David Coveney

That Botfly Story You’ve Heard From Me 10 Times Already

Argh - looks like an alien!

Argh - looks like an alien!

Please note this is a reproduction of the webpage I originally created for this story. I just thought it’d be better included in my journal rather than off on its own. Easier to manage too. The extraction happened in March 2006. Since then, thanks to B3ta, Digg, StumbleUpon and others, well over 100,000 people have visited and read this story – which is astonishing really. So thank you all.  In the near future I’ll be re-writing this page to make it more thorough and give more information.  In the meantime, enjoy!

Help me find my dad – if you’ve just returned from a holiday in South America, consider taking a look at my page about my father. Does he look familiar to you? If so, drop me a line.

Maybe it’s a karma thing. I dunno. I changed my plans and decided to go to the Peruvian jungle at the last minute because I was tired of mountains and deserts. But I’d forgotten that one advantage of dry mountain terrain is the relative lack of insect life.

The jungle was great, but one day I made the mistake of wearing a thin t-shirt made from a ‘technical’ fibre – ie, cooling and comfortable in the humid heat of the jungle. Mosquitoes struggle to bite through thick cotton, but these fibres are just so easy for them. In one day with this shirt on I managed to acquire about fifty bites, mostly on my back. Interestingly, the locals, even without deet repellent, receive far fewer bites.

One of these bites didn’t heal quite right. A week or so after I’d noticed it would hurt quite a bit, like a needle being pushed into my back. I guessed it was a little infected. This was late February. After a week or so of this I went to my local clinic where the nurse had a good look. She’s travelled tropically herself and was impressively clued up. After enquiries she felt it was likely to be a bug inside me. There then followed a slightly confusing phase when nobody seemed available to help me out, but eventually, after a few visits, a doctor at the famous Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine offered to take a look. He couldn’t find anything at the time, or extract it, sadly, but the pain continued and the now bigger wound was starting to hurt for longer periods of time. This, apparently, is the botfly larvae moving around and snacking on my flesh. Eventually it was a friend (who is also a dentist, which helps) covered the wound with vaseline and watched carefully for some time through a loupe. It soon became obvious that a botfly spiracle was popping up for air every now and again.. Which meant this bad boy was inside me:

The larvae, if left alone, would live inside me for up to eight weeks and grow up to 25mm long before leaving in order to pupate into the adult fly. I believe the fly can then live for up to two weeks, purely on the stored energy from its larval stage – it can’t eat as an adult. The adult then has to mate, and the female with then capture a mosquito in order to lay its eggs on it. When the mosquito bites someone, the eggs fall off and the warmth of the host causes those eggs to hatch and in a very short time the little grub will burrow in and get snacking.


My friend Geraldine is having a baby and has shared the video of its ultrasound. Not wanting to feel left out I thought I’d share my own little ‘baby’ video with the world! But also I felt this page may help people who get the same problem – there are other resources, but none struck me as that clear to the layman, and there are none with a video to show you what to expect.

Some information that I’ve been able to find – the scientific name is Dermatobia Hominis. It has a mouth with scraping hooks, a main body with rows of hooks to hold onto its host, and a spiracle through which it breathes. Symptoms are an enlarging lesion (spot!) that has a small pinhole in the centre for breathing – this hole will not heal as long as the bug is alive. Occasionally you’ll feel sharp stabbing pains, lasting up to half an hour, as it moves or eats. It won’t burrow especially deeply and is unlikely to cause any real damage even if left to mature.

Extraction – we’re currently trying to persuade it out by covering the wound in vaseline. This forces it closer to the surface as its spiracle searches out air, and it may even come out completely. See the video above. As this story progresses I’ll update this page. I also plan to add some links to resources. Watch this space!

OK – I just gave birth to a baby worm. I always said I wanted children, but… not sure if this is the way.

Removal of the botfly larvae:

It wasn’t easy. Squeezing didn’t seem to work, and is said to be almost impossible if the larvae is still alive. So we settled on trying to kill it or weaken it. However, although there are approaches that give you an almost instant kill, the method we used helps to encourage the fella to come closer to the surface.

We needed some kind of dressing that was flexible enough to go on the back and able to keep as much air out as possible. We settled on the lid from a tube of jaffa cakes, filled with vaseline, and thoroughly taped in to place. After a night’s sleep I could feel the wriggling in the morning. Eventually the lid slipped and I removed it completely to see a lot more of the larvae sticking out. Result! I covered it once more, and quickly went to see my friend who was then able to gently tweezer the tip up enough to get another pair of tweezers lower down and slowly extract the bug. Mechanical removal like this isn’t usually advised, but as the larvae was weakened by this point after a night of struggling for air it seemed to be ok. My only concern now is that it might have a twin! But the wound is healing well, which is a very good sign. There’s still some inflammation but it’s improved.

Here’s some pics of the little blighter. Someone could probably make a rather neat little animation. You can see the movement of his mouth parts as he wonders where the hell his meal’s just gone. The goo is just vaseline, by the way.

Pics and video of the little fella:

Click on the images for larger versions.

Botfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly LarvaeBotfly Larvae


Botfly Larvae in host video

It could have been worse though… but don’t look if you’re either sensitive or don’t like seeing people’s, erm, hidden bits…. http://sti.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/80/3/183.pdf – membership now required.


Posted: 26 July, 2006 at 10:32 AM

James says:

Looks unpleasant


Posted: 28 July, 2006 at 8:20 AM

Hinn says:

You are a brave man.


Posted: 6 August, 2006 at 2:52 PM

Rebekah says:


My l6 year old daughter has been on San Blas Islands in Panama for 8 weeks doing mission work. She returned home yesterday and has three spots that look nasty. One is a red bump that can be moved under her arm. One on her chin and one on her ankle. All of these seem to be in different stages. But at first they looked dry and then turned pussy. I covered them with antibiotic ointment and a bandade. She says they are not itchy or sore now. But they look wierd in that there is a row of black points. I thought that they looked odd and have just found this site. They could very well be botfly larvae, how do I get rid of them.


Hi Cheryl – I’m afraid I can’t help much.  I’m not a medic and can’t help with a diagnosis.  What I can say is that with my own botfly spot there were no black points visible on the skin itself.  If they’re a type of botfly then just try what I did with the vaseline.  Better may be to see a good medic and explain the situation fully and carefully – making sure they take you seriously. Good luck!  Dave


Posted: 4 September, 2006 at 3:24 PM

Eric Rider says:

I just removed a botfly larva from my leg yesterday! I returned from a trip in Belize three weeks ago and symptoms did not appear until I got back home. I have four holes total: two on my left leg, two on my right. I am one of the brave few who are willing to wait it out and let the darn things come out on their own. I don’t want to risk performing self-extraction only to risk some of the larvae being left intact which could lead to infection. So, unless the pain becomes more severe I’ll just be a generous host to my new friends I brought back with me.


Posted: 11 September, 2006 at 3:20 PM

Bottie says:

I am a botfly.


Posted: 11 October, 2006 at 3:00 PM

monkey lavae says:

ooo! ooo! ooo! ooo! ooo!


Posted: 17 October, 2006 at 10:17 AM

Melindi says:

Mmmmm, I always thought you were a vegetarian!


Posted: 24 October, 2006 at 3:39 AM

Andres Pardo says:

I have been the victim of “nuches” (as they are called in Colombia) about 4 times over a period of 15 years visiting my farm in the mountains, always with 2 or 3 wounds. Right now I have 3 of the utterly annoying though scientifically fascinating pests (did you know that the botfly captures a mosquito or fly on which it deposits the eggs which hatch upon contact with skin, at which time the larva burrows under the skin?) If interested, there’s much needed info in Wikipedia, under Dermatobia Hominis, nuche’s fancy name. Botfly cases are very often misdiagnosed, even here (they’re not that common, actually). For those who inquire, I recognize nuches because, first, what starts as a mosquito bite just refuses to heal. It then swallows and watery blood may come out. The wound has an open mouth (for breathing!). And, sooner or later, the sob starts to bite! That’s when you accumulate enough hatred to get rid of it …
How? One common method which I haven’t seen reported anywhere is smoke (cigarrette, tobacco or whatever :), though I now doubt if the reason is suffocation or heat – or both). Right now I’m trying petroleum jelly on one, a piece of raw meat on another and just tape on the other. I’ll let you know … sorry for the length :(


Posted: 5 November, 2006 at 9:31 PM

KENT says:

Absolutely fascinating creatures we dont have them here in NZ but have viewed several videos on youtube etc. and currently looking for more but they seem hard to find at the moment. Good on yer mate!


Posted: 7 November, 2006 at 9:58 AM

Dave says:

Cheers Kent – incredible stuff that exists out there… I mean, what an amazing lifecycle. A bit gross.

Typical of me though – if there’s something strange out there it seems to come looking for me!

Andres – did you get the botfly out? I found the vaseline to work a treat, but you do need to make it hard for the bug to get to air so you need a *lot* to get it to pop out enough that you can get a grip on it.

Of course, eventually it comes out of its own accord…. In a way I’d have been fascinated to see this, but with the thing on my back it was just too much to bear.



Posted: 21 January, 2007 at 4:29 AM

Tor says:

Holy cucomber!!!!!!
those things are sick. Can you imagen having those in you thats is so sick!
please keep more of these blogs commin because i am so amased it is just sick!!!


Posted: 23 January, 2007 at 9:55 AM

John Whitfield says:

i have found another video of a man with two or more botfly in his back, he is with very enthusiastic friends that wish to help and proceed in pulling out two of he biggest things i have seen.lol


Posted: 30 January, 2007 at 3:56 AM

Karli Kominsky says:

Hello all. I am actually a premed student at the University of Wyoming, and I find the lifecycle of some of these parasites fascinating. Thank you for sharing your stories, you can really learn a lot just by reading up. Keep up on the mountain climbing, as we say in Wyoming; “climb on!”


Posted: 17 April, 2007 at 4:23 PM

kcdc989 says:

Oh, yuck. I’d heard of such, and we’re leaving for Belize the day after tomorrow. Oh, YUCK. Dave, I’m like you – if it’s sick, gross or just plain weird, I will find it, or rather, IT will find ME. OMG,is it too late to get a refund? Hats off to ya, for the courage it took (not to mention, stomache)to film and share your story. THANKS, and GOOD LUCK!! Oh, DOUBLE-A-GAZILLION-YUCK!!!


Posted: 14 May, 2007 at 5:02 PM

Eirik van Hoegee says:

OK…that’s what my “inflammation” (according to a local doctor in Lima) on my ankle is all about… thanks for putting this information together. I have been travelling for four months in Peru. I returned from the jungle four weeks ago (still in Peru) – and something has been growing inside my ankle since then – waking me up at night with a stinging pain that goes away after about ten minutes – and also the same pain sometimes during the day. There is a red tiny open wound or hole that keeps on leaking fluid with blood. The sensation of something moving inside is then NOT my heartbeat felt inside an infection… So what to do now? – don’t panic I guess. Make some nice macro-pictures of me as a man giving birth to an insect? For those of you who have fulfilling the process of giving birth to the Bot Fly; will the pain get worse (I’m pregnant in my 4th or 5th week)?


