Latin Name: Dermatobia hominis
The human bot fly is an insect, of the family Oestridae, and closely resembles a wasp or bumblebee. The adults can reach up to 18 mm long, while the larva of the human bot fly can be up to 6 or 7 mm. The larva infest themselves into human or animal skin, this is known as myiasis, in order to continue growing and maturing.
The human bot fly and its symptoms are lumps where it has burrowed itself into the skin, this can become hard and secrete pus. It has been noted that other human bot fly symptoms are the person infected feeling the larva moving when the raised lesion is covered or while taking a shower. More common human bot fly symptoms are pain of the tissue and sometimes infection. The human bot fly can also infect the digestive tract if an egg is ingested, although this is not as common as a skin infestation. A skin lesion is easily diagnosed because of the obvious protrusion of the human bot fly larva. However, a diagnoses of infection of the digestion tract will be a bit more complicated. This typically occurs in horses and cattle, and usually goes unnoticed until the eggs or larva of the human bot fly are seen in the animals feces. Ulcerations and irritations of the digestive tract are human bot fly symptoms that can occur if the eggs are larva are ingested.
While the human bot fly has no pathogens, meaning it will not cause a disease into the infected, it can seriously harm cattle. The lesions left behind on the livestock can become infected with a bacteria called Mannheimia granulomatis. These are ultimately caused by human bot fly and symptoms are hard sores and lumps under the cattle’s skin. If this goes untreated, the cattle may actually die from the infection within three to eleven months. Horses are also affected by human bot flies, although they seem to deal with them better than cattle. Eggs of the bot fly can be seen in a horse’s hair as little yellow specs. At this stage, the eggs can be removed with a razor blade or sandpaper, which you will want to do before the horse ingests them or the larva develop and dig under the skin. These human bot fly also infest dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and goats-inflicting the same set of human bot fly symptoms as for a horse. Again, thankfully these are not a very common occurrence.
Hill, Stephanie K., and C. Roxanne Connelly. “human bot fly.” Featured Creatures. University of Florida, n.d. Web. 18 Apr 2013. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/flies/human_bot_fly.htm.
Wikipedia contributors. “Bot fly.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 08 Apr 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botfly.