Botfly resembles bumble bees in its appearance. They are just like their name. The Bot fly belongs to the biological phylum of Arthropods where all the insects lie. There are many families inside the phylum. The bot fly belongs to Oestridae. These flies live more than many small insects like bees or flies. These insects are parasitic and dangerous in nature. Botfly can pose a great threat to its host. If the host is a small insect, then the insect can die too. The larvae use their host for their complete development as they reach the stage of pupil/ adult they leave their host. These flies can become aggressive when disturbed. Botfly looks like small bots because of their shiny and hairy body with a head that looks like metal.
Table of Contents
- What is Bot Fly?
- Botfly Symptoms on Human Skin
- Bot Fly Removal: 6 Most Effective Methods
- How to Prevent Bot Fly Infestation?
What is Bot Fly?
Appearance and Size
A bot fly belongs to the biological family of Oestridae. Botfly has different lifecycle and ages varying from species to species. However, these species have one thing in common that they all are a parasite in nature. The bot fly is named because of their bot like the look. These flies are very sensitive and dangerous because of their parasite behavior. If its larvae enter the skin, the solutions are severe and painful. Even the mosquito is used as a transmitter of the eggs of bot fly so the eggs can reach the host and the larvae reach its adult stage inside the host with proper nourishment. These insects are 12 to 19 mm in length and 25 mm to 6 mm in diameter. Botfly has spines and hairs on the body.
Habitat and Distribution
Bot flies biologically known as Dermatobia Hominis are found mainly near Central Asia and South America. There are more patients of bot flies’ larvae in these areas. Well, the bot flies like their solitude, and they found in the tropical areas. The bot flies like to live in moist and cool places, especially near growing crops or food. These flies are easily spread everywhere because of their transmission of eggs.
Behavior and Habits
The botfly is a parasite in behavior. It does not harm mainly because these insects like their solitude, but these flies can be dangerous if they are disturbed. Bot fly can sting and infect the person, animal or the insect with its eggs that can lead to infections and other health problems. Bot fly eggs can lead to a disease known as Myiasis. These flies are motile and very sensitive and can easily sense danger. The Bot fly uses mosquitos and other insects for the transmission of their eggs. The mosquitos can maybe sit on the eggs where the eggs attach themselves and lose them when they reach a skin of human or an animal. It is where the egg hatches and the larvae can penetrate inside the skin for further nourishment and damage to its host.
Bot Fly Damages
The Bot fly larvae can damage the livestock as the places around the livestock are not clean. It can easily attract the mosquitoes or other insects that can transmit the eggs on the livestock. Even the eggs or milk provided by the livestock can carry pathogens.
The mosquitos or insects can enter the hairs of the pets and become invisible to the naked eye. The pets scratch their backs when they feel something in their hairs. Even they can feel larvae moving inside their skin. In small pets, the larvae infestations could also lead to death.
In humans, the infestations are severe. The hatched larvae enter the skin, and a raised lesion is made of the skin. The lesion consists of the larvae that can also secrete pus. The area is surrounded by pathogens that affect the tissues and feed on them.
How Does Myiasis Transmit by Bot Fly?
The bot fly egg can easily be transferred by flies, mosquito, wasps or other insects that attack the bot fly or sit on the place where the botfly has laid the eggs. Even the larvae of the bot fly can attach themselves with the host flies and take them to the host. The bot fly larvae love human as their host, but they can also live inside animals and plants too. The mosquito or the other host fly take it to the host where the larvae complete its nourishment and growth to reach the adult stage. In this whole process, the chances of getting diseases are more because the larvae can create a lesion that can welcome viruses and bacteria to attack the patient. Vaseline or oils can be used a defense against microorganisms that are not able to see to prevent other infections.
It is recommended to seek a doctor or extract the larvae from the lesion to control Myiasis. The eggs of bot fly can be over the skin of a human and animals, but the larvae insert or inject itself into the skin after hatching. The larvae get food and nourishment from the blood and tissue. It breaks the tissues of cells and lives there where it can easily get food. If the larvae are not extracted after some days, it forms a tumor in the tissues where the larvae remain. The botfly larvae make the tumor cell for its protection. For further control of this disease, you need to seek a professional doctor or surgeon that will remove the larvae or the tumor inside the affected area and remove the infections or infestations because of its presence.
