Swedish wildlife

The Swedish Bolt Fly

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This post is sponsored by Stormin Norman, a pest control company in Phoenix, Arizona, that specializes in termite control and scorpion control.

Let’s explore the extreme differences between the bugs of Sweden and the bugs of Arizona.

Here in Arizona, the dreaded bug is the brown recluse. This nasty and awful spider is the spawning point of many a frightening tale of flesh eating creepy insects who can chew out an entire hole in a person’s arm or ankle or, better yet, their nose or cheek!!!

Okay, that is freaky and scary, but most of the United States are proud to boast of their own variety of brown recluse that is mean and cruel.

So how does snowy and freezing Sweden even compete against our warm and insect-inviting environment that exists through most of the year? Granted, Sweden lives half of its life in freezing cold snow and constant darkness, where bugs can barely survive, much less wreak havoc. But come spring, the bugs go as crazy and abundant as the grass, leaves and flowers (like Mother Nature KNOWS that her clock is ticking for a mere 6 months of regeneration!) all over Sweden.

Believe me, these bugs know crazy! We are talking mosquitoes galore, creepy crawlers unleashed and fly freaks darkening the skies! But Sweden is still able to claim an undisputed scary-as-all-get-out winner in the scary bug category, and it puts Arizona and the rest of the US to shame!

MEET THE BOT FLY OF SWEDEN!

Cephenemya stimulator
Bolt Fly
By Karsten Heinrich (& G. Kothe-Heinrich) (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
There are plenty of varieties of bot flies. Wikipedia provides the best definition by explaining that bot flies “are internal parasites of mammals, some species growing in the host’s flesh and others within the gut.” The Swedish bot fly puts all other members of their species to utter and complete shame.

This bad boy of bugs employs a particularly pernicious method of reproduction. After mating, the female (which looks remarkably similar to a bumble bee or a fat hairy fly) seeks out elk and moose and literally shoots out her already hatched larvae into the nose of their target. The little bugger babies inside then nestle into the snot upon which they feed (yes, completely GROSS!). After the sweet little bug bambinos grow large enough, they wiggle around and tickle the noses of their elk and moose carriers so that it makes them sneeze them out (along with a nice fat juicy and tasty mixture of snot and blood) for their next stage of growth to bot fly adulthood.

Well, guess what? Human eyes look way too much like elk and moose nostrils, so unhappy and surprised hikers within the Swedish forest have found themselves face-to-face with bot flies ready for stage two of their reproductive process. The bot flies see your eyeballs and says “Baby nest!” and discharges their load right into your cornea.

Victims have described the experience as similar to being slapped by a branch, but trees do not leave baby bugs in your face. Usually the attacked human ends up experiencing something similar to conjunctivitis but some hikers have ended up with bot fly eggs in their eyes.

The easiest way to avoid this potential health risk is to wave away any flying insect looking similar to a bumblebee that seems to be hovering in front of your face for an exceedingly long period of time.

To this I say “DUH!”

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The Author

SwedishFreak

SwedishFreak

Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.