Things I Learned as a Field Biologist #294
One day, you may notice that one of your mosquito bites has begun to hurt… like a needle being pushed insistently and repeatedly into your skin. As the days pass by, the poking becomes more intense, and the pain a bit deeper, and the bump is beginning to grow…
When you look more closely at the offending bite, you may see something mildly horrifying: a small proboscis, wetly reaching out for air, before disappearing quickly back into a tiny, suppurating hole in your skin.
You have a botfly.
Pay attention now, here’s what you should do:
1) DO NOT JUST LET IT GO.
I know you’re tempted… we’ve all been there: “Something is parasitizing me in a most vile and disgusting manner?! Let’s leave it alone and see what it does!” But this is just not acceptable. It’s gross. And I think by now we should all know that it cannot turn out well.
If you doubt me, see the above video (in which several friends and I can be seen having a beer while contemplating the spectacle - and biceps - of someone NOT paying attention to point 1 above).
2) Name it.
Naming things makes them marginally less disgusting. My first botfly was called Fergie (after someone whose vocal presence roughly approximates the feeling of being stabbed by a needle over and over again).
3) Kill it.
Killing a botfly is fairly simple. To suffocate the bot, a bit of duct tape can be applied to the bite area. I recommend also putting a bit of vaseline directly over the air hole, to deprive it of even the remotest possibility of breathing and thus continuing to feed off of my bodily fluids. Some try to coax the bot out using either positive stimuli (raw meat) or negative stimuli (tobacco, cigarette butts), but this beats around the bush. Just kill it.
Why kill it, you may ask? Well, dear friend, because this is what it looks like. Every time you try to extract it while alive, it will dig in with those spikes (see video above for an example of a difficult live birth - and more biceps).
4) Birth it.
Once the bot is dead (it usually takes a day or two using the duct tape method), you get to extract the corpse! This is the best part. I typically use a standard snake bite suction kit. Simply latch on, and increase the suction by pushing in the plunger. Naturally, because of the spikes, this will take a while, and more suction than one might expect, but the results are spectacular and not a little satisfying. Soon you’ll have a bloody, pussy explosion inside the cup! Birth!
5) Save it.
Be sure to rifle through the schrapnel of your bot’s explosive parturition to find the bot, because now that it’s no longer feeding on your vital fluids, it’s actually really frakking awesome (and looks incredible in a small test tube on the mantle).
Field biologists have fun parties.