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Threadworms (also known as pinworms) are parasites that cause infections in humans.  Infections tend to be more common in children as hygiene in children tends to be not as good as in adults.  Infection begins when worm eggs are swallowed.  After about 2 to 5 weeks they travel to the large bowel where the worms live for about 6 weeks.  The female worm is about 1cm long and lays eggs at night time around the anus.  These eggs together with mucus cause irritation causing the patient to scratch the anal area.  Scratching results in worm eggs getting under the finger nails and from there they get into the mouth and are swallowed again causing the cycle to continue.

Worms are sometimes visible in the stool, where they look like small pieces of white thread.  Symptoms to look out for include the following

  • an itchy bottom or vagina in females (particularly at night time)
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • tummy pain
  • sleep difficulties
  • wetting the bed

What treatments are available?

Vermox tablets are available for adults and children aged over

Vermox liquid is available for children aged over 2 years

Children aged under 2 years will need to be seen by their GP

Other measures

All bedclothes and bed linen should be washed on a hot wash.  In addition, we recommend careful cleaning of the bedroom and bathroom areas of the house.  Nails should be cut short and scrubbed each morning.   Hands should be washed first thing in the morning, after using the toilet and before eating or handling any food.

Have you a pet in the house

We recommend worming any cat or dog you have in the house.  Threadworms only affect humans but it is possible to contract other worm infections from your cat or dog.  You should worm your pet at least 4 times a year.

We recommend Drontal worm tablets for your dog.


If you have a cat, then Drontal Cat Worming Tablets are what you need.