Utne Blogs > Environment

Bacon and Maggots: A Nauseating First Aid Tip

by Elizabeth Ryan 

Tags: Meatpaper, Bacon, botfly, maggot, Massachusetts General Hospital, Elizabeth Ryan,

botflyYou’ll never look at bacon the same way again. The folks at Meatpaper have hipped us to the completely disgusting nature of a botfly infection. Apparently in Central and South America the parasites’ eggs are transferred during mosquito bites—causing maggots to grow underneath the unlucky recipient’s skin. There are many ways to treat the infestation, but this one is the most unappetizing:

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that if they covered the “larval aperture” (which is to say, the oozing pore atop the wriggling lump containing Dermatobia hominis) with bacon fat, the larva would rise to the surface within three hours, at which point it could be removed with a pair of tweezers. ... If you’re not squeamish—if you were, would you have read this far?—you can even cook the bacon afterward. If you’re hungry that is.  

It doesn’t look like these folks used the bacon trick, but here’s a little live-action botfly removal for those of you who can stomach it—don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One last thought: In a death match between the botfly and the queedle-queedling butcher bird, who do you think would win? I put my money on the bird, but not before he is implanted…

Source: Meatpaper

Image by stonebird, licensed under Creative Commons.