View Full Version : Are these things area specific?

09-14-2009, 02:53 PM
My little girl was out all night in the rain. I n live in northern Cal. Should I be worried about her getting one of these things. Will try to get ahold of her later after work to inspect her for this. Are these things specific to certain areas or are all squirrel able to get these?

09-14-2009, 04:12 PM
Could you be a little more specific as to what "these things" are? :D

09-14-2009, 04:15 PM
Since the post is in the bot flies forum, I am guessing bot flies. I think bot flies are everywhere. I know we have them here and in New York they have them. In Florida I think they have them too. Just because your squirrel is out in the rain does not mean she will get them though.

09-14-2009, 04:26 PM
Botflies lay their eggs on tree branches and trunks, as far as I know. Squirrels typically pick them up when they rub their mouths on a branch that has the larvae and pick them up. The larvae feed on the blood of the host.

You will know if they have bot flies larvae when you see a lump under their skin, As the larva grows, the lump will get bigger and skin will look inflammed. When the larva is ready to hatch, they cut a little hole under the squirrel's skin to emerge. Unless the infestation is really bad, once the fly emerges, the squirrel's wound would heal. Dont try to remove the larva because if it is not done properly, the larva releases a toxin and will kill the host.

I have quite a few squirrels in the wild with botflies, once the flie emerges I just keep and eye to make sure that the wound heals and does not get infected.

IS has a good write up on it http://www.thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2767


09-14-2009, 04:29 PM
Yup--didn't notice the forum, but I think they're about everwhere.

09-15-2009, 01:22 PM
Are they specific to a certain type of fly?

09-15-2009, 01:33 PM
It doesn't look like it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botfly

05-14-2010, 04:15 PM
I'm not sure if they are area specific but Imp had one last year and we live in New England. Furthermore I think he may have picked up a multiple case yesterday on one of his "unscheduled" excursion into the wild....

In any case they are not harmful... just really really gross... and they heal up like they were never there afterward...

05-14-2010, 05:36 PM
So are they maggots or are those two different things? Have never seen anything like this on the wilds out back (don't think I would miss anything like those pics on them!) Pretty nasty!!

05-15-2010, 10:10 AM
they're species specific....

human bot flies and warbles target humans - only i think in south america

in north america ....

there's deer bot flies ... targets deer....

cotton tails bot flies targets cotton tails.. (and domestic rabbits - which is why i know about bot flies)

and squirrel bot flies ... targets squirrels and so sorry to say ...lots of squirrels... they just look like a bump on the squirrel...

I think that IR long, long ago mentioned that mice can get them too but because of the size of the mouse the mouse would die from it.

horrible, nasty, nasty things... ugh!!!

and no, not the same as maggots ... well... actually yes ... maybe it is a big, big maggot??? ... but normal fly maggots are small and they are just as awful... (again domestic rabbits can have them if they're not able to clean themselves very well ...like paralyzed rabbits ...)

11-25-2011, 06:54 AM
On the Sea Islands here in SC, the Gullah call them 'the wolves'. "Da wolvs be a'gon een da winta"

11-25-2011, 09:43 PM
Bot flys lay their eggs on horses too. The horse licks at the area where the eggs are ( they are small and yellow and attached to the hair shaft like a louse nit), and the larva emerges and embeds itself in the horses mouth tissues. The larva goes through another life cycle and is swallowed. When it reaches the intestine it attaches itself to the wall and stays there while it goes through another life cycle. When it passes out through the manure, it then evolves into the fly stage and starts all over. Right now Bot flies are active in the South. They look like Bumblebees and buzz but don't sting. You worm horses for Bots after the first hard freeze because the cold kills the Bots on the ground and the flies. Maggots are Blow Fly larvae. The fly lays it's eggs in a wound with dead tissue for the larvae to feed on. A wolf fly larva is from the Screw worm. It enters the body through the mouth, nose or a wound, then migrates to the skin where it matures until ready to emerge.

island rehabber
11-26-2011, 08:12 AM
.Thank you Margie, for that detailed info. I really didn't know the different types of flies and which species they affect. I only know the most common ones around here are drain flies and while they are annoying as hell, they don't bite.

treeman: dialects fascinate me. Gullah is a favorite...