Fighting Flies With Flies: An In-Depth Look at the 2016 Screwworm Outbreak Response in Florida

The eradication of the screwworm fly in the late 1950s has stood as a towering achievement in the history of insect pest management, in no small part because of how devastating C. hominivorax can be. It is decidedly not just any old fly. Mother screwworm flies lay their eggs in open wounds, and the maggots that hatch then gorge on exposed flesh. Wildlife, pets, and even humans can be targets, but the flies’ potential effect on livestock is most substantial; the United States saves an estimated $1.3 billion in damage to livestock every year by keeping the pest at bay.


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