BotFly

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Botflies, also known as warble flies, heel flies, and gadflies, is a family of flies technically known as the Oestridae. Their larvae are internal parasites of mammals, some species growing in the host’s flesh, and others within the gut. Dermatobia hominis is the only species of botfly known to parasitize humans routinely, though other species of flies cause myiasis in humans.

How do you get Botfly in your body?

When a person is bitten by one of these insects, the eggs are triggered to hatch into maggots by a human’s body heat [source: U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine]. Botfly maggots burrow just under the skin and leave a hole through which to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue.

What causes Botfly larvae?

In addition to the movement, the botfly larvae cause the body to create painful pustules, or raised areas of the skin that fill with fluid and secrete pus. The human botfly is indigenous to Central and South America and parts of Mexico and will find its way to a human host by way of mosquito or tick.

How long does a botfly burrow under the skin?

When a person is bitten by one of these insects, the eggs are triggered to hatch into maggots by a human’s body heat [source: U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine]. Botfly maggots burrow just under the skin and leave a hole through which to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue. When a person is bitten by one of these insects, the eggs are triggered to hatch into maggots by a human’s body heat [source: U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine]. Botfly maggots burrow just under the skin and leave a hole through which to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue. When a person is bitten by one of these insects, the eggs are triggered to hatch into maggots by a human’s body heat [source: U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine]. Botfly maggots burrow just under the skin and leave a hole through which to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue.

How do botflies get their food?

Botfly. They are common in Belize. The smaller fly is firmly held by the botfly female and rotated to a position where the botfly attaches some 30 eggs to the body under the wings. Larvae from these eggs, stimulated by the warmth and proximity of a large mammal host, drop onto its skin and burrow underneath.

BotFly Life Cycle!

Botfly maggots burrow just under the skin and leave a hole through which to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue. The burrows look like large white boils, which swell under the skin and cause intense pain. Maggots also secrete a sort of antibiotic to ward off infection while they feed. As the maggot grows, it swells under the skin and causes intense pain. Victims may also feel it biting and wriggling around as it feeds. If not removed or otherwise distributed the maggot will drop out of its hole after six to eight weeks so it can pupate.

Treatment:

Because the maggots hook into the skin inside their burrow, they are difficult to remove. One method involves placing raw meat over the hole. When the maggot is unable to breathe, it burrows out into the meat. Other suggestions include covering the hole with glue, tape or petroleum jelly to suffocate the maggot. Trying to simply pull it out is usually unsuccessful because it may burst. Pieces can be left behind in the hole and cause an infection. Because of this, botfly maggots are best removed via surgery by a doctor. In the past, physicians have removed them from people’s genitalia, arms, legs, chests, eyes and scalps.

Risks:

Botflies can cause an infection or tissue damage depending on where the maggot burrows, but typically only a scar is left behind after the maggot’s removal. The best way to prevent a botfly maggot infestation is to avoid being bitten by one of the adult fly’s hosts. You should wear protective clothing and repellant when outdoors in areas where you’re likely to get bitten.

Diet:

We’ve looked at all manner of insects, from flea to flies, in the realm of skin parasites. Now, for something completely different: worms.

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