Those sores on squirrels in the yard are likely bot flies, an especially gross invader

Life can be tough for a squirrel — pets chase them, they are thwarted from feasting on bird feeders, they get run over by cars and bikes when they act squirrely by zig-zagging across roads and trails.
But a parasite that can afflict them is especially troublesome — the tree squirrel bot fly larvae.
Summer is the time when people may notice lesions or sacs on squirrels when they are rooting for scraps under feeders or darting nearby for that tossed apple core.
Scratching is another tell-tale sign of a larval invasion.
The larvae are on vegetation and make their way into the squirrels through their mouths or nostrils. It’s fairly common to see squirrels right now have those warbles or open wounds, which is the fly larva buried underneath. If there are a lot of them, they can be fatal.
Tree squirrel bot flies undergo complete metamorphosis — egg, larva, pupa and adult.
Eggs are laid on twigs, branches and vegetation so there is plenty of opportunity for the larvae to find squirrels to invade.
Squirrels that are not in the best shape to begin with may be easier to infest. When a squirrel gets stressed and doesn’t eat well — it eats pizza crusts — it has a tough time fighting them off. So if you see a squirrel with a lot of them, there are probably other things going on.
Infestations usually end in the fall.
Lots of species of bot flies exist and a squirrel infestation does not pose any danger to people.
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