What Is This Thing?

Asked November 11, 2015, 6:03 PM EST

What are these things and how can I be rid of them? I'm tired of trying to convince or prove to people that I'm not delusional or not on drugs and these insects aren't just my imagination. It's embarrassing and humiliating. I've never had a history of mental illness or done anything for people to suspect that I'm mentally ill. I just really need some actual help.


Santa Clara County California

1 Response

Dear Rob,

I commend your efforts to identify your pest before taking pest management actions. Many members of the urban public make unnecessary pesticide applications to their homes and bodies, potentially harming themselves, the environment, and their pocketbooks.

Upon review of your images, I do not see any obvious indications of insects or other arthropods. The objects in the images appear (to me) to be organic materials (such as food particles, mucous, sputum, etc.) mixed with fibers.

If you have specimens requiring identification, you can send them to your county's free service program, offered by the UC-trained Master Gardener volunteers:
I provide academic oversight to this program and will help out whenever the volunteers are stumped.

Santa Clara County Vector Control Services District may also provide free identification services when a biting pest or disease vector is suspected. Vector control officers often make site visits to confirm or discount infestations. See their contact information here:

Best regards,