Posted: 15 May, 2007 at 12:48 AM

Eirik van Hoegee says:

Follow up… Now a proud father of a premature Botfly larvae! After some more research on the Internet I tried the following. I smeared a piece of cotton with Vicks VapoRub (containing camphor-, menthol- and eucalyptus-oil) and taped it to my ankle where the Botfly lived, repeated it after four hours and the pain changed to become more constantly. When stretching my foot and pressing the swollen area to check what was going on, it just popped out of the hole in my ankle – it was about one centimeter long. I did some nice macro-photos. Thanks again for the information on this site.


Posted: 16 September, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Rebecca Hattem says:

I live in US and I gave birth to something. I was bit by unknown spider affected by rodent. It came out of birthcanal. Doctor said it was a spider bite I was allergic to. The larvae or embryo was yellowish clear. I got bit on neck broke out felt in chest and then worms. I saw it and so did husband move in intestine. The bite had two prick marks smear rely sick. No one will believe me, this happened five years ago. I have alot of complications and a fungal infection and I don’t know who to see I am allergic to everything now. I hurt and stomach, head to tioe and I am skinny.its getting tomy brain, I can’t take it anymedications any longer Rebecca from Kansas City, Missouri 8163918975


Posted: 23 May, 2007 at 3:46 AM

barfus says:

Hmmmmph… BLACH!! cough cough cough… hmmmmmmpf.. BURL—ACH! HUURRRRRRRRBLACH!!!


BUUUULLLLLrrrrrrACH!!! >spitspitcoughspitspitspit


Posted: 25 June, 2007 at 2:34 AM

steph says:

botflys are gross id haten to have one in my head!!!!


Posted: 3 July, 2007 at 4:27 AM

Charley says:

I was in Peru for a biology course just a few days ago, and I think I’ve got one of these little bastards in my head. I’m goin with the vasaline in a vitamin water cap technique. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. I feel a little stupid, sitting on the couch with a slimy cap taped to my head with a crooked hat smashed on top.


Posted: 11 July, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Josh Troeckler says:

Well I loved Belize it was a great honeymoon but I picked up a little hitch hiker and he came out to play to day. OH! JOY!!! I wish more people would get this info they sure do not put it in the travel brochure. Anyway I am a proud papa of my fly lol…


Posted: 18 July, 2007 at 2:37 AM

Geri Lanier says:

Thanks for the info on this site. Two days after coming home from Belize, I felt pinches and movement (itchiness). There was redness and swelling surrounding two bites. I went to the doctor about 1 1/2 week later. He perscribed antibiotics and told me he thought I had a reaction to an insect bite but not a botfly larvae. That was on Friday. Friday night I read several more websites on the subject and applied vaseline. On Sunday my husband and I pushed on the bites (2) on my back and produced a total of three larvae. Monday I called the doctor back and asked him if he had read the papers I had copied from the internet and left him. He said he had but didn’t think that was the case. Then I asked him if he wanted to see what I had pushed out. He was all excited and said to bring them on down. I was the buzz in the office. Although the samples were dried out the lab that doc sent them to confirmed that they were small but 100% botfly larvae. He gave me the credit for diagnosing them and when I told him I thought there was still one left he recommended the treatment that I had used. After two long attempts to use vaseline and wait, nothing. I even tried a polstice of egyptian balm and very strong garden variety oregano on the bite. Nothing in the morning. So later that day, I made the appointment to have a cut done. Five stitches later I’m not sure. He has sent my chunk of skin in to the lab for analysis. Did he get anything or did I go nuts thinking it was another bug? Geri in Grover Beach, Ca. Would I go back to Belize, yes! Only I would be using more deet. It was an incredible vacation.


Posted: 19 July, 2007 at 7:04 AM


Eeewwwww!!!!! If the same thing happens to me, I wish that I can get the memory clean out from m head. My hostel and cafe is a fly-heaven, and tha is very gross to me. Luckily though that there are none of this in my country. Man! I can imagie if the Euchimon (I think that what they call…) wasp decides on injecting eggs in human, it could be worst than your case. Anyway, I salute you. You’re quite brave, and thank you for giving the others about this info. Have a sweet dream.


Posted: 2 August, 2007 at 9:07 PM

Kathy in Dallas, TX says:

My dog had a golf ball size knot on his neck two weeks ago that just seemed to appear out of nowhere. He hasn’t been on any exotic vacations lately and at this point I had never heard of a Bot Fly so I took him to the vet. The vet ran some blood work and did a needle biospy thinking it was a tumor. The biospy came back inconclusive in that it was either a spider bite or a Mast tumor. He recommended bringing him back in two weeks if it’s didn’t go away. In that two weeks it has doubled in size. Yesterday, back at the vet he showes me that what he thought was a bite mark has not healed and showed me a Bot Fly larva that he pulled out of another dog in this area. This thing growing inside my dog is about the size of a goose egg now and attached to the tissue in his neck! My vet wants to see him again tomorrow to take an ex-ray and possibly perform exporatory surgery. Either he hasn’t read your stories of extraction methods or he’s just trying to get more money out of me. I’m going straight home and covering this “breathing hole” with some vasiline and a plastic lid. So far I’m into it for $394.70! Yikes! Good job on the Bot Fly blog 8-)


Posted: 12 August, 2007 at 3:46 AM

Rainy in South Dakota says:

Well… how interesting is this stuff. I came across this site after squeezing 2 giant **things** out of my small Rat Terrier. Yes…I quezily watched the video of the brave soul with the duct taped back ((eeeww)) Anyway .. very informative stuff. I am done freaking out and thinking my dog has some horrid affliction, now I know she is just producing some nice new SouthDakotian flies. Thanks to all for the info and the stomach turning moments :)


Posted: 21 August, 2007 at 8:41 PM

Geri Lanier says:

Well, to continue the saga, I still had a fourth larvae under the stitches, the lab confirmed, no larvae in the batch of skin the doctor extracted. They said I had quite a bit of scar tissue built up which indicated that one was still there. Meanwhile I just covered the stitched area with neosporin and bandaids and smothered it to death. The day before the stitches were to come out, my back showed an edema stemming from the area where the larvae were. I had finally killed the thing and my body was taking care of it. That was something I not forget all to soon.


Posted: 11 September, 2007 at 7:12 PM

peter bruce says:

My daughter was in Belize treking in the jungle.She took a little friend home with her!!!Yes a botfly larvae.A swelling started to appear on her head 3 weeks after she came home.We took her to the infectious deceases clinic in Aberdeen where the doctors confirmed the news my daughter had fearing that she had a botfly!!!
They told us to put vaseline and a plaster on that night and that might suffocate it and force it out of its home in my daughters head!!!If that didn,t work they would have to operate and cut it out.


Posted: 11 September, 2007 at 7:25 PM

peter bruce says:

That night we did what we were told.Next morning tweezers at the ready in case it was showing but not out , i took the plaster off(WIFE HIDING BEHIND DOOR SCREAMING )me hand shaking daughter with a expression on her face l,ll never forget l looked and here was the pesty thing half out of the hole l tried to get it with the tweezers but it went straight back in!!!i tried again this time squeezing the swelling on my daughters head the larvae came out again this time l got it with the tweezers and hauled straight out .


Posted: 11 September, 2007 at 8:06 PM

peter bruce says:

It was 17mm long and intact and still living .we still have in a minature vodka bottle.think the daughters quite proud proud of it!!!


Posted: 24 September, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Ken says:

Friends small child (Approx 3yrs old) was treated for infection after lesions and rash developed. After approx. 3 weeks a large swollen area appeared under the childs chin. Doctors treated the rash etc as a type skin infection. The father noticed it was moving and began pulling on dark area and removed Maggot type larve. It was sent to CDC in Knoxville, TN and was confirmed Bot Fly. Is there a lot of this in the United States? This is the first case I’ve ever heard of here in East TN. The Child has never been to South America or any where else to my knowledge.

Note from Dave – Hi Ken, I’m afraid I can’t tell you what it may have been, but there’s plenty of insects around that like to lay their eggs on a nice, mobile food supply! I believe there’s a fly in the UK that can do this with people – particularly if there’s an open wound. Could be that’s what’s happened?


Posted: 8 October, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Sally says:

Well my dog has given birth to a bot fly in New Mexico the vet called it a cuteariba ( or something simalar) I found this site with searching. I guess they are now moving north with the Killer Bees. Major gross out!!!!!


Posted: 9 October, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Steve Amor says:

I picked up a couple of these things while working in Suriname in the 90s. I had heard about them beforehand and my own reaction was also along the lines of OMG/gross/sick/etc. but like a lot of unpleasant things, when they happen to you, you deal with them. I had medical insurance so went to a doctor to have them removed, successfully in the first case. In the second, the doctor gave up after several tries and gave me a prescription for some calomel (mercurous chloride — a poison) to apply to the bite site in the hope that it would kill the larva when it came up for air. Sure enough, the next day a dead bug fell out when I removed the dressing. I thought part of it might have been left behind but there was no subsequent infection. The first one was in me for quite a bit longer than the second; in fact it made a return trip to Canada in my back. As well as the intense pain when it was moving about, it also caused me to bleed a lot, something no-one else has mentioned.


Posted: 13 October, 2007 at 4:36 AM

Felix Oquendo says:

Back in April, an insect got inside my wife’s nose. The insect bite her. She blew her nose, but nothing came out.
In May, she felt something biting her on upper part of her throat and though it was a parasite (worm). She has visited the doctor due to headaches, sinuses pressure, fouled-odor, drainage and the feeling sensation of something moving inside her sinuses. She has been given amoxicillin and other medicines. A blood test was done to check for evidence of parasites, but it came out negative. A cat-scan and x-ray also came out negative; even the ENT specialist could not see anything abnormal with her respiratory system. On September 16, she had a white fouled-smelling substance draining from her nose. First it appeared as tiny white drops, landing on her upper nose. Later, she discharged one larger speck, over a ¼ inch long. A week later, she felt like tiny bugs spitting out through her nose. This was preceded by numerous tiny drops of clear liquid (water drops) falling uncontrollable through her nose. She could feel some of these bugs as they would made quick contact with upper part of lip and quickly disappearing. On a few occasions she was bitten on the upper lip, right and left side of her face and left side of her forehead. So far the doctor’s diagnose have been sinusitis, seasonal allergies, possible mental problem or even having an unclean home. Is it possible for an insect like a botfly or screwworm to nest inside the sinuses cavities?


Posted: 6 November, 2007 at 8:27 AM

Dave says:

Felix – sorry to take so long responding to this.

But really – I can’t help here. Let the doctors worry about it. I hope whatever the problem is, you’ll get it sorted.



Posted: 10 November, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Amanda says:


From what I’ve researched the botflys do like nasal cavities. Hopefully by now the problem is taken care of. I just got back from Peru and came back with two botflys in my head. Per my dermatologists suggestion, I currently have two pices of bacon attached to my head. I feel completely rediculous, and I can’t help but laugh at this insane predicament. The truly insane thing is that I only spent 3 days/2 nights in the Amazon. I mean what are the chances?! Anyway, if anyone has experience with bacon, or bacon vs. vaseline, vapo rub etc. please pass it on. I’m particularly interested in how long I have to keep the bacon attached to my scalp. One more thing, I am very squeamish about everything and normally get completely grossed out by the sight of spiders, roaches etc. – it’s amazing what the mind can deal with when there’s no where to escape.


Posted: 10 November, 2007 at 11:20 PM

Amanda says:

Update – one of them poked it’s little head up but went back inside. I gave up on the bacon and tried vaseline which seemed to shake it up. The little sucker is only 2 1/2 weeks old, and my husband said the head is very small. I’m hoping the small size won’t make it impossible to take out. Anyone out there have experience with extracting a young botfly?


