Rat-Tailed Maggots Found in Toilet Bowl

We received a short message and a photograph from one of our readers. He explained that he discovered a certain specimen on 3 occasions in his toilet bowl. He wants to know what the creature is and if there is anything he should be doing about its presence. The specimen is small and light brown. It has a round body and a thin appendage coming from its body:

We are confident that this specimen is a rat-tailed maggot. A rat-tailed maggot is another name for the larvae of some species of hoverflies (maggots are the general name for all fly larvae.) Most rat-tailed maggots that our readers deal with are drone fly larvae. Drone fly larvae typically live in stagnant water with low oxygen levels and high organic content. The thin appendage that is coming off of the maggot’s body is not a tail, rather it is a tube-like breathing siphon that lets the specimen breathe while submerged under murky waters. Rat-tail maggots can tolerate polluted waters, so their homes are often pretty gross. They live in sewage lagoons, wet carrion (the decaying flesh of dead animals), open latrines, liquid cow manure, and toilets.

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So, how should our reader deal with these maggots? Well, rat-tailed maggots are generally harmless, but we assume he would prefer they stop appearing in his toilet. Getting rid of these maggots is fairly easy. He will simply need to scrub out his toilet to remove any potential food sources. He should use a cleaning agent that is designed to kill organic matter and a pipe cleaning brush. Once the toilet is properly cleaned, there shouldn’t be any more maggots!

To conclude, one of our readers discovered a brown worm-like organism in his toilet. We have identified this creature as a rat-tailed maggot.

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Rat-Tailed Maggots Found in Toilet Bowl
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Rat-Tailed Maggots Found in Toilet Bowl
One of our readers discovered a brown worm-like organism in his toilet. We have identified this creature as a rat-tailed maggot.

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