Okay, not really offensive, just kind of gross.
I now know more about Bot flies than I ever wanted to know.
'tis the season of vermin moving indoors. So I set up a couple of mouse traps in the kitchen and - surprise, surprise - the next morning there were a couple of mice in them.
Being the early riser, it was the missus who first encountered the corpses. What was strange, she said, was that, about a foot away was what looked like a turd. Black, about the size of your first pinkie joint. That's pretty impressive compared to a mouse that barely 4 inches nose-to-butt.
And then the turd moved.
Suppressing a gag, she bravely picked it up in a baggie and tossed it in the trash, still having no idea what it was or where it came from. She turned around and found a second one, near the other mouse.
Strange thoughts passed throught her mind. "Are these the souls
of the mice, exiting their bodies after death?" (true story, not coerced).
So when I got up, I heard the story, and went looking (sorry - disposed of the mouse corpses - THEN went looking) for these moving soul-turds.
They were black, segmented, and obviously pupae of something. A quick Google turned up rodent bot fly larva
. It seems that these parasites - which grow to be as big as a mouse's head - live under the skin. They enter the mouse as tiny larvae, through the eyes, mouth or wound, and make their way to a spot under the skin, feeding off dead blood cells and serous fluid. Apparently, as far as parasites go, they do not harm or hamper their hosts much (other than being a lump the size of their head, I guess).
They had burrowed out once the mouse had died and its body temp had dropped. Normally, they would burrow into the ground, but not in my kitchen.
Why can't vermin just die nice and neatly? Why can't they dispose of themselves, so I don't have to get intimately acquianted with their life cycles?
And why, now that these two are dead, must I wait for the babies to emerge, hungry and easy pickin's for my traps?