How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms? What You Need To Know!

How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms

Last Updated on October 28, 2023 by Fumipets

How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms? Unraveling the Mystery


Mango worms, scientifically known as Cordylobia anthropophaga, are parasitic larvae that can infest dogs and cause distress. In this exploration, we uncover the mysteries surrounding how dogs contract mango worms, the implications for their health, and how to prevent these infestations.

The Mango Worm Phenomenon

Mango worms are the larvae of a type of fly, and they typically infest mammals in tropical regions. These tiny larvae burrow into the skin of their hosts, causing discomfort and potential health issues for dogs.

1. How Do Mango Worms Infect Dogs?

Mango worms infect dogs when the adult female fly, after mating, lays eggs on clothing or in the environment. When the dog comes into contact with contaminated surfaces, the eggs can adhere to their fur and skin. The heat from the dog’s body then hatches the eggs, and the larvae burrow into the skin.

2. Where Are Mango Worms Common?

Mango worms are prevalent in tropical regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, they can also be found in parts of South America and Asia.

3. What Health Risks Do Mango Worms Pose to Dogs?

Infestations of mango worms can cause various health issues in dogs, including skin infections, abscesses, and discomfort. In severe cases, they may lead to systemic infections, so early detection and removal are crucial.

4. How Can Mango Worm Infestations Be Prevented?

Preventing mango worm infestations involves keeping dogs away from environments where the adult flies may be present. This includes avoiding contact with contaminated soil, sand, and clothing.

5. How Should Mango Worms Be Removed?

If a dog is infested with mango worms, it’s essential to seek veterinary care for safe and effective removal. Attempting to extract them at home can lead to complications and infections.

In summary, mango worm infestations in dogs occur when they come into contact with eggs laid by the adult female fly. These parasites can lead to various health issues and should be prevented by avoiding contaminated environments. If a dog becomes infested, professional veterinary care is necessary for safe removal and treatment.

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The Mango Worm

It sounds like something out of a horror film: itchy boils that burst into crawling maggots. Mango worms, though, are all too real. Mango worms are an African parasite that affects dogs and other animals. They are sometimes referred to as mangoworms or tumbu worms. When dogs tread in a puddle containing freshly hatched worms, the worms begin to burrow into the host dog’s skin and begin their development into mango flies within 25 seconds. Infestations of mango worms result in uncomfortable boils that may get infected or acquire other illnesses, although they are often not deadly.

What Are Mango Worms

The larvae of the mango or tumbu fly are known as mango worms. They originate from Central Africa, where they thrive in hot, humid climates that may be either tropical or subtropical. Although mango flies are mostly found in Africa, they have sometimes been transferred by travelers to other regions of the globe. The larvae and eggs may travel in baggage and spread infestations outside of their natural habitat since they are known to crawl inside garments.

The parasitic mango worms live under the skin of their host animal until they are ready to pupate. A mango worm infestation will often cause significant pain and suffering as the worms develop, followed by a high risk of infection. Mango worms may delve further into the tissues in extreme instances, causing gangrene, life-threatening infections, and death.

Life Cycle of Mango Fly

Eggs are laid by adult mango flies in groups of 100 to 300 at a time. Typically, eggs are placed in feces-contaminated dry sand or in clothes that have been left on the ground. Without a microscope, mango fly eggs can hardly be seen because of their tiny size. Within three days, the eggs hatch, and the little worms spend several days waiting for a host to arrive. They wave about while waiting for anything to touch them as they wait close to the sand’s surface. The worms begin tunneling into the skin of an animal when it sits or walks on the sand. They can more readily penetrate thin skin than thick skin, which puts smaller and younger pets and humans at higher risk.

Mango worms feed on the inner skin of their host for 1-2 weeks after they have found a host, staying just below the skin’s surface. They are initially mild and almost invisible, but as time passes, a painful boil will develop on each mango worm. The boil will have a little hole in the middle and be solid and red in color. As the worm develops, it will molt many times, and the boil will start to fill with pus.

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The mango worm will finally erupt from its boil and drop to the ground when it is ready to pupate. It will pupate during the next weeks, changing from a maggoty worm to an adult fly.

Mango Worm Prevention

It might be challenging to defend your dog if you are in a region where there are many mango flies, but there are steps you can do. Maintain a feces-free environment and get rid of anything that can attract flies, including decaying fruit. To keep flies at bay, use insect repellent whenever feasible.

