The dirty world of insects

Oooh, I’ve got the munchies!

Insect lays its eggs in your body and its larvae eat you from the inside out’.  Yep, definitely among the top ten of things that really freak us out. Sadly, not as uncommon as it sounds. Picture this, you on vacation, enjoying a brief respite from a stressful world, in a nice tropical region. You find yourself enjoying an appetizing drink and snack with the always attractive housefly, and singing along happily to the ever pleasing hum of the mosquito; slapping, smacking and cursing away to the music. A completely normal, commonplace and inoffensive scene, right? Wrong. Completely wrong.

Human Botfly (Dermatobia Hominis) can grow up to 12-19mm big!

Beneath the facade of this seemingly nonthreatening picture an evil mastermind hides in the shadows. A sly sneaky female that is waiting for the perfect opportunity to give her babies a fabulous, hot, moist and juicy babysitter to feast on while they reach maturity. Isn’t she just a wonderful mommy? This devilish female is looking for the way to deposit her eggs on to a hot blooded mammal, such as yourself; so they can hatch and burrow their way into their hosts body, where they spend the rest of their childhood eating away at… You.  A process commonly known as myiasis.

Note those tiny black spikes that circle it? Those dig into your flesh when you try to pull it out. Ouch!

This treacherous little gynecomorphous bug is commonly known as the Female Human Botfly or, for scientific purposes, the Dermatobia Hominis. They are large, stout, hairy bodied flies that resemble bumblebees. It would make things slightly better if this insect only targeted animals. Unfortunately this insect does not discriminate against age, sex, race, species or body part. Her little babies will feed on any part of the body, including your brain. Fantastic.

Disgusting.

Their presence creates painful pustules that secrete pus and other fluids. The host can sometimes feel the larvae moving inside these raised pustules or lesions, particularly when they shower or cover the wound. The infected individual’s body reacts to the presence of the parasite by increasing its white blood cell count, and this often causes the wound to secrete pus.

So, how the hell does someone not notice a huge gray hairy fly laying eggs on their skin? Simple. That naughty Human Botfly uses alternate modes of transportation for her eggs.  She targets blood sucking arthropod, such as mosquitoes or ticks, hijacks them in mid flight and deposits her eggs on them. These unknowing botfly baby vessels proceed to find a tasty human to feed on. The heat of the humans body then loosens the eggs and they drop onto the skin to start burrowing their way into the subcutaneous layer where they stay. Feeding.  On you.

Fortunately, these little worms are not deadly, most of the time, and will make their way out after a while and burrow in the soil to later emerge a grown botfly. The following clip shows how to remove botfly larvae. It is not for people who have weak stomachs. Do not watch it, unless you want to be traumatized for a substantial part of your life.

What was seen can never be unseen. Ever.

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