Posted: 11 November, 2007 at 12:10 AM

Dave says:

Be careful if you find yourself having to tweezer it out – you don’t want a broken larvae inside you!

The vaseline should draw it out enough… it did for me. Just make sure the vaseline is thick so it can’t get to air easily.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Posted: 12 November, 2007 at 10:19 PM

Amanda says:

Dave, I think the saga is over – what a traumatic past few days! My dermatologist took one out which was a lot smaller than what you see all over the web. I’ve estimated it’s a couple days short of 3 weeks old. My husband and I tried to get the two of mine out all weekend but nothing worked. I will be thrilled if I never have to see vaseline again! There was another one that the doctor treated on Fri. with lydacaine without removing. We think that may have killed it. The doctor put something in it today that he said would either make it pop out or move out through my body – the body will end up rejecting it, and he says the only thing to worry about is inflammation which he gave me something for (everything on the web says that you don’t want to leave the botfly in dead or have it break apart and have some of it left in, but I’m under the supervision of my doctor so I’ll just hope for the best). I also took stromectol which was prescribed by the doctor. It’s what they give dogs for worms – the humiliation never ends. Anyway, I now feel like the luckiesT girl alive!


Posted: 22 November, 2007 at 6:40 PM

Rob Harris says:

I am going to a clinic in Rivas, Nicaragua in a couple of hours to have 2 botflies removed from my head. The stabbing pains are the worst and I am prepared to pay any amount of money to stop the pain!

The doctor says excision is the best way although I would be a lot happier with vaseline or something less bloody!


Posted: 27 November, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Daniel says:

Hi everyone..
I have a couple of questions, can the botfly be nested next to the hole or beside it?
Do they live on the westcoast of the U.S? (Seattle, Portland,Los Angeles)
Im here visiting and got a major pain in my lowerback, right around the tailbone area.
(YES, right between the upper part of my buttcheeks)
I stood infront of a mirror to se what was going on and noticed an irritation..
Not knowing what to do i thought it was maybe a rash of some sort.
I left it there and the pain started to wake me up during the night(And I sleep as if in a coma)
Rubbed Voltaren Gel for the pain thinking the back was the pain area..
Checked againg 2 days later and i notice a small ?hole?, and a small amount of discharge following from time to time.
But now i have a bulge on my left cheek, not to far from the hole.
Any ideas?


Posted: 27 November, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Dave says:

Hi Daniel – I’m not aware of human botflies living anywhere in the US… but you know, there’s all sorts of odd critters in this world.

Best bet is to go and see a doctor, ideally a good one that pays attention!

Good luck and let us know if it’s anything interesting.


Posted: 28 November, 2007 at 5:32 PM

naisioxerloro says:

Good design, who make it?


Posted: 28 November, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Dave says:

It was part designed by me, and slapped into shape as a GPL theme by my colleague James – you can download it at my company’s website: http://www.interconnectit.com/anvil-wordpress-theme/


Posted: 11 December, 2007 at 2:28 AM

Amanda says:

I have heard of a botfly case in Nashville from a person who had never left the US. I think it’s very possible that someone could have been carrying it (like a lot of us who have posted here), maybe not known what it was and just lived with the pain until the larvae dropped to the ground and there you go – an adult botfly. Let’s hope this isn’t common – I’m scared for life, although on the bright side nobody can ever top my story. Daniel, I hope for your sake you’ve gotten it taken care of. I’d be very interested to here if it was a botfly – it sounds like it was.


Posted: 16 February, 2016 at 8:35 PM

Laura Parker says:

Amanda, I am currently dealing with the fly issue. I have them in all over my body and I haven’t left the USA. Although my issue has not been diagnosed, I have the pin holes, swelling in ankles, knees and hips. Also, I know I have them in back and in my head, nose, face, neck etc. You name it and I have it. I know they are internally. I started with the issue about 1 1/2 years ago. Doctors could not diagnose it and I thought it was worms of some type. Fecal samples were taken to look for eggs. None found in a lot of fecal tests. I thought the labs weren’t done correctly and kept taking them. I am now convinced there are no eggs in fecal matter. So, what was the issue. I laid out bug zappers in my living room. I sleep in a chair. The flies came off and went to bug zapper. After about a week, I took the zapper out of the house and sprayed water in it to a bucket and poured ammonia on top and capped the bucket. These flies are very small. I went and showed them to a parasite doctor and he says there are flies this small. I took off my leg with some nana soap a larvae around my knee. My problem now is, it’s taken so much time for medical people to find out what is happening, I maybe a goner. Not sure what to do. I have been taking salt baths and these things come out into the water. It’s been helpful. But, it’s a short term solution… as it doesn’t get them all out. Environment is an issue too. Flies are so small, one can’t see them if they are flying, unless sun light hits them. They also seem to have gone for internal water supply in our home and we need to get these tested. I have boiled water and there is something obviously in it.


Posted: 1 January, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Leigh Ann says:

I vacationed with my family Oct. 20-27, 2007 on a cruise with ports of call in Cozumel, Belize (with a hike in a rainforest followed by cave tubing), Honduras and Freeport, Bahamas. On Nov. 6th I felt a small bump on the top left portion of my scalp. At first, it itched like a bug bite. Upon inspection, I noted a black dot smaller than a poppy seed surrounded by pink discoloration. I thought it was black dot ringworm. The black dot area started to swell and the area began to ooze clear fluid and occasionally bleed.

By Thanksgiving, the center changed to what appeared to be a hole about the size of a sesame seed and the fluid that oozed was now thin, but dark – the color of motor oil. I noticed the fluid “bubbled” out of the hole when I blotted it after shampooing my hair. The raised area was now the size of a quarter and raised about 1/2 inch. All along I felt as though there was something moving about inside, but I couldn’t get anything to come out of the hole when I pressed on the surrounding skin.

By the first week of December, the area started to become painful – like a red hot needle had been inserted into my skin. The pain was intermittent, but becoming more frequent and lasting longer each time. It seemed to hurt more after I touched the area – as though something under my skin had been awakened. The pain was always followed by a trickle of this dark, watery discharge.

I never shared with with my family and prayed the whole mess would go away. Daily I searched the internet for clues. I didn’t want to ruin Christmas for my family if I had a tumor. I scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist for Dec, 27th. Finally, on Dec. 26th I ran across an article on the internet explaining my exact symptoms, including the dark drainage and excruciating pain. Armed with a printed copy of the article, I went into the dermatologist, explained both my symptoms and the timing of my travel to the rainforest in Belieze.

Following seven injections of lidocaine to numb the area, my dermatolosigt made a small incision next to the round hole in my scalp, and very carefully, using tweezers and a hemostat, extracted a 2 centimeter mature botfly from my scalp. I was so relieved to have it out and know the pain would stop. It was gross and the psychological dammage was almost worse than the physical symptoms I had been experiencing. I asked if there was only one and it was all out and he said he thought “yes” because the skin was now flat against my head.

The next day, the area was still swollen about the size it was the first of December (although no more pain or dark fluid oozing), so I went back to see the dermatologist to make sure nothing more was there. His theory was because there was only one breathing hole, there was only one botfly and he was sure he extracted all of that one out. It’s been 5 days since the botfly was removed, and I still have a raised area about the size of a large lima bean, but the site is healing nicely. I’ve been applying antibiotic ointment twice each day.

My daughter brought home a beautiful handcrafted purse purchased at one of the shops in Belieze . . . I’m not too impressed with my souvenir! It made a big hit at the dermatology office and I’m very grateful with his skill and compassion.

I was motivated to write my account of this experience assuming I picked it up while in the tropics, but read other postings with references to Nashville and Knoxville (where I live) Tennessee, I presume it could have been a local botfly. Guess we’ll never know!


Posted: 3 January, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Julie Dalke says:

Just returned from a two week trip to Belize with three botfly holes in my left leg…I was aware of the botfly potential before traveling and can’t believe I actually got them since I spent an inordinate amount of time hoping I wouldn’t. Picked these bites up in Cockscomb basin on day 3 of our trip so I guess the botfly is almost 3 weeks old now? We asked a local guide we had in San Ingnacio about botflies (before I knew I had them) and he said to try nail polish to suffocate them and then remove when dead. This seemed to work on one of the holes- my husband got about a 2inch long larvae with head and tail and the swelling is already way down…but seems like the booger ate through the polish on the other two. We’ve reapplied and are hoping they’ll die too, but I can feel him moving right now… Wondering how long to wait before removing nail polish to see if it is dead? Suggestions? And now after reading all the blog- I’m worried we will leave some behind of course– what does the subsequent infection look like? What are the risks? And then the possibility of more than one bug per hole is not fun to think about. Wish me luck!!


Posted: 5 January, 2008 at 7:28 AM

krazii says:

what the hell is that shit???


Posted: 10 January, 2008 at 5:07 AM

Ginny says:

My husband and my daughter (12 yrs old at the time) both had bot fly larvae growing inside of them after a trip to Belize in 2000. Doctors were stumped when the sores weren’t healing. Through research we figured out they were bot fly larvae and confirmed it with the tour company. They advised to put petoleum jelly over and tape, wait about 30 min and have two sets of tweezers ready to pull the bot fly out. We did that. Ours had grown about six weeks and were rather large. (Looked like white grubs.) Personally I wouldn’t want to wait for them to crawl out on their own because I wouldn’t want them to spread and my husband and daughter said it hurt to have them inside, so the sooner they come out the better. The bigger they get the more it hurts from what I was told. I had to be the one pulling them out and it wasn’t fun but needed to be done.


Posted: 10 January, 2008 at 5:18 AM

Ginny says:

I forgot to mention my daughter’s was on the top of her head near her forehead and my husband’s was on his back near his shoulder.


Posted: 12 January, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Leigh Ann says:

How to get rid of the botfly? I have read of success using Vaseline – covering the breathing hole and waiting and watching – tweezers & hemostat in hand – for the botfly to come to the surface. I have also read of covering the hole with a piece of raw bacon. It seems as though the botfly will crawl up to the bacon in search of air, bite through the bacon, then you pull off the bacon while applying traction to the head and body of the botfly with a hemostat or tweezers. You are correct when you write of the pain involved in having one of these varmints growing under your skin. The pain for me was excruciating!

It has been 16 days since I had my botfly extracted from my head and while the site has healed, there is still a small amount of edema at the site. I did further research and have concluded only one botfly grows per breathing hole, so I’m fairly sure a little sibling wasn’t left behind.

Looks like a common thread of traveling to Belize and bringing one or more of these things home. Immigration would be upset if they knew how common this was given they don’t even allow fruits or veggies to be brought back to the States! I read somewhere that 1 in 500 tourists will come home with a botfly larvae under their skin. Do they even spray in Belize to kill the misquitoes that carry the eggs? This whole episode was just plain gross.


Posted: 23 January, 2008 at 6:47 PM

incaDark says:

I had heard that placing a decent sized slab of raw steak on the bite will coax the little buggers out and in the morning you can just take the steak and larvae completely off.

Hope that helps someone.