Avoid putting bedding or clothes on the ground as mango worms might deposit their eggs in it. To destroy eggs and larvae, dry clothing and bedding on high heat if at all feasible, or often iron clothing and bedding.

Mango flies must be eliminated at all phases of their life cycles. During the hottest times of the day, adult mango flies often rest on ceilings where they might be destroyed. They are most active between dawn and evening. Mango flies may be killed when they pupate as well. A mango worm boil should be destroyed if any worms are taken from it.

Use the same preventative advice as above if you are going to a region where mango worms are a problem. All clothes and baggage should be completely cleaned once you get home. Use the hottest setting for washing and drying your items.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Mango Worms?

Examining travel history is the first step in determining the identity of mango worms. Your dog may be at risk for infection if you reside in or have recently visited a region where endemic mango worms are present. They are indigenous to East Africa, South Africa, and Uganda, however there have been sporadic incidences in other nations, including the United States. Check your dog’s skin carefully for any potential lumps or boils.

Infestations with mango worms begin as little red bumps that normally go away before a bigger boil develops. These boils have a tiny hole or opening in the centre that may exude fluid and are hard and reddish in color. The whole region may become sensitive and inflamed if there are several worms close together. Finding and removing a worm allows for visual identification, which is the most reliable method of conclusively identifying mango worms.

How to Treat Mango Worms

If you suspect your dog has mango worms, speak with your veterinarian for advice on how to handle the infection. Removing mango worms from the body is the best approach to get rid of them. There are several ways to do this. Some individuals cover the boils with petroleum jelly or wax in an effort to suffocate the worms. The worms are forced to wiggle out as a result of the air supply being shut off.

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Additionally, you may squeeze the worms out, particularly later in the infestation. The worm may be forced out by pinching the sides of the boil as if you were popping a pimple. Tweezers may help with thorough worm removal. However, you should be careful to get rid of the whole worm since if any of it is left in the skin, it might decay and lead to other problems.

The next step is to treat the wound with antibiotics after getting rid of the worms. The boils should be cleaned with an antibiotic solution. An oral antibiotic may also be advised by your veterinarian.

It could be a little expensive to treat your dog for parasites like mango worms, but you might be able to handle the expense with decent pet insurance.

Consider Lemonade if you’re thinking about getting pet health insurance. This organization provides comprehensive, adaptable insurance along with friendly customer service.

Can I get Mango Worms from my Dog?

All species of animals, including humans, are targeted by mango worms. Mango worms do not move from one host to another; once they are inside a person, they remain there. Therefore, your dog won’t infect you with mango worms.

However, it is possible to obtain them from the same source if your dog has already had a mango worm infection. Mango worm infections in people and canines are comparable. The same preventative measures outlined above can help shield you and other people from the parasite if your dog contracts mango worms.


Dogs, people, and other animals may get the severe and lethal parasite known as mango worms. Take the necessary measures if you reside in an area where mango flies are a problem or if you have trip plans through such a region. Although mango worms seldom cause harm, this does not imply that they may be ignored.

Even if your dog escapes the agonizing death that may result from severe infestations, he or she will endure excruciating agony, infection, and a higher chance of illness. So much agony may be avoided by taking a few simple actions to stave against infection.


Frequently Asked Questions 


What are mango worms, and how do dogs contract them?

Mango worms are the larvae of a type of fly. Dogs contract them when they come into contact with surfaces contaminated by the eggs laid by adult female flies. The heat from the dog’s body hatches these eggs, and the larvae burrow into the skin.


Where are mango worms commonly found, and is my dog at risk of getting them?

Mango worms are prevalent in tropical regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Dogs in these areas are at a higher risk of contracting mango worms. However, the infestation can occur in other parts of the world, so awareness is essential.


What health risks do mango worms pose to dogs?

A3: Mango worm infestations can lead to skin infections, abscesses, and discomfort for dogs. In severe cases, they may even result in systemic infections. Therefore, early detection and removal are crucial to prevent health complications.


How can I prevent my dog from getting mango worms?

To prevent mango worm infestations, keep your dog away from environments where the adult flies might be present. This includes avoiding contact with contaminated soil, sand, and clothing that may carry the eggs.


What should I do if I suspect my dog has mango worms, and how are they removed?

If you suspect your dog has mango worms, it’s crucial to seek professional veterinary care for their safe and effective removal. Attempting to extract them at home can lead to complications and infections, so a veterinarian’s expertise is essential.




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