Why Are There Maggots in My House?

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Maggots are fly larvae.

Although it may be uncomfortable to discuss, insects in the house are a common obstacle that every homeowner must face at one time or another. While it is not unusual to see a creepy crawler scooting along the sidewalk outside, an insect wriggling along the linoleum indoors is an unwelcome sight. Ants, spiders and flies are the usual household invaders. Maggots--not so much.


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What Are They?

To figure out why they are in your house, it's important to understand what maggots are and how they came to be. Simply put, maggots are fly larvae. Calliphorids or blow flies are the most common flies found in homes. Throughout its life cycle, a female fly can lay up to 2,400 eggs that hatch into creamy, spindle-shaped larvae.

Seek out the Source

If you are finding maggots in your house, it means that adult flies are finding something attractive in or around your home and laying eggs. In most cases, it is either household trash disposed of improperly or dog feces, according to the West Virginia University Extension. Sometimes a dead animal carcass is the culprit. The female fly lays eggs on the rotting garbage, dead animal or pet waste, then maggots emerge to feed on the decaying matter.


Focus on Sanitation

The only way to break the cycle and eliminate the maggots is to clean up whatever is attracting the flies. This usually means bagging all garbage and pet feces and properly disposing of it at a waste facility. If a wild animal carcass is the problem, a call to animal control can have the body carted away. After eliminating the maggot's food source, begin removing the maggots and flies. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any flies and maggots you see moving along the floor or hiding in wall crevices, floorboards or under rugs. Remove the vacuum bag immediately afterward and place it in a plastic garbage bag. Tie the bag tightly and throw it away.


Skip the Insecticides

The use of an insecticide to eliminate flies and maggots within the home is rarely appropriate and should only be a last resort if non-chemical methods fail. While an insecticide will hit its mark and bring down the fly and maggot population, the final result is not always ideal. Secondary pest infestations can sometimes occur after the use of a chemical insecticide; new pests may feed on the dead fly and maggot carcasses.


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Jonae Fredericks

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.