Tiny Black Bug with Wings #737620 - Ask Extension


Tiny Black Bug with Wings #737620

Asked February 01, 2021, 4:19 AM EST


I found a tiny small winged black bug in my daughters hair which was dying in the sink In my kitchen.

Actually Living in my 28 year old daughters hair!! She complained something was crawling in her scalp, yet for days we looked and her scalp looked spotless with the exception of what I thought was dandruff. What I saw in her scalp was yellow orangish which I chalked up as some type of dermatitis.  

Since I didn’t see a bug I thought she was sleep deprived and sent her to bed. She works nights in a nursing home and has been in contact with a resident who had scabies, this was before Christmas.  She did a treatment for the scabies and they have left the outside of her skin however, the last 2 nights, 3 days she has been complaining of something biting her scalp.  She said she could hear a clicking noise and could feel them crawling.  

She then bought and used RID thinking she had lice and she said she felt much better and left her hair in a bun wet, and went back to work.   There was also what appeared to be silver linings or shedding along with it.  I have never in my life encountered anything like this.  In the meantime she went back to work after she did her hair treatment and the bugs are BACK!!  I hope you can tell me what this is!! 

 I have told her to go to the hospital so they can diagnose her.  Last treatment she did was about 2-3 weeks ago and I remember putting the cream on her scalp as well. I hope you can tell me what this is!  I attached the picture my daughter sent me while she was at work when she simply shook her head vigorously scratched her scalp and then, rinsed her hair in the sink at work when these things ended up in the sink BEFORE SHE CAME HOME to do the treatment for what she thought may be lice. 

 Picture one and two is the little black bug with wings that died in my sink and the third picture Is the one my daughter took at work.  She described them as worms or maggots so I assume they were see through or white.  I hope you can assist! Thank you so very much for any help you may be able to provide.


Clay County Florida

Expert Response

I cannot tell from the pictures what these are.  The first 2 pictures seem to be some type of gnat, or small fly, or a thrips, but they would not live and develop on a human body.  The third picture is impossible to identify.  If you have the samples, you can take them to the Clay County Extension Office ( 2463 FL-16, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 - Phone: (904) 284-6355).  They may be able to look at the samples there or send them here to be identified.

Very few insects or other organisms can survive on the human body as you describe, but some time small insects may be trapped on hair.   Thrips that on people may get entangled on hair, and sometimes bite humans in search of moisture on the skin. This  causes some irritation and cause minor irritation and do not usually have long-term effects.

Roberto Pereira Replied February 01, 2021, 8:02 AM EST

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