Posted: 30 January, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Dominic Ryan says:

I was also lucky enough to have one of these suckers in me in late 2006, although mine was in my arm. I suspect I was bitten while in El Salvador, but it wasn’t until I was in the middle of the jungle at Angel Falls in Venezuela when it became obvious it was more than just a run of the mill mozzie bite. The pain of being a bugs buffet was quite bad, but the biggest scare for me was the fact I was in such a remote tropical area (and would be for another week) with what I thought was some sort of jungle, meat eating infection in my arm. I wish now I had taken a photo of the infection as it was then at that early stage, but the best way I could describe it was a blood volcano. I had a scab on my arm about 1cm high and maybe 1~1.5cm wide at the base which continued to ooze blood out the top of the scab for about 3 days straight. It was really quite gross.

When I got back to civilisation about a week later and was able to clean up the wound properly I was actually quite relieved to find a small head going in and out of my arm. It was obvious then that I had a parasite rather than a meat eating jungle infection that was going to result in amputation. It still took another week though for me to finally get the botfly out. After about 4 days of having an old Venezualan nurse (who was the only one who believed that there was something in there by the way) trying to digg the lavae out with a scalpal without any sort of anaesthetic I decided to get the thing out myself. I took a pair of tweezers and thanks to the big hole in my arm the nurse had kindly dug out, the next time the botfly reared its head I was able to grab it by the end and very slowly and gently ease it out. Good times.


Posted: 5 February, 2008 at 9:09 PM

jb says:

Great site! Shows what power there is in blogs – particularly since not many of the docs had a clue about this tropical disease.


Posted: 26 February, 2008 at 4:11 PM

mark wheatley says:

I heard of British soldiers training in Belize who would heat up a coke bottle, except the neck, put the mouth of the hot bottle over the botfly hole, then chuck cold water onto the bottle. The cold water lessons the pressure in a hurry, thus sucking out the larvae, blood and pus.
May just be a gory warry story.


Posted: 3 April, 2008 at 9:01 PM

gabrielzorz says:

I found one in my steak once.


Posted: 17 June, 2012 at 7:33 AM

jakeladdydill says:

 Did you send it back with a “Waiter: there’s a FLY in my steak!”


Posted: 4 May, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Jay says:

Many years ago, in the early 80’s, I was stationed at Howard AFB in Panama. On occasion I would head out into the more isolated areas of that part of the continent and twice had to remove bot fly larae from people. I can verify the coke bottle story having seen it done once, but apparently it isnt 100%. Kind of a hit and miss approach. What I found that worked was to liberaly smear vasilne over, into, and around the breathing hole. Then, take a pice of saran wrap and tape it over the site. I used duct tape, but any kind of tape that will stay in place will work. Leave the saran wrap in place for about 2 to 3 days. This will ensure that the larvae will suffocate and die. They are WAY easier to get out once they are dead. You can see through the saran wrap so you will know when to remove it. Using tweezers, GENTLY grip and remove the larvae. It will slide right out.
Once you have removed the bugger irrigate the hole with a saline solution (those people who wear contacts are lucky, they usually have some sterile saline for rinsing thier lenses). Dry the wound site, then pack the hole with triple antibiotic and add a soft breathable dressing.
I have done this twice as i said and it worked each time.
Good luck to any of you that get nailed by this nasty little thing, you have my sympathies.


Posted: 5 May, 2008 at 3:30 PM

sandra says:

We managed to get bitten in the Gambia in feb/march. Thought the bites were different as they hurt, not itched. Got some ointment from the doctor, then 3 days afterwards, I found something white sticking out of my leg, pulled it, out came a maggot, alive and well. YUCK. Got 2 further ones out of different bites and one out of my husbands leg. The doctor phoned the department of tropical medicine and they said that the ointment had acted like vaseline, but to continue using it incase there were any more !!!! The holes have healed now but I have got 3 quite good scar’s. This hasn’t put us off returning or going elsewhere where these live, but we will take a family size jumbo pack of vaseline.


Posted: 20 May, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Greg MD says:

Here is a rather gross botfly infection (VIEWER ADVISORY [Note from Dave Coveney – the link below has caused me to receive a few e-mails… so I’m warning you right now that the link is a photoshopped image and rather disturbing, but untrue and impossible. Dave]). It occurs to me that one might try Lidocaine ointment when could serve to both anesthetize or kill the larvae as well as smother it and allow for an intact removal. Should be in every first aid kit to the endemic areas. Also, on the subject of worms, be careful when lying on or walking on the beaches where dogs run loose. The worms in their feces remain in the sand and bore up into your skin, usually your feet/legs, abdomen or back and move area as a visible line called Cutaneous Larva Migrans. I have seen many a patient with this return from the Mexico, Jamaica, etc. Treatment is easily performed now with antibiotic worm pills once recognized. Cheers.

Note from David Coveney added: The link that Greg included below is of a photo that is a well known bit of photoshop work. It is, however, a rather disturbing image and you may wish not to click it. Whatever you do think, don’t worry – cases of multiple infestations are pretty rare.

http://picasaweb.google.com/alamarina/Botfly02/photo#5202511801956685650 [photoshopped image]

By David again – a link to Snopes on this: https://davidcoveney.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=editcomment&c=13189


Posted: 21 May, 2008 at 8:10 PM

Edith says:

Incredible! And yes, they are quite gross, but the mites which carry Lyme disease scare me a whole lot more because you might miss the early warning signs.


Posted: 3 June, 2008 at 8:55 PM

Harry says:

Hi. Thanks for sharing your story.
FYI: Another method used to get these buggers out is to lay a slice of raw bacon on the wound. They apparently like this stuff and will exit the wound (much of their body) in order to partake. You can then pretty much roll them out by rolling out the bacon strip with the self-attached to it (or at least grabbing the fly and pulling/rolling it out as in your video.


Posted: 3 June, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Harry says:

Went to a great restaurant one night, excited about getting my exotic meal.

What do I see when my plate of fresh botfly arrives? Damn thing is surrounded by raw steak, bacon slices and some cloudy very thick looking gravy that, if I didn’t know betty, I would swear was Vaseline Jelly.


Posted: 5 July, 2008 at 9:09 AM

Mohsin Thakur says:

Greetings from the middleeast!!!

I read your above article and was totally “STUNNED”. Amazing though very weird.Did you finally get the Botfly out….?

I could use this in my writeups :)


Posted: 16 July, 2008 at 12:09 AM

hayley says:

im taking a gap year out to go on safari in Kenya, now i am having second thoughts because bot fly possibly are there, i know if i got one of these it would KILL MEE! not an overaction-i am worried, i thinking about not goin completely becuase of the risk, do you think its worth missing the trip, incase i get one of these???


Posted: 2 August, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Kjeezy18 says:

I live in Kenya and for sure i have never heard of a botfly attack okay. Just lots of lions and im sure they dont lay eggs so enjoy your trip.


Posted: 19 July, 2008 at 12:43 PM

john says:

I don’t think there are human botflies in Africa. The human botfly is native central/south America. There are worse things than botflies in Africa, LOL.

Also, it’s relatively rare to get them. They don’t really harm you because they stay near the surface in your skin and they secrete antiseptic that keeps the wound infection-free.

If you’re in an area like South America the locals think nothing of these infections and can get them out without too much trouble.


Posted: 22 July, 2008 at 7:58 PM

hayley says:

thanks for the advice, they dont have worse things that live on humans in africa do they??????!!!


Posted: 1 August, 2008 at 7:40 PM

JL says:

I know you warned about the picture in the link, but I clicked the link from Greg MDobefore seeing your note about it being photoshop. Please remove it so no one else has nightmares!


Posted: 10 August, 2008 at 10:42 PM

Michael says:

Reminds me of my entomology and invertebrate zoology classes back when I was in college. As a trained biologist I’m not at all phased by snakes, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, worms, or most of the other critters that give most people the willys, but I CAN’T STAND parasites! YUK!!!!


Posted: 12 August, 2008 at 2:39 AM

Peter says:

Hello :

This is a fascinating thread. I never realized that Bot flies live here in the great white north. But I did a bit of research after I found one on my dog’s rib cage today! She had a large lump about 1/2 the size of a golf ball on her left rib cage. (this after a sailing cruise in the North Channel at the very top of Lake Huron). I did not think to much of it but today I had another look and notice a rather large hole in the centre of the lump. It was weeping a watery fluid mixed with blood. I dabbed it with a tissue to get a better look and to my surprise I noticed a small whitish thing come to the top of the hole and sink back down again. It would do this every 10-15 seconds or so. I immediately thought of the Bot Fly but erroneous thought it was a tropical parasite. In any case I did the Vaseline treatment and managed to coax it out far enough to get tweasers on it. With a slow and steady pull out came this large maggot! My 7 year old boy was fascinated as was I. Anyway, I have it in a jar of alcohol and I am taking it to the Vet tomorrow for a positive ID. Is there any other treatment, after the extraction other than keeping the wound clean until it heals? I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and put some antibacterial cream on it. The rest of the family are keeping a close eye out for strange reddish lumps on themselves … so far so good !



Posted: 14 August, 2008 at 4:06 AM

Joanna says:

Went to Belize for a week and after being home for two days noticed two bumps on my scalp close to my right ear. Didnt think anything of it until my lymph nodes became the size of a pea. Then I got a fever. Went to the Redi Care Center and the damn doctor told me I probably had breast cancer due to the fact that the lymph nodes on my neck were swollen. Jerk! So then I went to a GP and they had no clue, thought I had cysts that were infected and gave me antibiotics. Well, then I went to Kenya for two weeks and dealt with the sharp pain and oozing. After a while I just put ice and more gel on them. This probably killed the larvae. Finally after six weeks I found a doctor that wanted to do a culture and as he was extracting the fluid, he started digging around and sure enough he pulled out two! I about puked when I saw those maggots. He called a pathologists and describe the little buggers and that’s how we found our about Bot Fly! Yikes……glad that is over with.


Posted: 14 August, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Diana says:

I recently returned from Belize 2 weeks ago and I also just removed my own Bot Fly. After 2 weeks of pain, oozing, and blood I figured it was something more then the average mosquito bite. US doctors have almost no experience with this and often prescribe antibiotics. I looked onine and found some stories, but not many since it’s thought to be very rare to contract this. I did try petroleum jelly and a bottle cap but what actually worked for me was a band-aid and neosporin. After 2 days of constant covering, the tiny spiracle stuck out and I was able to remove it with tweezers. I have named it Iggy and am keeping it as a souvenir. Good luck to future hosts…


Posted: 15 August, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Diana says:

I still have my “warble” and it is a bit sensitive. I removed my bot-fly on Tuesday ( 3 days ago) with tweezers after weakening it for 2 days with a band-aid and newsporin. I have compared my pics to Dave’s, and I don’t know if I can see the tiny hook at the end of the mouth. Also, it looks like there is some minimal damage to the bot fly,not sure if it’s when I mushed it in the napkin or during extraction, but I definitely have the majority of it out. If there are small pieces still inside me, can my body fight it off??


Posted: 7 September, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Jan Belton says:

I too picked up a botfly larva in Belize, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I travelled on to Cuba and when the bite wasn’t healing I sought medical advice and was referred to a clinic in Havana. The larva was removed and the wound thoroughly cleaned. I was also given a course of anitbiotics. I was advised by the specialist that the larvae should not be left until they emerge or attempts made to remove them yourself because of the risk of infection. The bite has now healed. Hope this helps.


