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
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
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.
Also check out the botfly pictures and videos.