard this on
> Survivorman and checked online......TAKE NOTE!
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper ........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.
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