Posted: 19 September, 2008 at 12:13 AM

Trina says:

Ok, so my husband and I got married in Mexico, then traveled to Costa Rica and Belie…We were on the road for a total of 30 days. We have been home for about 2 weeks now and he has this THING on his head that is not getting better with antibiotics (that he has been on for 10 days now) and has been periodically shooting pain through his head. It was oozing puss at first (2 weeks ago) and then it bled out watery blood on his pillow one night about 5 nights ago. He has 2 really hard lymph nodes on the side of his neck. We have been to the ER twice – then to the ear nose and throat doc, now have had 4 visits to the infectious disease specialist. All blood work is clear and no growth on the culture. Today, the ID said it might be a bot fly! GAG!!! I was gagging the whole way home as my husband was like, “cool, it’s my mini me!” We go tomorrow to the dermatologist and he’s gonna cut him open and we will see what is hiding inside. We had the same experience in the Belize jungle, my husband’s back and head was COVERED in mosquitoes and the jungle guide didn’t have one on him (lucky punk). I’ll video tape the madness – I can’t wait ;)


Posted: 19 September, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Trina says:

It was a Botfly maggot!!! Gabe came home last night, he squeezed the bump and sure enough – the maggot poked out and went back in – poked out and went back in – did it a few times and then we decided to go up to the ER to let them pull it out – we needed an extra body to help so I could run the video cam. We put petroleum jelly on it for about 1 minute then wiped it off, the doctor (and 10 fascinated nurses) came in, Gabe squeezed and like a cannon – that maggot came flying out. Goo all over the place and all over me and the maggot landed on my video camera. It was so gross! Mystery solved! Gagarific….


Posted: 24 September, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Stephanie says:

Wish I’d printed this lot off during my many visits to my GP clinic. I kept telling them I had something moving in my back. I kept telling them that I’d been in the Peruvian rainforest. I kept telling them that it was like a red hot needle pushing into my back (so painful I had to stop the car to recover). I kept asking them why the wound would not heal. I TOLD THEM IT WAS ALIVE!!! But 5 weeks and 2 strong courses of antibiotics later I was beside myself and went to A&E. A scan showed a foreign body. I assured them that it was animate but they said not, they said that it was not waving – how terribly droll. A doctor cut me open and found nothing. I suggested that whatever it was had retreated down into it’s bunker. They smiled condescendingly and sent me away for a week. 2 days ago and 5 weeks after returning from Peru, a wonderful lady surgeon opened me up again and removed what looked like a pea or seed head. By the time she had washed up the little bleeder was crawling across the table and we were both retching! It was MASEEEEV!!! Really fat, it had abviously been having a whale of a time in there! I had been very sick in the jungle and I’m not sure if this was related, but I am totally traumatised at this point and keep wondering if there are any more in there. If you think you have one print off the info for your GP, they know jock all about anything odd and never listen to what the patient has to say, I am proof of that. Makes for a great story though and the photos are so gross they fascinate everyone! Good luck to all you hosts.


Posted: 17 June, 2012 at 7:29 AM

jakeladdydill says:

Tasting really good has it’s advantages and disadvantages!   erp ~ sorry about what you went through Stephanie


Posted: 16 February, 2016 at 8:58 PM

Laura Parker says:

Stephanie, I agree. These physicians do not listen. I have been to 5 emergency rooms and when I tell them I have a parasite of some type, they want to diagnose me with delusional parasitious. It is maddening. I have them all over right now… due to no one believing what I am going through. I thought they were worms and so many test for fecal matter for worms and nothing. I started soaking in salt baths and showering afterwards. The process is very time consuming. I felt these things move out of my back and into the water. Although, I know this is true, I still have them. I am wondering now, due to lack of medical intervention, if I will ever get rid of these things. I am sure they are flies due to my installing bug zappers in home and the flies leave me at night. I washed it out in bucket and poured ammonia on top and capped off the bucket to let them die. They are small flies. I have not left the USA. So yes, we can get them here.


Posted: 4 October, 2008 at 10:38 AM

sightunseen says:

I’m quite surprised that no one has made a joke about the scene from
‘Aliens’ where the creature burst out of the guys chest. Or maybe its just me.


Posted: 6 October, 2008 at 9:52 PM

slayden says:

Got back from a trip to Belize a week ago and am pretty covered with mosquito bites which are collectively 1-2 weeks old, and seem to be “itchier” than typical bites. They are not really swelling up or anything (yet?), but still have a potent itch. I have scratched most to the point of having scabby wounds on the top, which could be either concealing a circular air hole (or this scratch scab wound itself is the precurser to the air hole?). I do not have any localized pain, open or oozing wounds, or really enlarged bite sites beyond a basic bite…… Does this match anyone’s “early signs” of botfly or have I escaped with only a bunch of bad mosquito bites?


Posted: 7 October, 2008 at 2:14 PM

billdo says:

I dunno


Posted: 20 November, 2008 at 11:22 PM

Ben says:

My name is Ben and I gave birth to a botfly larvae today. We spent 8 days in Costa Rica on our honeymoon in late September. I don’t recall any mosquito bites but one must have gotten to me.

I had an oozing lump on my head for over a month but I don’t care for doctors and it wasn’t infected so I left it alone. Earlier this week, my lovely wife insisted I go to a doctor and see what was wrong so I went. I was told I had a sebaceous cyst and I had to go to Plastic surgeon to have it removed. I couldn’t get an appointment right away so I did some research on cysts. By divine intervention, I guess, the first link I found had a reference to a botflies. With nothing better on which to waste my time, I clicked to see where this folly led. Our travel to Central America, the life cycle of the botfly and my symptoms indicated a strong possibility of a botfly. The first two doctors spent a grand total of 1 minute listening to my symptoms and travel history and about 4 seconds looking at the bump on my head. Not exaggerating.

I went to a high dollar plastic surgeon today. He politely listened to my travel history, symptoms and detailed description of botflies. Proceeded to look at the bump for a minute, actually looked at it. He said it was a cyst and injected it a steroid and lidocaine to shrink it for later removal. Being a funny guy, he said he was fresh out of small needles so he would have to use a big fat one. A few minutes later, his nurse stops by to look under the gauze and sees something poking out. She grabs some tweezers and starts pulling. I told her to pull gently so it would come out in one piece. I guess the lidocaine did it job and fully relaxed the little bastard. After a few “oh my god” “this is disgusting” “the Doc has to see this” I’m the proud father of a 2cm long Botfly larvae.

To summarize: Two-three weeks after return from Costa Rica, I get a itchy welt on my head. About a week after that, it starts weeping clear fluid. About two weeks after that, I noticed a wound site. It never gets infected and it never closes. No pain or anything yet but it isn’t going away. Sometimes the fluid is a little bloody red but never blood. The last few days, I had stabbing burning pain for maybe one minute once a day.

US doctors have no clue about this. The last doctor spent time listening to me but he didn’t believe it until he saw it.


Posted: 19 June, 2012 at 3:04 AM

jakeladdydill says:

people don’t believe what they see … the see what they believe


Posted: 3 December, 2008 at 3:54 PM

liz says:

me s-o-o-o-o-o-o sorry wat happened to you…..did u c wat happened to a 5 year old in costa reca? he had 1 n his eye. s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o sad!


Posted: 3 January, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Estella says:

I would like to point out that whoever said you cannot get bot flies in Africa is wrong.
my dad went (Gambia) about 5 months ago and noticed his feet turning black and numb then after hours and hours of poking around found 9 of them in his feet.
They had been chewing on the nerves!


Posted: 8 February, 2009 at 4:37 PM

j says:

wow this is so crazy my sister just told me about her friend coming back from peru not to long ago with some bites 4 on her head an one in her lip..imagin that her lip.. she went to two diff doctors and both were saying that it was a fever blister of somesort.. they just gave her pain meds. and sent her on her way.. a week later she went out with some friends drinkin and she felt somethin pokin her lip in the inside an she flipped her lip to show her friend ,, wich told her to leave home or to the hospital right away.. she went home to find a black thing sticking out of her lip ( the inside top) she then started to pull it out with tweezers to find a thick worm.. she freaked and ran downs stairs to her mom which then pulled the rest of it out for her.. aswell as the one in her head.. after pulling 2 out the went to the ER wich everyone there was staring at her all like ( thats the one with the worms in her) they then pulled the rest out.. when she told me about this it really grossed me out… i then looked it up online and it was really gross..i cant imagen anykind of bug living in me for a long period of time.. i will never leave the U.S


Posted: 8 February, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Dave says:

J – noooo – don’t ever think it’s a good idea to not travel because of a few scary bugs. Nasty things can happen in the US (like being shot by a batshit crazy survivalist), UK (being rained at until you dissolve) or even in your own home when you trip or slip.

Travel broadens the mind. Do it :-)


Posted: 6 March, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Andy says:

I came to this site after reading
Lost in the Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Adventure and Survival by Yossi Ghinsberg – I am shortly going to the same area of Bolivia! still forewarned is forearmed so I will be taking the biggest jar of vaseline in the UK.


Posted: 23 March, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Rae Badour says:

I just returned from Roatan, off the coast of Honduras with crazy sand fly bites, and an unusual bite on my foot, right on the arch. I saw my Dr toady who is clueless, and prescribed a lice lotion 2x daily. I’m wondering if it may be a bot fly. It started as a itchy bite, with a black pinhole at center. a few days later, it showed two pin points and was itchy. This process has happened a few more time, each about 3 days apart. I now have a line of five little black pinpoints in a row about 1.5 inches long on my inner arch. Does this sound familiar? Any and all advise welcome and needed!!


Posted: 24 March, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Dave says:

Sounds very strange, but nothing like a botfly that I’ve heard of. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so hardly qualified to advise.

In a way it sounds more like veruccas, which can have black pinpoints in the middle, and I picked up a couple on my trips thanks, no doubt, to communal showers.

If you want medical advice you’re best off finding your nearest tropical medicine center and giving them a call. If you describe your symptoms they can advise you best on the next step to take.


Posted: 18 October, 2020 at 7:06 AM

Lrozy says:

A few articles back twice it mentioned about worms from animal poo being on sandy areas where people walk barefoot, lay down in the sun or some people just like to relax on the ground. But there are worms from animal poo, that can burrow into the skin that cause a line of little black dots. Look back a few articles maybe like 10-12 articles backwards. And the person sharing the article has the names a few worms that stay around on the ground from animal poo, that can burrow into humans skin.

Posted: 2 April, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Tango Whiskey says:

Not trying to one-up what were obviously pretty trying stories but here goes.

Twelve in the head, one in the back following a month long Venezuela trip that was all backcountry stuff … thirteen in all. True story. The pain as they munched their way to glory in my head was truly special …. good times.

The usual story; doctor couldn’t figure it out, repeated visits, feelings of motion under the lumpy skin of my decidedly pineapple like head (they were all concentrated right side just back of the hairline), watery fluid etc. Visits to a dermatologist ensue, followed by overnight efforts at the vaseline treatment covered with a plastic bag (which didn’t work) and then sitting at the dermatologist next day with strips of the meatiest deli bacon I could find plastered to my head for a couple of hours. That must have done something because the doc then saw a breathing bubble as one of the little suckers took a gasp … and the fun began! the dermatologist poked a local anesthetic into the lump and then poked around with a scalpel before squeezing my head so hard I literally could feel the skull bending … and voila! a wiggling little worm was thrust in my vision covered with little scraps of tissue hanging from the hooks in its little body. It was about 4-5 weeks old at that point. the good doctor’s wife, also a dermatologist, came to watch the fun and held my hand as her husband continued with the massive brain squeezing for each and every one.

A few days later one last one was taken out of my back, but we were all old pros at this by then.

