Parasites In Humans
Find The Nastiest Parasites In Humans

Dermatobia Hominis - Human Botfly

The human botfly, Dermatobia hominis, belongs to the Oestroidea family. There are about 150 botfly species but only Dermatobia Hominis uses man as a host. The larvae of these huge hairy flies are parasitic living inside the skin.

Human botfly lays eggs on the skin. When a larva inside the egg detects warmth, it hatches and penetrates the skin. It develops deep inside the skin and breaths through a special tube which has an opening at the wound spot. After feeding for two months the botfly comes out and drops off. On the soil it will take another week to become an adult botfly.

Botfly can also use a vector to carry the eggs. It can catch smaller flies and lay eggs under their wings. When these smaller flies fly on the skin, they are rarely noticed. When the tiny larvae inside the eggs recognize human warmth, they hatch and burrow into the skin. If the carrier fly is killed by a smack, the mother botfly would still be safe and could lay new eggs some other time. In this case only the carrier fly takes the risk of delivering the eggs.

The proper way to get rid of an almost mature larva inside the skin is to sufficate it. If you do not have access to a doctor, you can cover its breathing hole with nail polish or adhesive tape. The removal of the dead larva is done by pulling carefully with pliers or pincers.

Dermatobia hominis life cycle

Dermatobia hominis larvae removed from a human

Also check out the botfly pictures and videos.