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πŸ“½ by @dr.whitneyjonesstone

Botfly larvae removed from the eye of a cat.

Adult botflies are fly-like insects that resemble bumblebees in size and appearance.

Their sole purpose in life is to reproduce, and they can only do so with the help of a living host – a true parasite.

Adult female botflies will either capture and lay their eggs under the wings of insects, such as houseflies and mosquitoes OR lay them directly onto the hairs of a mammal host.

Using the insect method: once the eggs are laid, the courier is released to go about their regular business, inadvertently carrying out the 1st stage of the botfly’s life cycle – transfering these eggs to the flesh of a warm-blooded animal.

When the botfly’s eggs are laid on the hair of a mammal, they will hatch and simply make their way down the hair follicles and burrow into the animals skin.

Once the larvae are under the skin, a breathing tube is extended through the opening they create so they can remain inside the host and grow.

Once the larvae mature, they exit their host and drop into the soil to complete their pupal stage.

The host animal experiences mild to moderate discomfort depending on where the larvae burrow and create these lesions.

Dermatobia hominis are the only species of botfly that occasionally use humans as larval hosts.

Myiasis is the technical term for the parasitic infestation of botfly and other fly larvae.

Treating myiasis in humans consists of dropping a generous amount of iodine into the maggots breathing hole and waiting for it to poke itself out, then carefully using tweezers to gently extract the larvae.

Another method involves sealing the hole with vaseline or nail polish and waiting 24 hours for the maggots to suffocate before removal.

Squeezing the larvae out like a pimple is not recommended: if you “pop” the maggot while its inside your skin, its bodily fluids have been known to cause anaphylactic shock.



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