But the best part came when we later took the bacon and fed it to a friend. Naturally we only explained where it had been and what it had been used for afterwards. Ahhh … it was nearly worth it.

Anyway, great to have come across your site and realised how many other folks have had this problem. I still have three of the little suckers rolling around in alcohol at the bottom of a specimen jar somewhere. I should probably put them on the mantlepiece or something, but its not a story I really share very often.

I’ve since spent a lot of time in Venezuela in that area around Angel Falls but never got them again, so it could have been from bites in a more urban setting in those parts. Either way, if it happens again I’ll definitely try the vaseline once more. Sorry for the long post … been carrying this one around for a while.


Posted: 14 April, 2009 at 9:03 PM

R says:

I never heard of this until my found kitten popped this hole in her neck so I started treating it like a boil first day by that night this thing started poking it butt end in and out when I put proxide on it and antibotic cream cause I thought she had infection well need less to say when I say this thing popping in and out I freaked my bf got twizers and when kitten tense up and it poked out second time he grabed it and pulled it out and I guess because of the antibotic cream it couldnt breathe so it slipped right out very easy once out she stopped crying and become her lovelable baby self I found her at like less then 2 weeks old almost dead nurse her back to health when this happen I freaked cause I was like what going on now Im going to lose my kitten any how . well I got vet today and he said I was doing everything right . Proxide until tomorrow that be 3 days antibotic cream for about 4 days maybe 5 watch for yellow or green discharge if not any great sign so far NONE pray none warm compress massage gentle to help push any thing nasty out if in it so far not. He said the worse part over getting it out now the second part is watching the next 72 hours hope no sign of infection. I never ever heard of this I guess the mommy cat must have had them in rabbit hole or they gotten bitten my our trusty blood suckers but she just going on 3 weeks old this things was as big as the tip of my pink to the first joint they say 8 weeks if you can leave them in you or the animal they come out fall off the host and attach to something else make cacoon then become a bot fly. This thing was huge I can only think how big it would have been if she was 8 weeks old and this happen and this thing Im sorry was gross so like ewwwwww and smelled like Poooo yep sure did now that it out and I keeping her cleaner no longer smells . I just wanted to post this so the others would know u can do this and smother it to pull it out make sure the whole wolf worm comes out or you can wait 8 weeks for it to fall out but watch for infection just really gross I would have to go to the doctor and sayd get this out of me now please I would not be able to stand it eeewwwwww any how Hope she continue to do well so far so good her eyes r open now and she acting more her normal self of a almost 3 week old kitten . take care fall no mystetoes or horse fly bites bye bye


Posted: 9 March, 2010 at 8:11 AM

S says:

ever heard of punctuation?


Posted: 9 March, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Dave says:

Not sure, but I’m pretty hot on capitalisation at the beginning of a sentence.

Glass houses, stones etc.

Posted: 8 July, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Rick Bear says:

Just below my left eye, there appeared what at first looked like a yellow-headded pimple. After squeezing it, it seemed to grow and swell, almost swelling my eye shut. I have tried squeezing repeatedly, but all that comes out is some yellowish, greenish pus, along with oil. I have been using neosporrin on it. This is now four or five days old. Could it be a botfly?
I’m simply trying to figure out what exactly it is. Any advice will be welcome.


Posted: 9 July, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Dave says:

That sounds unpleasant… and more specifically, like something you should be seeing a doctor about!


Posted: 27 November, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Matthew says:

My Dog has been infected with Rabbit-Robent Botfly maggot-larvae seeds after the immature/broken larvae left on it’s own after I poked and prodded the “warble” or scab thinking it must be a buried tick/feeling suspicious but still without answers left my dog left my dog for about 15 minutes with the intention of taking him for a walk. I wanted to check the scab one more time for the strange sensation I had of it moving and or swelling (which it was, only not with blood: but as I later learned, air!) and was shocked and alarmed to find an open wound that was “T” shaped and ~5mm x ~7mm. Only later that night I noticed 20 or so black marks around the wound, which also looked different, puffier and after shaving the hair away I could make out tiny white larvae protruding before slipping back in.

Bo is my best friend and I’m worried that no one has a clue what this is and my friends even think I might be losing my mind.

Plus it’s Thanksgiving weekend and nothing but vet techs that haven’t heard of such a thing (it’s obvious many Vets don’t learn much about this either from the dozens upon dozens of “Tick under dog skin?” queries on American info sharing web sites and the paucity of accurate responses from those who should know.

Note: my dog’s just fell out and I was naturally terrified still (wrongly) believing it was a tick. Not until I did a search through many dog parasites did I find a listing for “cuterebra” (genus name) in the Merck Veterinary manual online (guess what everyone: dogs & cats can – but don’t typically – carry “dermatobia hominis” which is why climate change should be of concern to every body who lives in the lower temperate zones.


[From the Merck Vet Manual: (treatment section) There are anecdotal reports of larval rupture causing anaphylaxis. If possible, the larva should be removed in one piece; recurrent abscesses at the site of previous Cuterebra infestation suggest residual infection or remaining pieces of larva. The area should be thoroughly flushed with sterile saline, debrided, and allowed to heal by granulation. ]

Thanks anyone who can offer advice. Thanks Dave – sorry you had to go through that.



Posted: 24 January, 2010 at 6:42 AM

krystin says:

Oh my. My mother was told about these botflies at her job (Veterinarian’s Office) and I came looking for information. I’m sorry but if I ever had one of these in me, I think I would have to be institutionalized. I am so disgusted by bugs, parasites and the like, I truly think I’d lose it. Just knowing I had bugs eating my skin would literally sicken me to the point of insanity. I give all of you credit for being able to actually accept what has happened and still not be afraid of leaving the country again. Anyhow, thanks for the info.


Posted: 28 April, 2010 at 4:10 AM

taylor Shields says:

Hi, i think i might have abot fly in my head but i dont know what to do about it!!!!!! my parents said if i feel something moving in my head then to tell them but i hope that my bite is either a spider or a misquito bite!!!!!!!!! Pleaze GOD!!!!! everyone pray that its not a bot fly pleaze!!!!!


Posted: 28 April, 2010 at 4:14 AM

taylor says:

This is hell!!!!! my bite itches like hell! i hate hate hate bugs and never am playing with them AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! What should I do!!!!!!


Posted: 29 April, 2010 at 2:28 AM

Matthew says:

Taylor & Krystin & anyone else who reads this,

I had forgotten that I left that post above yet the Web brought me back. And not a moment too soon.

First things first: Take a deep breath. …

Now put your hand on your belly and take another deep breath. If your hand doesn’t move continue to breathe – slowly – and try again every 4th or 5th breath to take a deep breath. Your hand will register the expansion of your diaphram which will permit your lungs to fill with oxygen.

Fear causes shallow breathing. As a former smoker who never really liked smoking tobacco (who really does?) I realized that it isn’t the nicotine that acts to “calm the nerves” but in fact the ritual which involves deep breathing.

OK: Taylor. Forgive me if I missed an earlier post. Have you traveled to the warm tropics, specifically in the Americas and secondarily in Asia/Africa/Australia/Pacific-Indian-Atlantic Ocean island?

domitobia hominis – the most spectacular example of a “Bot Fly” – a term that is used for dozens if not hundreds of different species and genera of flying insects and thus is not helpful and actually is counterproductive especially if one has tunnel vision and tries to superimpose what they know onto what they experience. The inverse is equally true: Doctors at 2 major university’s ERs diagnosed me as mentally ill and Vets (who make more money than Doctors in America where healing is still a business) have at least been able to utter the words “I don’t know” which I am beginning to feel is impossible for Western Doctors to say.

So I need some specifics. I’ve discovered that my phobia of bugs (duly inherited from my London-born father and Nottingham-born mother who cannot even hear the word “cockroach” without emitting a harrowing sound of fear and panic that I know too well and I have had to struggle with.

The species that is illustrated on this website would require more than just good luck for vectoring outside of the geo. areas i listed above. Whilst conceivable it’s highly improbable that an entire biome could be transported to Europe or North America inside an Airbus. Hence the questions about travel above.

The female fly has to get a lot done in her 3 to 4 wks., from mating with a suitable male to then finding and “kidnapping” a mosquito which it doesn’t eat but rather attaches her eggs in an ingenious gambit. Then she let’s it go. If it succeeds or if it doesn’t she will never know. She dies within a few weeks having emerged from her final metamorphosis without the means to eat.

If you haven’t traveled to any of these regions within the last ~1-60 days (with the probability decreasing dramatically as the days turn to weeks) then a “strike” – the term entomologists use – becomes increasingly unlikely. But it isn’t impossible. (I operate on the basis that nothing is impossible which corresponds to “reality” described by theoretical physicists.)

Taylor feel free to email me at: mbrenner@rocketmail.com (anyone else who fears that they may be harboring a fly larva or multiple larvae or just wants to ask me anything or take me to task is invited to correspond with me there). Of course you may also use this forum. I’ve checked the box to be notified of followup comments.

I myself experienced “true bottom” which lasted for 24 hours roughly during which I was afraid of my best friend, my 8kg. Jack Russell-SH Chihuahua mix. I cannot describe to you the peculiar foulness of that hellish experience. It ended when I looked at my dog who loves me unconditionally yet his eyes showed for the first time that he was terrified of me, it was as if I understood Christ’s logion: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

At that point I gently approached my trembling friend and embraced him. I wept at the thought: “We’re in this together” … while Bounce licked my tears away.


Love banishes fear.

Physician, Heal Thyself.

Aye, then let us help each other as we have helped ourselves.


Posted: 28 April, 2010 at 4:25 AM

taylor says:

i think i have a bot fly in my head!!!! what should i do????????
pleaz help me!!! im scared!!!



Posted: 28 April, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Dave says:

Why don’t you go and see a doctor about it?


Posted: 17 June, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Deehoney says:

I hope to God that I never have to experience what you all have gone through. I just want to say you seem pretty cool,and I enjoyed your responses. Dee

Posted: 29 April, 2010 at 2:44 AM

Matthew says:

I would agree with Dave if you live in Great Britain or a country that has a National Health Service.

Ideally you should go to your family doctor if you can see her/him within a day. If I were your doctor I would first prescribe for you 1mg. clonazepam to be taken once a day. It’s less sedating than diazepam (Valium) and less likely to fog your thinking and memory than alprazolam (Xanax). You’re going to be needing those. Since these medicines are habit forming it is best to simply tell the doctor your _symptoms_ , history of recent travel (anywhere at all, even to St. Pancras station) and I would invite you to also share with all of us your symptoms and you can email me at mbrenner@rocketmail.com — ideally not instead of but in addition to keeping us up to date since part of your cure will be to help others.

Your doctor will likely refer you to a specialist, either a internal medicine doctor specializing in infectious diseases or a dermatologist with knowledge and experience of such things.

Remember Taylor that this crisis is also a great opportunity for you to come into your own. Only the wounded physician heals.

Keep us posted.


