Over 40 mango fly worms were extracted from animals on the East Rand recently, with 19 more squeezed out of two Labradors in Fourways this week.
The bug, also known as the African Tumbu fly or skin maggot fly, embeds itself into a host and hatches after a certain period. The bugs can and are able to also hatch from humans.
According to the Fourways Veterinary Hospital, mango flies require a mammal as a host.
- The life cycle of a mango fly depends on the presence of a host to feed and incubate it.
- Veterinarians usually pop the flies out like a pimple.
- Mango flies lay their eggs in moist soil, especially soil marked with urine or feces.
- The flies can also lay eggs in wet washing/bedding.
The vet says there is a 9-15 day incubation before the larvae hatches. “If the dog/human is lying on/in that area of soil or bedding, the larvae pierces the skin (this takes less than 25 seconds) and develops under the skin to prepupal stage.”
Eight to twelve days later the flies will exit the skin going back to the soil to pupate only to hatch again as a fly.
The vet advises that the public check their pets for lumps/bumps that may develop as these need to be checked with the patient put on antibiotics.
Some handy prevention techniques are:
– Fly repellents
– Pick up fruit that has dropped off the tree
– Clean up faeces and urine immediately
– Wash bedding on high temperature and iron if possible
The city of Johannesburg has confirmed the Fourways case and issued a few handy tips:
- All washed clothes should be tumble dried on hot settings for 10 minutes to destroy any eggs.
- If you do not have access to a tumble dryer, all clothes should be ironed instead.
- Children should wear shoes while playing outside, and refrain from playing in soil that is damp.
- Parents should regularly inspect their children for the yellow, pimple-like sores.