What Is the Difference Between Maggots and Larvae?

Maggots and larvae are the same thing. Maggots are the “larval phase” of insects such as flies. Although you have likely seen maggots in garbage cans and on dead animals outdoors, maggots can actually hatch just about anywhere, even indoors.

Maggots (larvae) typically come from the common housefly, beetles, and moths. The insect lays its eggs in garbage or some other rotting, moist material such as a dead animal. In approximately eight to 20 hours after the insect has laid its eggs, the eggs hatch, releasing hundreds of tiny larvae. The tiny larvae typically measure one and ¼ to one and ½ inches. The larvae are usually creamy white to bright white in color.

UPDATE! All About Worms has partnered with HealthLabs so that
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required
! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!

Maggot infestations can be quite dangerous as they can burrow into the skin and intestines, and cause damage to vital organs. They can also cause lesions. If you have an infestation and you are trying to get rid of maggots, spraying them with insecticide, dousing them with hydrochloric acid or pouring salt over them just won’t work. Maggots are smart, tough, and they are born with ferocious appetites for rotting material.

Maggots have to feed from several days up to several weeks, which is why they are not too eager to leave their birthplace. After they are finished feeding, maggots will migrate to a dry place, typically outdoors, to hatch into the adult fly, beetle, or moth. Therefore, the only way to get rid of them sooner is to kill them.

The first thing you should do to get rid of maggots is remove all food sources. This means the trash, the dead animal or other rotting material. One of the best poisons for maggot is permethrin. Permethrin kills maggots and any other insects on contact. This synthetic chemical is a neurotoxin that works by disabling the neuron membranes. It is important to note that permethrin is dangerous to household pets such as fish and cats. Other ways to get rid of maggots include:

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did we provide for you today?:

· Pouring boiling hot water over the maggots
· If you have an aquarium and if you are not squeamish, you can scoop them up and feed them to fish
· Powdered poisons formulated specifically for maggots
· Drano and hot water

To prevent maggots, the best thing and the easiest thing you can do is tie up all garbage tightly. Never leave meats or other foods out in the open for too long, especially when it is warm. Flies and maggots love warm weather. All it takes is one fly to lay hundreds of eggs and eight to 20 hours and you could end up with a full-blown infestation in your home or trashcan.

While maggots are considered gross and dirty, they are commonly used in the medical world to clean wounds! Maggot therapy has been used in the medical world since ancient times and it is currently being used in medical centers throughout the United States and Europe. Also called larval therapy and Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT), maggot therapy uses live, disinfected maggots to eat the dead tissue on non-healing skin or the soft tissue of humans and animals. The maggots do not touch the live tissue. During the process of eating away dead tissue, the maggots discharge powerful antibiotics, which help treat the wound.

Leave a Comment (but to submit a question please use the "Submit a Question" link above; we can't respond to questions posted as a comment)

Menu / Search

All About Worms