The Gad Fly and the Horse Fly. Ancient and Deadly Insects
Ancient and deadly insects. Insects that can cause human infections and infestations. Miniature monsters that can kill humans and their animal hosts.
First, let me warn you that this article is NOT for the squeamish, or faint of heart. It is about little seen ancient monsters that live all around us.
This particular little monster is known by many names.
The Bot Fly by definition: any number of several small insect families of the order "Diptera".
The adults are bee like in appearance, hairy but without bristles, and their larvae are animal parasites.
There are several types of this nasty little monster which i will list and only briefly introduce you to them with their most interesting descriptions.
- 1. The horse bot fly is a serious horse pest.
The adults are often known as the Gad Fly , or the Horse Fly .
They deposit their nits (eggs) in the horses forelegs, nose, lips, and body.
Usually between 400 - 500 nits at a time.
These larvae stay in the eggs until the horse licks itself.
The moisture and friction from this licking stimulate the larvae to emerge, and are ingested by the horse.
They then attach themselves to the lining of the horses stomach, where they get all the nourishment and oxygen they need from the horses alimentary canal.
These larvae mature in 8 to 12 months and are eliminated by excretion of the horses feces.
- 2. The North American and European Deer Nose Bot Fly:
It is said to be the fastest flying insect at 50+ miles per hour.
- 3. The Sheep Bot Fly:
Its larvae deposited in the nostrils of sheep often cause a nervous condition called "blind stagger".
- 4. The Rodent Bot Fly:
It infects rabbits, and the scrotum of squirrels (sometimes emasculating them).
- 5. The Human Bot Fly:
It attacks livestock, deer and man.
The female attaches her eggs to mosquitoes, stable flies, and other insects that carry the eggs to the actual host.
Body warmth causes the eggs to hatch and the tiny larvae penetrate the skin.
- 6. The Tropical American Bot Fly :
It is responsible for loss of beef and hides.
Unfortunately there is no way of eradicating these little monsters completely and their bites to humans are extremely painful and take months to heal, leaving a permanent scar when they bite you.
They are nasty and relentless little monsters when pursuing their human pray.
When they manage to infect the human host the larvae grows until mature then wiggle their way out and fall to the ground (see the video below - but be warned it is graphic and quite disturbing to watch).
Wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants (in lieu of shorts), a hat, and limiting your exposure to them while outside during their most active months ( June -July-August) is the only protection available to humans.
by d.william 9/25/2011
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