Posted: 17 June, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Deehoney says:

I also enjoyed your responses as well. Dee

Posted: 20 March, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Bazgam says:

You said that western doctorwere slow to believe that bot fly larvae actually also use human hosts. You are, saddley. very right. I found that out here in Australia where the Human Bot Fly does not exist. I have been infested by numerous bot fly larvae, i think from the horse bot fly. I know it is an accidental human hosting but it doesn’t make me feel any better and doesn’t lessen my anger at being called a liar.
About six weeks ago I was showering and when i washed my left ear i felt a painful swelling just above the entrance to the auditory canal. Afterwards i checked the swelling and when squeezed it, out pops a bright green pupae. Stupidly, i flicked it into the garbage bin and went about disinfecting the whole of the outer ear. I kept cleaning and disinfecting the ear for almost two weeks when, finally, i gave up and went to a local GP. I told him what had happened and asked him to help the darn ear heal. When i told him about the pupa i squeezed out, and another small swelling i had discovered in the same spot, he seemed to believe me. He wrote out a refferal to the emergency department at a teaching hospital, well known to the medical world, which i attended the next day. during the next cleaning session that evening i felt something move inside the new swelling. when i pushed on the swelling something inside seemed to swell and go hard. I realised there was something more happening.
The triage nurse listened to me and then felt the swelling and felt the moving and hardening happen asked me what i thought it was. I said i thought it was some king of insect larva and she agreed with me.
Eventually the Emergency Registrar, a young lady doc not too many years out of the doc school turns up read what the nurse had written and looked at me as if i was an idiot. I recounted the story and, to my surprise, told me that there were no human parasites in Australia, especially in Sydney. I explained that she was mistaken and told her about hookworms in the north of Australia and a few other nasties. and she would have heard of them if they existed. She went and came back with an ENT specialist and after about 10 minutes of “I don’t knowing”she convinced him that I was lying. I asked the specialist to probe the hole and he consented to do so. The probe went into the hole about 3 millimetres and , of course hit the cartilage. He didn’t try to turn as a larva would following the flesh but removed the probe and told me that there was nothing there and a larva would not be able to chew through the cartilage. He heads off with the little girl docin his ear. The lady doc came back about 15 minutes later with a letter for my GP. She asks me why i am saying i have bugs in my head and what was i trying to get out of it. I couldn’t beleive what i was hearing. I asked her if she thought i was lying and she said she did. I went home astounded that i had been refused help for something that might damage me permanently.
Next morning i gave the GP the letter from the registrar and i noticed his eyebrows rise as he read it. He told me that there was no evidence of larva in my ear and then gave me a script for an antibio then told me to come back in a week.I took the letter back and read it in my car and found that the hospital emergency department told the GP that there was nothing in my ear and i was deluded. At home I had to clean my ear up again and i noticed another little moving thing that shrunk up into a hard ball when touched. During the week i felt more of the things all on the left outer ear. I used a TENS machine to torment the things and try to get them to bail out. I woke up a couple of times with an ear half full of wax a couple of times then found a bot fly larva about 4cm long stretched out on my sheet with the large end squashed open. The mouth end was a bright yellow and the squashed back end looked as though it was full of red meat. This was at 2:30am during a heatwave and i was very tired, so i put the larva into an old metal cigar tin and when i had a look at the thing at about 11:30am, it had dried out and shrunk to less than 2cm and looked like a piece of dried bloodied snot. Told you it was a hot summers night.Should have put it in the fridge. the tin cigar container acted like a frying pan. Well i gave the wax and the shrunken remains to the GP and he sent it all to be anylised and told me to come back in a week.
The letter that came back from the anylist said no insect evidence was found. Well the GP said he could do nothing for me and wrote “dermatologist” on a piece of paper and told me to go to my family GP, a friend for 30 years, to ask him to give me a refferal to a dermatologist. I ask him to give me one and he said he was finished with me and could do no more for me. I wanted to say that he couldn’t do less for me but i didn’t. On the next weekeend i travelled to my friends home, 20 miles away, and told him that i had to get a refferal to a dermatologist from him because the GP near my home didn’t want anything to do with me and the hospital docs said i was a deluded nut. My friend was stunned and told me he would email one the next day as he had to find a dermatologist close to me as i can’t walk more than a few yards at the moment. He is the only doctor who beleives me and he told me to try to get proof for the dermadoc. The dermatologist’s receptionist told me the soonest i could see the doc was in June. I told her it was urgent and she said my doctor could ring and they might make it sooner. My doc rang her boss and i get to see a partner in ten days time.Now i still have another three days to wait. In the meantime, there are a lot more evident now. They are growing fast, the first one i found had now become a pupa and i tried to keep it in the outer ear by sealing it with one large bandaid and two small cheaper plastic ones. The big band aid stayed on despite the sweat, it was a hot night, but the two little el cheapo plastic ones had let go. The fly emerged about 4am and escaped, even though there was a lot of insect poisons and cotton wool in the ear. I live in a caravan, a small one inside a corrugated iron shed, so there was no way for it to get out of the van as it has mesh all round, but there are a lot of hiding places among my belongings so i would have to empty the van an item at a time to find it.
Anyway, another bot bailed out and i put it straight into oil in a small container so that’s safe. Now there are so many. They are under my eyes, in my sinuses every now and then they block my oesophagus and when i swallow food it stops about halfway down. Boy i panic then. I have pains in the belly and a tremendous amount of gas in my bowels. Oh yeah, muscles in my arms are twitching and jumping as i type The larvae are now doing my right outer ear and they are inside my skull. I feel them with my finger as they leave the ear and go into the skull near my left jaw hinge and under the bottom of the skull behind the ear.
I don’t know what condition i will be in by the time i see the dermo bloke. It doesn’t take much damage to wreck a brain and a life. I have researched the suject of bots on the net and i confess i am a little worried. The main thing that shocks my sensibilities is that i asked for help from a hospital and i was called a liar and turned away, then, i go back to the local GP and the letter i give him convinces him that i am a liar and suffer a delusion so he turns me away.The dermatologist will have no problem diagnosing my problem and the note i ask him to write will make my lawyer very happy and i will get a few dollars from doctors and hospital to give me something to leave my children, the youngest is only 14 and i support her on my age pension even though her mother makes around $70000 a year. I will be 67 years old on the 28th of this month. I just hope i enjoy my birthday.
Well, that is my story. Sorry it’s a bit long, though i did cut a bit out. It’s all true and I will swear to it. Anyone can feel and see the rotten animals now. I live in an outer Sydney suburb surrounded by horses, cattle and my best friend who sleeps standing outside my window is a large donkey named Jack. Remember what the lady registrar doc said? “That doesn’t happen in Australia, especially not Sydney.”.
Goodluck and cheers to all …… bazgam -aka “Bothead”

Posted: 29 April, 2010 at 4:02 AM

Matthew says:

Some quick facts about domitobia hominis:

– The life-cycle requires a warm-blooded mammal for the just-hatched baby fly (larva) to live in.

– The larva(e) are deposited by another insect (almost always the common mosquito which is most active from dusk till nightfall – which is shorter the closer one is to the equator – and in the dawn) in the process of it landing on you whether or not it’s proboscis can penetrate and feed. Your body’s heat triggers the eggs to fall and hatch within 5-10 minutes. On open skin they enter directly which is why the arms, neck, head are the most common areas where the lesions are found.

– Despite what you may have been told, they are not “eating you alive” since this would be a very poor survival strategy, alerting the host to the presence of the larva. The baby fly goes through three distinct phases (called Instars) growing from a just-hatched “nymph” to a ~8-25mm 3rd Instar Larva by feeding on sebum (your skin’s naturally secreted oil), dead skin cells (and other dead cells incl. white & red blood cells), intra-cellular fluids, lymphatic fluids etc

– The baby fly is trapped for the duration of this phase of its life. It only moves within the chamber just under the layer of dead skin cells and *not* in muscle tissue. Likewise it cannot move to a more suitable location.

– Local peoples in Central America (the primary Vector of this new world pest) have developed a philosophical attitude toward it, and doctors are rarely called for. Typically the diagnosis is made by putting coconut oil or vaseline on the reddened and swollen area. The larva must breathe (roughly once every 45 secs -to- 2 minutes) and has a follicle-like structure which it can extend outward and is the tell-tale evidence for a positive diagnosis. Also simply watching (for up to 30 minutes or more which can be tiring) will yield the same evidence, though the follicle will extend no further than needed. The cure is administered when the larva(e) are typically in their 2nd or beginning 3 Intar stage. It’s done by an experienced person, typically wearing no gloves to impede their sense of touch. By palpating the swollen lesion the outline is made and fingers surround the bulbous end of the squash-shaped larva. All of a sudden you feel a sudden pinch of pressure and the larva is ejected sometimes sailing several feet before landing, dazed, typically unable to move very much. In very rare instances another larva may be expelled and even a third. Finally when Your new Best Friend is satisfied that you are larvae free s/he will typically pour some Hydrogen Peroxide on your wound for a few seconds (with the aim being to wash it out), all that’s required is a light bandage. Some rubbing alcohol or local spirits >100 proof will be poured over the larva(e) and it will be killed by heat. I’ve seen a local man do this procedure and go on about his business without cleaning his own hands. I myself would wash mine.

– The larva typically moves to change position in its search for food while the host is sleeping.

– The offal or waste products are also extruded by the same follicle structure and look like pus combined with blood.

– In a cow or a horse the baby reached maturity and then climbs out (typically in the morning) drops to the ground and burrows down about ~2-5 cm where it pupates. The area where the mammal hosted the larva typically needs no debriding and granulates and fully heals on its own.

– In the West doctors are becoming more familiar with this but at a staggering slow pace. It is still treated as the most improbable of maladies. Don’t be reluctant to ask for something to calm your nerves if you have the heebie-jeebies. It is your human right.

God Speed


Posted: 16 February, 2016 at 11:28 PM

Laura Parker says:

Matthew, Where did you learn so much about bot flies?. It sure would be nice if Western Doctors knew as much …. especially in how to treat these. I am a sufferer of this issue right now and as a patient, I am treated like I am having delusions of parasites. I know they are wrong, and if a patient goes to argue the point, this is seen by physicians a more proof that the patient is delusional. It’s a real issue in the west. Where can I go to get medical treatment for the same?. Any ideas?


Posted: 10 May, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Kitka says:

These are some really interesting stories.
I’m preparing a presentation about bot flies for biology class.
This will surely help~

Take care you guys – and I hope you don’t get any more nasty larvae nomnomnomming you. D:


Posted: 17 December, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Thiago Nunes says:

I just took one out of my leg ..
At first i thought it was just an allergy , so it would heal easily .. But it actually didn’t, the hole was bigger and bigger ..
I could still walk and all properly but then i could see something out and in,it was till today when i saw it i figured out it kinda had an eye,so i squizzed the wound and this white Larva came out ..
It was gross and strange, an insect coming out from my leg ..
I squizzed to make sure there wouldn’t be another Larva or egg inside .. But only blood and this yellow liquid came out..
The larva was around 1cm large,i hope there isn’t nothing more inside ..


Posted: 6 March, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Eric says:

I contracted four- that’s right- FOUR botflies in both legs in 2006 after traveling in Belize. I didn’t know until a few weeks later after I got home what it was that had been bothering my lower legs. rather than undergo surgery, I decided to tough it out for the 8 weeks until they “hatched.” what a mistake that was! Had I known the amount of pain and discomfort that was in store for me, I would have parted with the money for surgery. The worst part of the ordeal was the constant mess, i.e. botfly “waste” that these critters ejaculated from the airholes, which was a mixture of blood and puss. I was constantly wiping up this mess with bandages and paper towels.


Posted: 15 April, 2011 at 1:47 PM

poppy says:

i just wanted to know what the scientific name for a botfly was. am 11 and doing a book on them.


