One of the horrors of my childhood was kicking over a dead Pack Rat in the desert and finding large brown pill like larvae pulsating on the rotting flesh. It wasn’t until I was older that my curiosity got the better of me and I finally found out what it was. The larvae was in fact the young beginnings of Bot Flies.
Bot Flies are, in more ways or less, similar to the common house fly. They have the same features, six legs, buzzing wings, and their eyes that are actually hundreds of eyes. One main difference is how the young begin their cycle of life.
The young begin as eggs that once hatched, detached and follow the warmth of their host, usually a mammal. One they find the warmth they make their way into the skin through any opening possible, often the pores. From then on out it is an eerie and horrible sight to see.
The Bot Flies begin to feed on the host and gain size until they expand the pore like an infected pimple ready to burst. They will continue to feed until reaching their maturity size and age and then drop off to the soil and continue their pupal stage.
Then the cycle continues again as a new and fertile Bot Fly.
Since they carry many eggs at one time and since there are typically more than one fly in any given area, the damage to an animal or human can be devastating.
The pores of skin that were once infected with the Bot Flies becomes and open bleeding wound. Now just to make it clear how big these things get, it is big. They can reach the diameter of a dime. That’s a pretty big wound that usually does not heal up quickly due to the duration of the larvae feeding on it.
They can also attack more internally, feeding on the insides before passing out in the feces and then finishing their pupal stage. Some reports have even found them burrowed in around the teeth in the gums of people and animals.
Their spiny larvae can be painful from the get-go and are often noticed by the human hosts who have the capability to say something. Pets and wild animals are not so fortunate and sometimes have fatal outcomes. More often than not it, is a continual cycle for some time.
The Horror of It:
As many of you can imagine it is one of those creepy crawly feelings that people can use to their benefit in scary movies. It’s enough for some people to hear about insects and spiders. However, when you start mentioning the really bad ones and their ways of life people really cringe. I wonder where you might find one of these stories next. Or maybe even see a large fly, flying around your head. Don’t let it land to long. You might think it’s just checking the terrain for something smelly when in fact it’s looking for a nice place to raise its kids.
Although they are more abundant and common in South America they are not uncommon in the United States.
If you really want to think about it, just type in ‘Botfly’ into your search engine and look at some of the images.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat