One of our readers just reached out to us about some white worms she found in her bed. She feels quite rattled by the presence of these organisms and wonders if she should be worried about them. She considers herself a clean person, and doesn’t know where they are coming from. Her sheets are new, and no food is ever eaten in the bed. She sent us a video of the white creatures moving across her floor. Here is a screenshot from the video:
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Our reader thinks these small white worm-like organisms might be maggots and we agree. Maggots are fly larvae, but people often use the word “maggot” to describe many different types of larvae. For example, grubs, which are beetle larvae, are often called maggots. So why are maggots in our reader’s home?
Adult female flies prefer to lay their eggs in dark, damp surfaces of decomposing organic material, like compost or manure. They can lay about five or six batches of eggs within a few days, and each batch can be up to 150 eggs. When the eggs hatch and the maggots emerge, they feed on the egg-laying site for a 3-5 days. When they are ready to pupate and mature into adult flies, the maggots travel from the egg-laying site to a dark undisturbed place. The pupation process occurs over 3-6 days. Just two days after they mature into adult flies, they are ready to lay eggs and begin the process again.
Since the fly reproduction cycle happens so quickly, our reader needs to focus on finding the food source and getting rid of it. So where is the decomposing organic material these larvae are feeding on? We suggest she search all of the trash cans in her house, and also under the bed and other large furniture items in case the dog or cat carried something in and stashed it. If the search leaves her empty handed, there is a chance that a rodent living in the walls died and is decomposing and that is where the maggots are coming from. Our reader can also call a professional in to examine the house and assess the situation.
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In summary, a reader found some white worm-like organisms in her bed. We believe they are probably maggots, but we don’t know exactly where they are coming from. Until she successfully finds their food source, we suggest she change her sheets for peace of mind at least!