Mango fly, also known as Cordylobia anthropophagi is a species of blowfly, native to a certain part of Africa.
The life cycle of mango fly depends on the presence of host to feed it. It lays eggs in moist soil especially the one marked with urine or feces. They also lay eggs in wet washing and bedding.
If the animal or a human get in contact with the wet bedding the larvae pierce the skin and start developing under the skin. It lives under the skin until they are ready to hatch into maggots.
The most common host are the people who mostly travel to different parts of the world.
Mango Fly Infestation
- Mango fly lays eggs in dirt and sand which carries the scent of urine and feces, on seamed bedding, towel, and other soft material left outdoors.
- Any item smelling sweat attracts mango flies, but they can also get attracted to the washed clothes.
- Mango flies eggs are very tiny and cannot be seen with naked eyes. The eggs hatch into larva after 3 days. These larvae then crawl under the skin and grow. These larvae can burrow under the skin without causing any pain.
- Under the skin, the larvae feed on the subcutaneous, living tissue and continue to grow.
- As the larva grows a red dot with a boil or a tiny black dot forms on the top of the skin and grows.
- As the larva grows the boil fills up with pus and by this time there is a wriggly feeling under the skin. A fully matured larva burst out of the skin and fall off. They continue to grow and fly over a period of 3 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms Of Mango Fly Infestation
- The symptoms appear several days after the mango fly penetrates the skin.
- There are itching and sense of discomfort which might vary in severity. Some experience mild itching while in few it is uncontrollable. It depends on the number of larvae which have infected the skin.
- As the days pass there is pain and discomfort felt.
- Within a few days of infestation, the pimple starts to form and within two or six days turn into a hard boil. The boil continues to grow as the larvae grow.
- There is redness on the skin in the area around the boil.
- There will be a sensation of larvae wiggling under each boil.
- Some people run fever days or weeks after the infestation occurs.
- There is tachycardia, the heart may race at a higher rate.
- In response to pain and itching, there is trouble in sleeping and difficulty in concentration.
How To Get Rid Of Mango Fly Infestation?
It is possible to remove the mango fly from under the skin yourself but it is always better to get it done by a doctor.
There are various techniques to remove the mango fly larvae from under the skin.
- Hydraulic Expulsion: This technique involves injecting each boil with lidocaine and epinephrine. Mostly the larvae are pushed out with the force of the fluid but in some cases, it needs to be lifted with forceps.
- Suffocation and Pressure: Cover the black dot that appears on the skin over the boil with petroleum jelly or wax. This will cut the larvae’s air supply. This will make the larvae to crawl out for air. Remove them from forceps at this point.
- Squeeze and Eject: When the larvae are moving out gently squeeze the boil from both the sides. It will help squeeze them all out fast. You can use forceps to help remove them.
How Can You Prevent Mango Fly Infestation?
If a lot of traveling is involved in your routine, especially to the area that has mango flies, the following precautions can be taken to avoid mango fly infestation:
- Do not dry washed clothing or bedding outdoors or have the open windows. Iron everything at high heat if possible, before wearing them.
- If possible wash and dry the clothing in the washing machine and dry them in dryers using high heat.
- Avoid using backpacks and clothing that has been kept in the ground.
- As soon as you get to know that you have a mango fly infestation, consult a doctor as quickly as possible. This will help in reducing the risk of infection and remove the discomfort quickly.
- A doctor would be able to remove the infestation from all the areas of the skin, which would not be possible yourself.
- After removing the infestation it is important to wash the area with antibiotic liquid and use topical antibiotics until the wound is completely cleared and there is no redness on the skin.
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