Monday, October 5, 2009

Of flies and men

[image source:]

As I was entertaining my self via videos, I came across one Animal Planet short documentary on bot fly (watch video at I also went about checking other videos on extraction of bot fly larvae from a human host (see some of the videos below).

The bot fly belong to the family of Oestroidea, a hairy flies whose larvae parasitically live within the bodies of mammals. There are about 150 known species worldwide. Human bot fly (Dermatobia hominis) is the lone species of bot fly identified to use humans as the host to its larvae.

Bot flies deposit its egg directly in the host body or sometime use another insect – flies or mosquitoes to transfer their eggs to the host body (may middle man kung baga). How does the bot fly go about it? They catch and attach their eggs to the smaller insect (fly or mosquito) and then release them. Then the larvae from the bot fly eggs, by law of thermodynamics and gravity, fall onto the human skin while in contact with the feeding mosquito or the resting fly. Some forms of bot fly also go and develop in the digestive tract when taken in by a licking action.

Since the botfly larva have spines, they cause an extremely painful condition under your skin. According to Wikipedia “In cattle, the lesions caused by these flies can become infected by a bacterial causes lechiguana, characterized by rapid growing, hard lumps beneath the skin of the animal. Without antibiotics an affected animal will die within 3–11 months.

The larvae develop under the skin for about eight weeks. After which they will just hatch or fall off and leave the host’s skin. Complications will only arise when infection occurs in the affected area.

The bot fly larvae can be successfully removed from the skin by suffocating it. So applying several coat of nail polish to the of the larva’s entrance, applying petroleum jelly or covering the affected area with duck tape should do the trick. However the latter is not highly recommended since the larva’s breathing tube (it’s part that’s attached to the opening on the skin) is sensitive and would be broken during the removal of the tape, causing most part of the larva behind. After doing this, wait for a day and you can squeeze out the suffocated, dead larva.

Another way to make the larva come out is to put raw meat on top of the affected area. This should lure the pest to come out of the skin. And if you’re from Costa Rica, one option to kill the larva is to use the tree sap of the matatorsalo.

This is really creepy but we need not worry to much since The Philippines does is not included on the list of countries with known bot fly cases. The list mostly consist of countries with warm and damp climates like (most of) Brazil and Chile, as well as far north as the southern United States.

Here are the list of other countries with identified bot fly occurrence: Adelaide - Elizabeth, Davoren Park, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada - Northern British Columbia, Southern Ontario, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, The coast of Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, , New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Several small countries in Africa

Nevertheless, with the current climate change and situation of global warming, we can never be too sure that bot fly will not infest our country. Therefore, prevent yourselves from being bitten by mosquitoes. Make sure to prevent fly infestation and stay away (as much as possible) from places with mosquito and fly infestation. Stay hygienic and sanitary.

And for Poz girls and guys out there... make sure to stay away from insect bites. We don't want to have any infections going on there.

Bot fly by National Geographic

Bot fly extraction from the man’s back


wanderingcommuter said...

sana hindi nga siya pumunta sa pinas. darn! kinilabutan ako sa extraction... aish!

Anonymous said...

humphs, you dont fail to irritate me. umalis na nga ako sa papuntang probinsya at lahat, at eto ka na naman... para kang bot fly... sorry i am so mad... uncontrollably mad (like you during the time when sinuntok mo ako, sinira mo yung cabinet, and more violent acts etc. etc.)

sorry, words is the only way i know i can fight coz i would never hurt someone by my hands.

just leave me alone. stay away from me. respect me as i have respected you. i just called u after the storm as respect and i was genuinely concerned but it doesnt mean we're ok to get back or something like that. thanks.