Thursday, July 19, 2007


“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
- Groucho Marx

And bot flies like a human head.

The ever-gracious Leslie of Leslie’s Omnibus fame alerted me to this little news bulletin, one that is guaranteed to skeeve you out:
Doctors thought the strange, bleeding bumps on Aaron Dallas’ head might be from gnat bites or shingles. The bumps then started moving.

A doctor found five active bot fly larvae living beneath the skin atop Dallas’ head.
Good Gawd Awmighty.

Bot flies are nasty little bastards. Wikipedia will tell you that “it is one of several families of hairy flies whose larvae live as parasites within the bodies of mammals...There are approximately 150 known species worldwide.” The good news is that only one of those 150 species (Dermatobia hominis) will attack humans. The bad news - for Aaron Dallas, anyway - is that that’s the species he ran afoul of on a vacation trip to Central America.

Morty the Maggot.

Bot flies were a concern to us when the Mistress of Sarcasm had her horse. Bot infestation can create nasty problems for horses: You’d be unhappy too if fly larvae - maggots - grew in your intestines and then migrated to your skin looking for a way out. Feh. We would dose our horse regularly with systemic medications to prevent any infestation, especially important because humans can become infested in the process of removing the eggs.

And an infestation, as Mr. Dallas found out, is not easy to deal with: per Wikipedia, “the botfly maggot cannot be removed easily whilst alive due to the strong, hooked spines that run in circular rings around the midsection of its body.” Break part of it off and the other part remains behind to cause infection. Mmmmmmmm.

But all’s well that ends well. With Mr. Dallas now on the mend, who knows? One day we may find ways to deal with bot flies other than crude methods of extermination. Negotiation, perhaps? Or outright suck-upitude. Perhaps we can take a lesson from the EU’s handling of Hamas...

Bring Some Shit For My Fly
©1976 Estate of B. Kliban. Click to embiggen.

...Take ’em to dinner!

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