Posted: 17 June, 2012 at 7:17 AM

jakeladdydill says:

dermatobia hominis


Posted: 29 April, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Bazgam says:

Hello again all, at this date there has been no start to treatment for my horse bot fly infestation. I do know what it is called. It is called Myiasis. Isn’t it a wonderful word children. Maybe if i say it long and loud enuff times then i will be cured. Finally found a GP that believes me. He had to find help for a patient with a black fly larva in her. The dermo i went to see told me he believed me and he used an instrument with a very stong light to see the larva in my outer ear. Told me he couldn’t help cos i needed a surgeon and he was not a surgeon. Anyway, now the infestation has progress enormously as i forgot that the larvae that left my body to pupate in my caravan would eventually become adults and get together and so on and then come and do me again and again and again…..
I have been hosted about 6 or 7 times noe, it could be more. I have the lot of the different types of horse bot and they originated with one female who was trapped in my car and, before dying, just dumped her eggs on the nearest mammal, me.The last type to strike is the skin bot. They are still tiny but have settled into my skin and even the outside surface of the eyeballs. The inside of the eyeballs are occupied byanother type. I now have 3 holes in my left eye and at least two in the right one. When i take photos with the macro setting on my dig camera i can see the spiracles of the bots as they get another breathe of air. Oh yes, my delusions are also in my lungs. They are dirty white with orange patches on the head end. When i cough it is all bots that come out. My specimen collection has grown to about 200 bots o0f all shapes and sizes and i am now getting picky. I have another chance to see someone to help me this coming week and at least now, with the skin, eye and lung bots easily visible i might get the help i need.
Some of the adults that left my caravan hit old Jack the donkey and he now drips bots from his nose. The local vet, when my GP called him about the horse bot fly larva, told the GP that there was no bot flies in these parts and he was not interested in the subject. All this is like living in one of those B movies where no one believes a victim who is trying to get help.
That’s it for now and i may not be here again.
Thank you Dave for having a site where i can have a moan and a whinge and i hope anyone around or near our horse type friends, donkeys included, will take the precaution of using an insect repellent when around horses in places where they could be sharing a small closed area with a botfly.
Cheers ….. Bazgam…


Posted: 27 August, 2019 at 1:20 AM

Janice Christophersen says:

I live in Indiana, usa. I have at least 10 or more bot spots. My g.p. said I’m imagining things. Dermatologist, he too can’t help me. Today, infectious disease dr. Says I’m overwhelmed. Stressed out.


Posted: 24 November, 2011 at 5:51 AM

byronavis says:

Hi all my name is Byron im from South Africa i stay on the west coast in South Africa and not sure if i have a bot fly on my back , i been freaking out alil and i noticed i have a mosquito bite or a pimple on my back not sure its not ichy yet uhm my mom had a look it at she says it could be a pimple i disagreed and thought ill read up alil more seeming flies and mosquitos can be a carrier to it.Im going to a docter today to get antibotics incase it is the bump had started two days ago since i was pestered by flies in the day and mosquitos at might and i sleep in the lounge cause its more cosy.hope you guys can help me sort it out to figure if its a botfly larvae or ifs it just a simple pimple. thanks all i apologise for this intense message.


Posted: 20 December, 2011 at 6:23 AM

Barry Gammage says:

Hello again. If you have read my other two postings then In can finally say that i had to go to a veterinary pathologist who confirmed that my bots are Horse Botfly larva. and last Wednesday I finally proved to the specialist and my doctor that i am full of the rotten things. My eyes are affected and i have become very feeble and i still have to wait until the holidays are over before i can start any treatment. I do not think i am the only person with them in this country as i see signs of them in my children and grandchildren now. I had them for about 5 years before i found them. I only noticed then accidentally 11 months ago. If you are around horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, camels or kangaroo then i would say you probably have a few bots living off you very carefully. Oh yes, they do not need hostsas long as there is a food supply they can live and become adults. The crap will hit the fan soon. Anyway, have a nice xmas and a real good new year.
Cheers… bazgam.


Posted: 17 June, 2012 at 7:16 AM

jakeladdydill says:

Barry, how are you doing?   Are you okay?


Posted: 14 December, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Mimcdiarmid says:

I want to know how it felt removing it


Posted: 22 March, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Rrlovesdogs says:

Argh!! Botflies freak me out…especially the spikes I think.. It’s so scary how they just latch onto your pet. =P I found this site about how to treat them helpful, but it still gives me the willies!



Posted: 9 August, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Cggawk says:

Just got mine out of my scalp 2 days ago. Noticed 2 bumps on my scalp after returning from Belize -almost 2 months ago. They thought I had shingles and was treated for such, twice… This week my nurse friends checked and swore they saw 2 holes. Sure enough the infectious disease dr concurred and it was up to my friends to remove them with a little help of utube…after 2 hours they were both out. Exit wounds r healing nicely although a couple pockets of fluid I will have to keep on eye on for infection


Posted: 25 September, 2012 at 2:36 AM

Happinesslol101 3 says:

SO…what will likely happen if you didn’t remove the Bot Fly larva? 


Posted: 27 October, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Unfortunateone says:

it will come out when it reach its larva size,,,,i got one of those stick to me eye,,,seriously


Posted: 14 December, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Mimcdiarmid says:

Really omg did it hurt

Posted: 4 January, 2013 at 1:58 PM

an Aussie in Bolivia says:

i just extracted one from my stomach after it was there for 4 weeks. My home remedy was I used sticky tape, with wood glue over the top and then another layer of sticky tape after the glue dried. After two previous attempts I wanted to really make sure the little bastard could not breathe! I left it overnight. My buddy extracted it with tweezers, was approximately 10mm long. Hopefully there is not more. My girlfriend had 3 extracted from the one hole. I could feel it moving around inside me. And to those reading this; it was as disgusting as it sounds, 


Posted: 9 February, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Julie G says:

Our family returned home from holidays in Panama. Our 3.5 year old daughter had what we believed were infected mosquito bites. We took her to the ER last night upon our ped urging us to do so, as he believed she had some crazy MRSA. They gave her local lidocaine and proceeded to incise each spot. We were NOT expecting to see a bot fly come out of the incision site. Poor little girl! She endured such a tough night. The largest bot fly was 2.5 cm, coming from the side of her thigh. It was so vile.


Posted: 10 July, 2013 at 4:08 PM

joy says:

In Nigeria red palm oil is what we use to extract d disgusting parasite and the thought of it gives me the creeps. I have seen it come out of children’s skin and its not funny at all.


Posted: 29 July, 2013 at 3:09 PM

damoassonfire says:

hi all, ive just gone through the process of removing a bot fly larvae from my ass !!! as you can imagine this was not a pleasant process especially as I had no idea there was a bug in the ” boil ” that had appeared all of a sudden. as I have lived in England all my life and not travelled abroad it came as quite a surprise to discover that I was hosting such a creature. could anyone tell me if this is a normal occurrence, as most posts mention bringing the bug back off holiday. thx for the info in your blog, very helpful.


Posted: 8 August, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Elisabeth says:

Just gave birth to my first child today, didn’t expect it to be a worm. Basically the same story as everyone else’s: I spent three weeks traveling through Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica and returned to the U.S. five weeks ago. I noticed before our flight back to the U.S. I had what seemed to be an ugly cystic zit on my lower back, but I wasn’t too concerned since it would be covered by a shirt anyway. The zit didn’t go away and instead started to resemble a gaping mouth. The wound started leaking brownish pus and blood onto my clothes. At this point I was more annoyed than alarmed that I had to wear a bandage under my clothes so they wouldn’t be stained with pus. I started to suspect the worst and thought that maybe a larvae of spider eggs was growing somewhere under my skin and would burst in the night like in the urban legend, with baby spiders crawling over my face.

Well, I guess that’s not so far from the truth. For the last three days I’ve been putting a thick layer of hydrocortisone on the “mouth”, which I guess did the job because when I got out of the swimming pool today, I could feel something sticking out of my back through my bathing suit. (The little creep must have come up for air after a nice long swim. Take THAT!) Needless to say I went running for the bathroom and frantically peeled what I thought was congealed hydrocortisone away from the hole, and ended up pulling out a large, intact, writhing maggot. (Okay, it wasn’t that massive, but unexpectedly pulling a maggot out of your body might mess with your perception). I put it on the bathroom counter and prayed it wouldn’t start moving, because then it would undeniably confirm my worst fear and I might lose it. It was wiggling around and sticking its ugly head in the air, probably wondering why it was no longer in its cozy little cocoon of my flesh. I had NOT expected to pull a larvae out of my stubborn “zit” and I almost passed out from disgust at the thought that that thing had been growing inside me for more than a month. EEEWW.

I considered keeping the worm in a tiny jar so I could show it to people and tell them it was my first child, but I ended up flushing the cretin so its chances of hatching and traumatizing other sheltered Westerners was reduced to nil.

On the upside, my spontaneous and accidental removal of the maggot meant I didn’t have to go to the doctor and show everyone my creation. Right now I am just praying that the little bastard didn’t leave any brothers or sisters in there.


Posted: 9 August, 2013 at 4:42 PM

David Coveney says:

That’s a great way to express it :-)

I kept mine in his jar – still in my desk, though the alcohol has damaged the plastic and I need to decant. Not sure what to do next, to be honest…


Posted: 16 February, 2016 at 11:55 PM

Laura Parker says:

The unforunated part of your story is that you flushed it in water. Fly larvae or maggots as you have called them can swim and live under water. So, they may traumatize someone else. It’s a disgusting thought.


Posted: 27 August, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Traci Gregory says:

I dont know if im losing my mind or maybe i just hope i am. I have done so much research, and my major in college is a science degree, but please help!! Im scared to see a doctor or tell anyone because of how insane i sound. I took pictures, but not sure still. I have a infestation i think to believe a bot fly. Does it stain clothes green n places?? And i swear i have black specks that appear on my body for no apparent reason. My ear has a place and looks to be coming to a head??? Large place. I feel creepy.


Posted: 18 February, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Teri Phelps says:

I went on a Carribean cruise. On January 29 we were at Roataon Honduras and to my horror I looked at my leg to find more than a dozed strangely round drops of blood that were slightly crusted on top. Not a normal scab. I had almost as many on the other leg, and a few on my arms. When I wiped the blood away I could see an actual hole in my leg a little larger than a pencil lead, The bites formed large welts, and now more than two weeks later they still itch. I’ve used neosporin with anticeptic which seems to help, and hydocorizone. I have also taken benadryl. My son who is finishing Med school mentioned this horrible creature and I am pretty freaked out. They seem to be improving slowly. What should I watch for?


Posted: 20 April, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Smiffy says:

Had a botfly extracted from my neck 2 days ago. Took two months in and out of doctors, before I finally saw the head of the thing poking out my wound, so at least now I actually had concrete evidence that I did actually have something inside me – it was just being passed off as a stubborn infection. So now its out, I’ve been left with a hard lump on my neck – I don’t think there’s any others left inside it (it no longer hurts) but does anyone know if this is going to go down?


Posted: 6 June, 2016 at 2:59 AM

Ryan K says:

Had ones of these on my hip, along with Malaria after going to Belize. Took a cigarette, burnd the fucker and then cut and tweezed it out. Went to a nurse that as traveling with our party, and she got the rest and cleaned the wound. She also warned me to never eat pork if you want to avoid parasites in the future. While it’s unrelated to the botfly specifically, I don’t eat pork, aside from pepperoni. Parasites are traumatizing.


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