“Please see the larva, it’s near the sink and carpet”, writes Ravi about the cream white, worm-like creature pictured below. “We used to put our carpet outside in the sun for a couple of days. I have a couple of pictures. If you can identify this and let me know what precautions I should take.” Now, a cream white exterior and darkly-colored head is about the most generic physical appearance of a larva: so many species of moths, beetles, flies, and other insects have larvae that look like this. However, given the squared-off rear and tiny, black streak near its head, we think this most resembles a housefly larva, otherwise known as a maggot.
When most people hear the word ‘maggot’, they squirm, and for good reason; a lot of people associate maggots with rotten food or decomposing corpses. We don’t mean to get so macabre, but this is the reality, however unpleasant it sounds. We should note that the term ‘maggot’ actually refers to all species of fly larvae, not specifically housefly larvae. But generally speaking, maggots feed on decomposing organic matter, and in doing so help break down those organic materials so that they decompose faster, and so that fresh nutrients can be returned to the earth and fertilize new growth. As gross as people may find them, maggots play an essential role in the environment.
In Ravi’s case, it’s not entirely clear why the maggots specifically ended up by his sink or carpet. Maybe there’s a bit of food stuck in the sink drain that the larvae are munching on? Or maybe the source of the infestation (provided there is one) is somewhere else, and the maggots are roaming now, having made it to the sink and to the carpet? In any case, we can recommend some precautions when it comes to keeping worms out of one’s sink, off one’s carpets, and out of one’s home in general. Cleaning one’s drain regularly helps discourage worm-like creatures from appearing in them: many species of bugs and worms feed on decomposing organic matter, which quickly starts to build up in drains. Likewise, vacuuming one’s carpets and rugs regularly keeps insect and worm eggs from hatching on them and starting infestations in the home. Additionally, ensuring that one’s window screens are intact, as well as caulking any sizable cracks in the floors and walls, will help prevent bug-like creatures from being able to enter the home.
To conclude, we think it’s possible that the white, worm-like critters Ravi has been finding near his sink and on his carpet are housefly larvae. They are not dangerous, though any maggot-infested foods should not be eaten as they can spread Salmonella, E. Coli, and other harmful bacteria. We hope this helps, and we wish Ravi the very best.
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