Florida Bride Discovers Maggot Burrowed In Her Groin

maggot istock
Representative image of maggots. iStock

A woman from Florida discovered a maggot in her groin after returning from her honeymoon in Belize. The human botfly larvae appears to have burrowed into her skin when she went horse riding during the holiday—and it was only removed months later after the lesion it caused did not heal.

The 36-year-old visited her doctor two months after coming back from Belize, her physicians wrote in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. "She stated that she might have been bitten by an insect… While she was in Belize, she went horseback riding after which she found a tick on her back. She removed the tick immediately and states that it was present on her for no more than an hour." She was prescribed antibiotics but the wound did not fully heal.

The woman then went to see specialists at Tampa General Hospital. Doctors found there was a small swollen area on her groin that leaks clear fluid when squeezed. She told them previous attempts to remove a foreign body or hair had not been successful. Initially, she was referred to a dermatologist, but she was not satisfied with this so got a second opinion from physicians at the Memorial Hospital.

The lesion and botfly larvae removed from the woman's groin. Journal of Investigative Medicine

It was here doctors found a "small hard mass" under the swollen area and performed surgery to remove it. "The foreign object was subsequently sent to pathology for identification and analysis. Pathology identified the object as a human botfly larva," the report said. "With the larva removed, the lesion completely resolved by the patient's follow-up visit at the wound care facility a week later."

The human botfly is native to Tropical America. In this region, it is "quite common" for larvae to infest under the skin. Explaining how cases like this are often resolved in these areas, the authors said: "Local residents in Belize suffocate the larvae by applying occlusive substances, for example, placing petroleum jelly, bacon strips, nail polish, or plant extracts over the central punctum. Several hours after occlusion the larvae will emerge head-first seeking air, at which time, tweezers may be used to physically extract it or apply pressure around the cavity aiding in the larvae expulsion."