9 Intriguing Questions About Maggots

In life, there are very few things that are capable of triggering disgust, such as the sight of maggots as they writhe through decomposing road kill or rotting food. But did you know that despite they are some of the unsung heroes in nature?

A maggot happens to be a fly’s larval stage. By working with bacteria, they’re able to break down things that are already dead easily. Some of the additional services provided by maggots include healing wounds and assisting in solving crimes.

Here are some more common questions that you may have about these intriguing but disgusting creatures!

9 Common Questions About Maggots

The following is a look at some of the most common questions about maggots

What Do Maggots Eat?

What do maggots eat is a very common question. But the answer is not as simple as you would expect. There exist different types of maggots, with each type preferring a particular type of habitat.

Taking the time to understand what they need to thrive and survive can help you get a better understanding of their preferred habitats.

Some maggots thrive in water pools, others in rotten meat, and others in vegetables and fruit. Fruit fly vegetables are the most common and are found in any location with rotting food, such as cleaning materials and garbage containers.

Are Maggots Dangerous?

Maggots can pose a hazard to both animals and human beings if they get on your body or if you ingest them. Maggots can permeate living tissue via a condition that is commonly referred to as Myiasis.

The condition is not very common in the United States, mainly in tropical areas such as Africa and South America. Even though the condition is hazardous to people, doctors often use it to treat wounds with rotting flesh.

Do Maggots Come Out At Night?

Maggots have been known to respond to odors and light. While they’re not the most sophisticated creatures around, some studies have indicated that they possess the ability to react to light and smell particular aromas.

A fruit fly maggot isn’t able to view distinct images, but it does possess what is known as Bolwig organs.

These are eye-like photoreceptors. The receptors make it possible for them to detect brightness. Researchers have recently discovered that there are maggots with light-sensing cells along the length of their bodies. The cells ensure that the maggots aren’t exposed to too much light.

Do Maggots Bite?

No, maggots don’t bite. This is because they don’t have any teeth. In its place is a set of modified mandibles also known as “mouth hooks.” Maggots also have various rough bumps all over their bodies which are used to poke and scratch at dead tissue, making it easier to remove from the body.

When applied to your body during therapy, they tend to be so small that you cannot even feel them. This is, however, bound to change as they begin to grow. You will feel them moving inside your wound.

Can Maggots Climb?

In a bid to find a new place to pupate, the maggots can venture for a distance of up to fifty feet away from their current source of food.

You are likely to come across them crawling on walls, across a floor, on garbage cans, or even on the ground. They are more prone to crawl on a building’s wall if there’s a trash can sitting next to the wall in question.

Can Maggots Drown?

Maggots tend to have enormous appetites. This means that they can only live in a place where they have a good food supply, i.e., rotting food material. This will include rotting food, garbage cans, and carcasses. In any case, a fly can only lay its egg in such an environment. By the time it lays its eggs, it will have already broken down the organic material.

It’s important to note that a maggot can reside in water. As such, you should forget about trying to drown them in an attempt to get rid of them. There are better ways to get rid of maggots.

Can Maggots Swim?

Some maggots can swim in pool water. They’re attracted to the pool due to its moisture.

Often, the maggots breed in a dead animal matter before finding their way into your pool.

Do Maggots Have Eyes?

Did you know that fruit larvae spend a large portion of their lives headfirst devouring the yeast in the fruit? If a maggot can’t see the sun, it becomes easier for it to shrivel when it comes into contact with the elements.

Luckily for them, maggots have eyes all over their bodies, including at the back of their heads.

Researchers have established that larvae have green-sensitive cells running along the length of their bodies. These cells are susceptible to bright sunshine, enabling the maggots to hide inside a fruit before the heat can desiccate it.

Do Maggots Carry Diseases?

Maggots can carry disease. They spend most of their time crawling around in rotting meat, garbage, and other rotting materials, which makes this a possibility.

This means that if the media in question is infected, the maggot can carry the disease. There are maggots, e.g., the black soldier fly larvae that contain an antibiotic that helps them remain sterile.


Maggots are both heroes and pests. While some can eat rotting flesh to help a wound heal, others are known to cause havoc to crops.

It all depends on the type of maggot that you have come across.

The above 9 questions should help you get a better understanding of maggots.


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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