We recently heard from a reader who returned from vacation to find some creatures crawling out of a pizza box that was left on the counter. She thought the pizza box was empty, but there was a single pepperoni slice that must have attracted visitors. This is what the specimen looks like:
She also provided a description: “They have a black mouth that goes in and out, and two small dots on their rear ends.” She wrote that she is very familiar with pantry moth larvae and does not think that is what she has found. When she first saw them, there were about 30 of these little guys wiggling around. She disposed of them and hasn’t seen any since. We believe that the pepperoni was the food source for these creatures, so it is likely that since she has thrown it out and cleaned up, they won’t be back. Regardless, she is still curious what they are!
We believe these are maggots, or fly larvae. Maggots eat rotten meats and dead animals, so the decaying pepperoni slice makes sense as a food source. Getting rid of maggots also entails getting rid of their adult form, house flies! Our reader can keep flies out of her home by keeping the screens down when her windows are open, and making sure windows and doorways are properly sealed. Since our reader knows the food source for these larvae and doesn’t have to hunt for it, she shouldn’t have too much trouble getting rid of them.
To conclude, a reader found some cream colored worm-like organisms in her home after returning from vacation. We believe that what she discovered was maggots.
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