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Basic Facts of Bot Fly & How to Prevent the Infection Caused By Them

A bot fly lying on rock

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.

General Information about Bot FlyBot fly resting on plants

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.

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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.

  • Pets

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.

  • Humans

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.

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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.

Signs of Infections 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.


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.


1. Surgical Removal

The larvae and the infestation around can be surgically removed. The surgeon can cut that affected area and extract the larvae and take care of any other infections around. The surgical removal is considered best as it eliminate the chances of infection in future.

2. Applying Pressure to the Cavity to Extract it

Pressure can be applied on the effective part that can extract the infestation or the larvae. The pressure should be high because it is important to extract the larvae because it can damage the skin tissues and get nourishment from the host.

3. Cut a Slit to the Wound

A slight cut can be made around the infected area and put pressure so that the infected venom or the larvae is easily extracted.

4. Covered the Wound with Thick Materials

It is also considered right that covering the wound with thick materials can be a way to heal the wound. Vaseline or mayonnaise can be used to cover the wound as they are thick in nature and avoid the bacteria or air to get into the wound. This can make the larvae suffocated. However, it is not considered as a full method for healing the wound. The larvae must be extracted. So, you can use this method for killing the larvae and stopping infections then cut or pressure the wound for extracting the infestation.

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 RepellentsWoman spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor in nature

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.

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