Botfly Symptoms on Human Skin
There are some symptoms that can be caused because of the presence of bot fly larvae under the skin of a human.
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1. Raised Lesion on the Skin
The symptom of having an egg of bot fly or larvae is that a lesion will start to grow on the skin that will get raised. A small hole will be made by which air and bacteria can get in the skin. The lesion will be painful from an injury or swelling.
2. Feel the Larvae Moving Inside the Lesion
You will also feel the larvae moving around the lesion, and that can be disturbing. Especially when you take a shower, you will feel the movement more. To avoid the movement, you can put Vaseline on the lesion.
3. The lesion may Secrete Pus
The lesion may secrete pus. It is advisable for the patient to get medical treatment immediately. It could lead to other infections too. The larvae can also damage the tissues and nourish on them.
Bot Fly Removal: 6 Most Effective Methods
Only one way to remove bot flies is to cut their link with the oxygen. You can cover the wound for at least 8 to 10 hours with the adhesive tape. When the larva has a shortage of oxygen, they will come out and can stick with the tape. Moreover, you can get rid of them easily and immediately.
- Scalpel to cut a slit to enlarge the wound: The most common and conventional method of removing the bot fly is an old surgical method. It includes local anesthesia scalpel, sharp knife or razor blade is used to cut the slit and also make it more visible. At this stage, the larva can be easily taken out.
- You should cover the wound with bacon, petroleum jelly, nail polish: All these ingredients bacon, petroleum jelly, and nail polish as well act as oxygen repellent. Once you apply any of these to your skin, it prevents oxygen to come into your tissues. Moreover, hence but fly larva will have a shortage of oxygen. They will come for the air can stick to it and can be killed instantly.
- Applying pressure to the wound: Once you identify the wound and larva have come out due to the absence of the oxygen. You can apply pressure against the wound so all larva can come out. It will look disgusting and painful.
- Venom extraction syringes: These syringes are for the complete prevention against the bot flies. These are piousness and venom extracting syringes for insects which work against any bacterial infection and does not cause any damage to the skin. However, one needs to be sure that all the insects should completely die. You should not leave a single after using these venom extracting syringes.
- Heavy camphor oil: Removing this tiny creature is not that easy. Hence a person needs to be strong enough and prepare himself for the battle against maggots. Make a clean cotton ball and moisture it with heavy camphor oil for more than five minutes. Then the cotton ball completely raped against the hole. Don’t touch the cotton ball for at least 8 hours. When the larva needs air, it will come out, and you can remove them easily by removing the cotton ball.
- Place a generous amount of iodine in the hole: Iodine is very useful when it comes to killing the bacterial infection, fungus infection or any other infection caused by the microorganism. Putting a generous amount of iodine in the wound can also be effective enough.
How to Prevent Bot Fly Infestation?
1. Avoid Host Flies
It is recommended to avoid host flies. If you see the host flies around you, then just move away from them. Try to avoid the places where you know host flies can exist.
2. Insect Repellents
Use insect repellents in your home, yards or garden area for the safety of your family. Use the insect repellents thoroughly near the windows, curtains, and doors. Use insecticides in the yard or garden for the complete safety of these host flies that can cause the infestation of bot fly.
3. Protective Clothing
Try to cover your body when you are walking in lawn or parks especially at night because you are unable to see these host flies. Covering your body can be a plus sign for the defense from the host flies.
4. Make Surroundings Clean
It is crucial for everyone to keep the surroundings clean. Rubbish and dirt will welcome these host fly around you and your homes. These host flies are attracted towards dirty places. So it is considered an important thing, that if you want to protect yourself from the infestation of bot fly make sure your surroundings are clean.
The lesion can be painful and hard sometimes, and the patient can feel the larvae moving inside. The larvae also attack the white cells that protect the body from germs and infections. The scientists, when studied the lesion, found many microorganisms and infestations near the larvae under the tissues that could be extremely dangerous for the person or animal. You can also remove the larvae by using Vaseline or oil or beeswax on the affected area. The larvae breathe from the injected spot and can die without air. The larvae come out from the tissue over the skin for breathing, and that is the time when you need to cut it out. After the surgical process, antibiotics are given to control the infections for further improvement of the affected part.