Gross! What's That Under My Skin?!?
That my friend, is the Human Botfly.
The Bot What?!?!
The human Botfly! The proper name for this parasite is Dermatobia Hominis. This parasite is most commonly found in certain parts of Mexico, as well as central, and South America. It's main target, obviously, is humans. Considering its called the human Botfly. Although, it can also target other organisms. Such as, cattle, dogs, monkeys, swine, and in some cases, it can even infect tucans and turkeys! Now, I know you're probably wondering just how deadly this parasite is. To answer your question, The Human Botfly is rarely ever fatal or even seriously threatening to the health of the host. What damage it does do is, during the three larval stages, it develops in the cutaneous tissues of its host for about ten weeks or so. By doing this, it produces a painful "warble" or tumor. Though, like all other things, things do not always go as expected, and in rare cases myiasis can occur in body cavities such as the eyes, ears and nose. The warble if proximal to the brain, can cause meningitis, which, leads to death. But don't, worry, this only happens on rare occasions.
Just how gross looking is it?
Well, adults range from ten to fifteen millimeters in size. They are metallic, bluish black in body color, have brown wings and also display yellow markings on its face and legs. Given its size and color, this parasite uses a process called phones is, which means to carry or wear. Phoresis is a process in which another fly species becomes a vector of transfer of the Human botfly's larvae to a suitable host. Next, a female botfly will capture a mosquito, or other fly,in mid air where she then begins to glue ten to fifty eggs within its abdomen. The temperature sensitive eggs develop and hatch in response to heat from the host on which the vector feeds or lands. The larva may enter through the bite, or other wound, along a hair follicle, or according to some reports, burrow directly into the cutaneous tissue, where the larva develops. The third larva descends from its host five or ten weeks later. it then burrows in the ground, pupates, molts after four to eleven weeks and then produces an adult Botfly.
Did you know? The Human Botfly is one of the worlds five worst parasites!!!
It's okay, I know it's gross, but I'm almost done.
Okay, well, how do I get rid of it?!?!
Treatment for the infection includes: application of bacon fat, petroleum jelly, or beeswax , through the small openings to suffocate the burrowed larvae. You can also cover its breathing hole with adhesive tape, or nail polish. After the parasite has suffocated, it can easily be taken out with tweezers, or simply squeezed out.