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Thread: Bot Fly Facts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    City Island, Bronx, NY
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    Default Bot Fly Facts

    Botfly Larvae/cuterebra or Warble

    A bot fly larva is the developing form of an insect. It is the stage after it hatches from the egg and before it becomes an adult fly. The lump in the animal's skin caused by the growing bot is called a warble, and the opening in the animal's skin is referred to as the warble pore. There may be just one larva or there may be more in different parts of the host animal's body...the larva feeds upon the animal's tissue exudate. In the early stages of development the larvae may be light colored and generally darken as they mature. The area can devleop an abcess from the chronic irritation. The Bot fly warble is often misdiagnosed as a simple abcess....

    Treatment:

    If the bot fly larva is not in an area that restricts movement or other functions, it can be left intact and will drop off at maturity. The sight on your animal is gruesome, but in many cases they only cause mild irritation for the animal. Once the warble drops out, clean the wound with an antiseptic and apply topical ointment if needed. On very small mammals such as mice, the warble can be life threatening -- it may need to be surgically removed.

    If the bot fly is killed while it is living under the skin of the mammal, it can release a toxin whcih can cause anaphylactic shock (this is one reason why we don't try to kill it while it is still there). Oral antibiotic treatment may be indicated if a secondary infection develops in the warble.

    A mature bot fly larva is large enough to be carefully removed using tweezers or forceps. Sometimes slow, steady pressure AT THE BASE of the warble can push the larva out thru the opening. Be sure not to kill the larva in the process. The warble pore can then be flushed with chlorhexiderm@ or saline solution and a topical antibiotic applied if needed.

    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I think I found this photo on line recently.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    here are a few disturbing photos of botflies that I found online. The one with the empty looking holes has already had his botflies leave. the last one is the larvae itself. If you have a week stomach don't scroll down because these are pretty sad looking. Poor little guys. From what I know these are not very leathal. they look worse than they really are.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  4. #4
    webld4u2 Guest

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Sam had these last year...and yep, it is gross. I was able to get them out by using a syringe with peroxide in it. I pushed it in the hole and they came out to breathe, and when they did, I pushed it like you would a pimple, and they come flying out. It is safe and it works, and it is easy.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I have removed many as well (lucky the 3 legged coyote and a cat) using a syringe (no needle) w/full strength peroxide... squirting some in then blocking it off with my thumb for a few seconds. (came out a little) then tapping the lil bastards head making it retreat deep back in and then squirting again... and out he came.... this works for a fact as I have done it on 2 animals to remove 10-12 of the lil buggers.....this do it yourself method was explained to me by my moms vet to save me money......(my mom's poodle enterprise kept him in buisness) thumper NOTE: the cat did not like it at all (big larva / small hole)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    08-21-2006, 01:01 PM
    thumper
    Senior Member Join Date: Apr 2006
    Location: jackson MI.
    Posts: 235

    Re: maggots

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I dealt with infestation on my three legged coyote (lucky). I was told by a vet,who would not work on a WILD animal to use a seringe (SPELLING ?)and peroxide. no needle. I squrted a lil into the hole and the lil bugger went in deeper then I squrted more in and held my finger over the hole for a few seconds.he then came out, all the way out,I was shocked at how big he was.I repeated this on all the holes and got them all.then I applied some neosporin or somthing like it and he eventually healed-minus the foot. If you all rehabbers see a problem with this method on a squirrel PLEASE CHIME IN. it worked on my coyote and a cat who lost his tail.good luck!!!!! thumper

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Treatment we were told to use was spread Vaseline over the warble and this will suffocate it and when it comes up for air pull it out with tweezers. Never been able to try it so I don't know if it will work. All of our wilds get them and some are very bad, I feel terrible for them but they won't sit still so I can help them.

  8. #8
    Velvet Squirrel Guest

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I trap as many as I can and take them to the wild life Sanctuary where they remove them for free then take them back where I trapped them and release them. However, if the infestation is bad enough as in the first photo in post #3 of squirrelfriends then they are very susceptible to infection or at least here in humid suthern areas. And to many bot flies in one squirrle can kill them due to infections and severe weaking of the animal. I have dealt with many of these problems in squirrels.

