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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night after I left chat I muddled around doing various things. One of these tasks was I gave my mealies in my mealie farm some carrots. Now I have been around mealworms since I was in the womb. My family owned and operated a bait and tackle store since my father was a teenager. I was counting out mealworms from the time I could count and my Grandmother would pay us kids so we could have pocket money. So I have been around mealies for over 45 years. And last night I wasn't digging in them or anything. I placed carrots in the plastic drawers which is my farm. I did not wash my hands afterwards as I would soon regret. I went to check HHC and my e-mail one last time before heading to bed. While on the computer my right eye began to itch and burn ferociously. Within two minutes I was in the shower drenching my eye in water and as the itching stopped my eye was almost swollen shut. Once at the emergency room the Doctor confirmed my suspicion. Something caused a massive allergic reaction in my right eye. Now I don't suffer from any type of allergies. No problems with pollen, hay fever or the like. It could have been anything but I really believe it must have been a small almost microscopic piece of mealworm frass. Mealworm frass is mealie poop. It is very small almost dust like. I can't prove it but it is the only irritant I was near. So as I put in steroidal eye drops for the next couple of days be warned; ALWAYS ALWAYS wash your hands after touching your mealies or container. I didn't touch my eye but I really believe somehow a piece got airborne and ended up in my eye. Frass is a huge irritant to any open mucous membrane. So play it safe and wash up.
 

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Thanks for the heads up Reaper. I guess it applies to all of us who feed hedgies mealworms, and not just mealie farmers as frass will be in any container the mealies are in. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is much better. I am sure it will be back to normal soon. I was really surprised at how fast and intense it was. One minute I was clicking away with my mouse and within seconds my eye was watering and swelling shut. I can't prove it was frass. It could have been the one in a million airborne particle that just happened to land in my eye. But with all things considered I think it is most likely to have been frass.
 

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Good to hear you're better Reaper ;)
 

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woah. ill deffinitly be washing my hands very well from now on! iv had enough eye problems lately..
hope your eye gets better quickly, and thanks for the warning!
 

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I hope your eye is better now.

Thanks for the warning. I never realized that but I'm betting that is the reason for some of my asthma issues that I thought was because of the hedgehogs. We currently aren't raising any mealies and I haven't had any issues lately which I've been thinking was odd since it's spring.
 

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Reaper, I hope you're doing better. I haven't been on the message boards in a long while (due to selling home, buying home, moving....among various other reasons), but I'm glad I checked in today and read your warning. I can't say that I've ever been careful and washed my hands after handling my mealies (unless I was going to be eating). Even my kids handle them and never wash their hands. From now on, I'll keep the antibacterial nearby.

Pixie
 

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Thanks for the warning! Ever since reading this I have actually been wearing safety glasses when sifting through my mealie farm for aliens. I know it sounds like a bit much, but I find when I don't wear the safety glasses my eyes get really watery and itchy so I find that even just the mealie bedding itself can be a real irritant!
 
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