Pest Control Blog

Are Woodrat Bot Flies Dangerous?

February 1st, 2018 by Mike MacDonald in flies

Is the woodrat bot fly dangerous? In this post we cover the question of what are Woodrat Bot Flies and are they dangerous?

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What are Woodrat Bot Flies

Similar to a bee but also flies the Woodrat Bot fly is almost a combo of both.

These pests look like a bee, but they are typically all black with some having streaks of white or yellow, making them look like flies as well. They can grow to be about the size of a quarter.

While these pests may look like a bee and fly, they don’t sting or even bite, or feed like either of the two.  Instead of feeding on nectar or decaying material the Woodrat Bot fly acts as parasites while laying their young.

You probably will rarely notice these pests because they typically target wild animals. However, they do actually live throughout almost every state around the US and parts of Canada as well.

Woodrat Bot Flies: A Potential Threat To Your Pets

Usually the Woodrat Bot Fly targets small mammals in the wild, such as rodents or rabbits, but unfortunately they can target your pets as well. Typically, these flies will lay their eggs around the homes of these mammals in hopes of passing them on to these mammals.

These eggs then hitch a ride inside of these animals as they accidentally breath them in while exploring their own dens. The Woodrat Bot Fly then travels throughout the host body under the skin until it takes hold and makes itself a home.

This is pretty gross, but from there, the fly larva creates a large tumor-like growth on the animal including a gaping hole that allows the fly larva to breath. Once the larva has reached it’s ideal size, it will abandon the host and leave to reach it’s adult stage.

When the Bot fly leaves the host to become an adult, it also leaves behind the hole and wound which can often become infected. Luckily this doesn’t usually kill the host, but it can become dangerous if left untreated.

While these Woodrat Bot flies usually go after wildlife they can use the same strategies to attach to your pets and make them their hosts. If you suspect that your pets may have issues with Bot Flies, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. That way, you can have the Bot Fly larva safely removed and have the holes properly sealed without doing long-term damage to your pets.

In some rare cases, humans can even be infected with these parasite pests, and if that happens, also seek immediate medical attention to deal with and get rid of these pests.

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