  9. #9
    drakkonia Guest

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Is there a certain time of year that this happens most often?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I need a barfing smilie. Poor squirrels.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    **

  12. #12
    Velvet Squirrel Guest

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Quote Originally Posted by drakkonia
    Is there a certain time of year that this happens most often?
    Moslty during the late spring and summer here in the south due to the heat and humidity.
    By the way when the bot flies emerge this is very painful for the squirrels. I have heard them crying out in pain and have actually had them come running up to people seeking help for the pain when this happens. Several summers ago one came running up the drive way to my neighbor and her granddaughters crying. She hearded the girls in the house and called me saying that there was a MAD squirrel out there trying to attack them. I went out but the squirrel had run off however I was able to find the squirrel and saw where it had a fresh weeping wound where the fly had just emerged and the squirrle was still making weeping sounds and trying to lick at the wound. The squirrel wasn't trying to attack them it was just in pain and seeking help from anyone, anything at the moment. Of course the fly had just emerged and there was nothing that I could do to get my hands on the poor thing and help. However, it was after that incident that I got a humane trap and began trapping them and taking them in to the Wild Life Sanctuary for help.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Just saw the first warble of the season today on one of the wilds in my yard. I've had them on babies and they were removed by a rehabber, when large enough to not break-up with the tweezers during removal. Here in N. FL the season is late summer early fall, unfortunately the same as baby season, which is why so many come to us already infested. Has anyone heard of a preventive treatment for the older ones? I have some that I've released that may still be tame enough for me to apply something. I dread seeing them on my released buddies. I haven't had that happen yet, but this litter is hanging around longer, so I fear this may be the year I see the warbles on them.
    Thanks for any tips.
    MsOakley

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Per the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Central Florida, bots can be killed with Ivermectin dilute, but only during the early stages of infestation, i.e., while the bot is still small. The bot would probably be hard to detect early in a wild squirrel. My wild squirrels in Virginia used to get them; so far I've never seen one in my part of FL. They are NASTY but look worse than they are. If my wildies get any, I will leave them alone if it's just one or two; any more, and I take them to the Wildlife Hospital, where I know they will allow me to do the "release" after treatment.
    Henry's Healthy Pets
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    The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations… ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I know a guy who got a couple bot flies in his own body (shoulder?) when he was in Central America a few years ago. A local woman removed them by simply squeezing them out from below. Apparently it hurt quite a bit, but it got them out and then he was fine afterward.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    A few questions for 4skwerlz:
    Can you explain the Ivermectin treatment any more thoroughly? How is it applied and what's the dilution ratio? Is Ivermectin a prescription drug? Thanks for the info.
    MsOakley

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Quote Originally Posted by MsOakley
    A few questions for 4skwerlz:
    Can you explain the Ivermectin treatment any more thoroughly? How is it applied and what's the dilution ratio? Is Ivermectin a prescription drug? Thanks for the info.
    Island Rehabber, who started this thread, can give you all the info on Ivermectin. And if it were my squirrel I would also get her opinion on whether the bots are too big for this treatment. The Wildlife Center I mentioned before says they've never had trouble with the dead bots causing infections after oral treatment, but I'd trust the experience of the TSB rehabbers more. Good luck.
    Henry's Healthy Pets
    Henry's Healthy Blocks, Fox Valley Formula, Fleecies Cage Gear and more

    The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations… ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    Here's a link to the botfly/chipmunk thread I've been updating. It may be helpful to those of you interested in the subject (or if you just want more nasty pictures). Feel free to ask any questions you have regarding my experience.

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=6196

  19. #19

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    I just found one on a mouse in our house! I got it out. The mouse is very skinny. I don't know if it will make it. It is a very big larvae for a little mouse. I flushed out the hole with water. I didn't use any ointments because mice don't handle any toxins very well. Wow does the hole they make stink too! The larvae was very large and dark like the one shown above. I really hope this guy makes it. She has been through so much. I didn't find my vasaline until it was already out. I used baby oil gel.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Bot Fly Facts

    squirrelfriend:

    I would be very surprised if the mouse makes it

    These things are pretty much always fatal to mice, as they usually push into the poor fella's internal organs. I can remember waking up in my old apartment one morning to find one of the house mice dead on the kitchen floor with a larva crawling out of it. Very sad

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