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Treating Infestation of Bot Fly: How to Remove Them Efficiently?

bot fly lying on wooden background

Bot fly belongs to the Oestridae family. This family has several other flies similar to the bot fly like heel flies and gadflies and so on. The specialty of this family is its larva always make mammal as their internal parasite. Human bot fly is also a kind of this family that always parasites on human skin. The human bot fly also termed as American warble fly.

Appearance of Bot Fly

The adult or mature bot fly is like an undernourished or skinny honey-bee with yellowish complexion. The thorax of these flies has some hairs in it mouthparts of adult bot fly lack any rudimentary functionality.

Life Cycle

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Female deposits eggs to the opening of the skin layer of the host. Eggs of bot flies are deposited mainly by some insects. Usually, mosquitoes take this duty. The larva keeps on nourishing on the host body until it becomes a large fly. At this stage, you can remove them by some air spray or Vaseline. After it hatches the larva penetrates deep into the skin of the host Moreover, it digs a hole like structure larvae burrow or also called as warble. The damage takes place when the larva leaves from the marble. It takes almost six weeks for the entire development of a bot fly from the host body.


Bot fly or any of their other species prefer tropical and terrestrial regions for habitat. They always look for either moist or semi-moist place for the new world like a hilly or cool forest, agriculture, or scrub forests, etc.


Bot fly has some distinctive behavior from cochliomyia flies. The ultimate source of adult bot fly nutrition is not a host merely. They neither completely rely on them. But they are highly specific while choosing their host. They do not cause injury to their host. But if the host dies, so the bot fly larva also cannot survive.

What is Myiasis?

Myiasis is an infection caused by the maggots. Myiasis varies from minor to chronic depending upon the extent of damage and type of species. Myiasis has many types including wound myiasis and follicular myiasis. There are also some other types that negatively affects organs like the nose, sinus, pharynx, eyes and elementary track, etc. 

How Do you Get the Bot Fly?

If there is a breathing hole in your skin, then there is a bot fly, as they need air to breath. To get these flies out, you need to have a bottle and blow some cigarette puff. When the bottle is full, you hold it over the discovered breathing hole. Now the larvae would try to come out to have air. Once the heads of the larva are poked out, we will try to remove them with our hands with the best force. It would result in the maggots to come out. It looks horrific. You can identify the bot fly when you see their maggots.

【Read more about Bot Fly】

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Bot Fly Infection

The bite of bot fly may cause you the infection.


Precaution is better than cure. Always try to use precautionary measures against the infection of these bot flies. If the fly bites you, you will have following symptoms.

1. Locally Painful

When the female bot fly lay eggs, and the larva creates a hole, this will not be painful, but once the larva is fully developed and leaves the hole which has become the wound. Then e person feels pain from acute to severe.

2. Firm Funicular Lesion

A raised lesion is the symptom of the infection caused by bot fly. You can see a painful and dense funicular on the vector. It is easily visible and painful and creates burning sensation.

3. Centrally Located Pore

The wound will have a central pore. Which is in the center and you will see the pores swelling. Once you cover this with tape, you can feel the larva moving around.

4. The Lesion may Secrete Liquid

the raised Lesion may secrete a fluid or puss. Therefore, This is due to the reaction of the host with white cells and macrophages. The secretion will look dirty and will provide relief against the pain. One needs to tape it with petroleum gel. After sometimes when you remove the tape, it will take away all larvae.

6 Effective Methods to Remove them

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.

3 Useful Tips to Prevent

1. Insect Repellent

There are numerous air sprays or chemicals you can search out. These are designed repellents especially to kill these insects at their earliest stage. It will be a great precaution if these insects are not allowed to live longer to create any damage or injury. The adult bot flies do not have effective mouthparts. Hence, this is the reason that you kill at this larva stage. Some sprays, insect repelling cream, waxes or even Vaseline is also used to kill these insects and act like as Insect repellent.

2. Protective Clothing

Bet fly always need air to breath, they cannot live in the anaerobic environment. Moreover, also clothes are thick enough so if these insects enter they die immediately.

3. Inspect your Skin

Inspect your skin that either you are bitten by the bot fly or not. Remove larva if they have not penetrated to the skin. Use precautions against these bot flies. Use precautionary measures while visiting their habitat.


Bot Fly is a bumble-bee sized insect belonging to family Oestridae. It also has other family members. Its eggs deposit by the mosquitoes or another intermediate vector. Dermatobia hominin is a special species usually occurs in South America which always parasites human. The botfly is with their maggots. They do cause infection to the skin. It is often painful, a firm lesion that often secretes puff. There are certain methods for their removal the most conventional is to enlarge the wound so the larva can pop out or use petroleum jelly or nail polish to the wound with adhesive tape. When the maggots have inefficient oxygen, they will come and stick to the tape, and you can easily remove the tape.

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