Parasitic Botflies That Lay Eggs In Human Skin Can Be Found All Over Canada

They love mammalian flesh.
Staff Writer
Parasitic Botflies That Lay Eggs In Human Skin Can Be Found All Over Canada

Multitudes of creepy crawlers are set to make their return to Canada this summer. But this one here is probably the worst one of the bunch! This flying creep is in a close tie with this nasty bugger, though. 

The botfly or gadfly is a gross flying insect whose larvae parasitically infest mammalian organic tissue. Their larvae grow in the flesh and stomachs of many different mammals. What's so nasty about them is that they have a particular affinity for human flesh. 

Yes, you read that right. Botflies will implant their maggot larvae into your skin so that their ghastly little babies can feast on your flesh until they hatch. This is known as myiasis. The flies take advantage of broken skin and open wounds like scabs or cuts and literally use your flesh as an incubator.

Sorry, not sorry about that vivid imagery.

Botflies have been found in Canada in Ontario, Alberta, and as far north as Nunavut. They kind of look like tiny, less yellow, and way less cute bumblebees. Botfly larvae have been found to exist as far back as the Ice Age.

Fair warning that the video below is super gross. 

In Canada, they often infest caribou and mouse carcasses. If a human ends up with a botfly infestation in their skin, removal of them can be quite difficult. In the span of their eight-day life cycle, botflies can plant up to 400 eggs into their host. 

If you end up getting infected, you won't be seriously harmed, so don't worry. Botfly larvae don't damage their host as their survival depends upon body heat and living tissue.

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Some botflies prefer animals while others don't discriminate.

They aren't an invasive insect by any means and prefer a temperate climate. That's why they only appear in Canada during summer months (for the most part). 

Sometimes, they'll implant their horrid little babies into mosquitoes and when you get bit, the mosquito will leave behind the larvae under the surface of your skin. Quite nice, eh?

If you dare, you can watch this PBS video featuring a Harvard researcher who "gave birth" to a botfly:

So if you spot a botfly, don't touch it! Make sure that if you go hiking or camping this summer to not have any unwrapped open wounds or scabs. 

Though they're kind of cute for some people, what they could potentially do to you isn't that cute at all — super disgusting, to be honest. 


Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer