Maggots are something people don’t like to see in or around their home. Generally white and resembling a worm or caterpillar, most maggots have a tendency to “gross out” even the toughest of men. In most cases you will see hundreds if not thousands at one location and the way they move makes it appear as though 10 times as many are actually present.
If you’ve seen them in your garbage or out in the yard, you know the feeling. Well, this article will help shed some light on this misunderstood insect and offer various options on how to treat local infestations.
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Maggots are almost always the young of some type of insect. Most commonly the young of some specie of fly, maggots could be young beetles, moths or many other local or common insects.
Virtually all insects hatch out young which will start its life as some type of worm-like creature. Fly larva – or maggots as they are more commonly known – will almost always be white. They might have a tan, brown or black head but most people just see white. This is due to the sheer numbers that most people happen upon when they first find activity in or around the home. Since many insects will start out in this form, there is no common size nor location where they may be found.
MAGGOT PROBLEMS – WHAT DO THEY EAT?
Maggots are generally associated with either garbage or a dead animal. However, they can readily feed on almost anything organic. This list includes but is not limited to carpeting, wallpaper, pet food, bird seed, pets, couches, clothing, furniture, pet hair, people hair, live animals, plants, fruit, vegetables, cooked meat or food, compost piles and will live just about anywhere in the home or immediately adjacent to it.
Though maggots serve to “recycle” most any type of garbage or other decaying matter, most people don’t want them in and/or around the house because they’re unsanitary and unsightly.
The following video is quite graphic but it shows what filth flies do when then find a dead animal. Basically they’ll ingest any liquids on the carcass they can find and start laying eggs. These eggs will soon hatch maggots which will in turn devour the carcass, spin pupae cocoons and change to the adult fly before emerging.
MAGGOTS SERVER A PURPOSE
As hard as it may be to understand, maggots actually serve a vital function. Nature has a way of finding a place for most all living creatures and maggots are no different. They are clearly responsible for the recycling of most anything which is considered waste. There are even maggots which are so highly specialized that they can only eat certain types of food! These species are so highly developed that the adult stage will actively seek out the special food requirement their young must have and only when such a food supply is found will they lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larva (maggot) doesn’t even have to search for food
MAGGOT LIFE CYCLE
Most maggots will feed for a few days to a few weeks, depending on species, and then migrate away from the food supply to seek a good location to undergo metamorphosis. This is the stage during which the “maggot” turns into the adult. This usually occurs inside a cocoon or shell like case in which the insect will literally transform to a fly. Once this stage is complete – which could take a week, a month or even a year – the adult will emerge with generally only two things in mind: first to find a mate and second, reproduce.
Since there are many things in and around the home which can serve as food for maggots, all it takes is a fertile adult female laying some eggs and a local infestation will develop. In general, the faster the food supply is likely to go bad and rot, the faster the life cycle of the maggots which will want to eat it. For example, over ripe fruit and vegetables may attract several types of flies which will be able to complete their life cycles in under one week. Maggots may only need to feed for a day or two which insures the species will propagate – even if there is only a limited amount of food on which to feed.
On the other hand, fly maggots, like Blow Flies, will feed for a slightly longer time. Generally this type of maggot will feed on dead animals. They are commonly found in homes which had an animal die somewhere inaccessible although most any carrion in the wild will be found by blowflies within a few minutes of death.
Animals dying inside is quite common due to the use of rodenticide and the mistaken belief that the mice or rats that eat it will “go outside to seek water” or “dry up when they die so they don’t release odors”. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, the most common cause of maggot problems in the home is due to flies which have been attracted to the rotting corpse of some animal. And the most common animal they are finding are either rats, mice or squirrels with the most common cause of the animals death being contributed to the use of a rodenticide.
MAGGOTS PROBLEMS IN THE HOME
When maggots are found in or around the home, they are usually found in one or two stages. Stage one is when the maggots are found on the food they need to eat. This many times will be a dead animal that has died in the attic, crawl space, under a deck, in the wall or some other area attracting flies inside the structure. Once dead, the animal will begin to decay. This process releases gases and odors which naturally attract flies and other insects. These insects will start laying eggs on the body and larva could hatch in as little as a day or two.
If the dead animal is large enough, the inhabitants of the structure will detect its presence because the smell will become stronger with every passing day. At some point there will a search for the source of the odor and if the animal is found, don’t be surprised to find a lot of maggots as well.
MAGGOTS ACTIVE IN EVERY ROOM
Stage two maggot infestations are when you don’t actually see the maggots when they are feeding. Instead, you happen to find them migrating through your home. In most cases, dozens of maggots will be seen crawling around without a clear destination or direction. They could be on the floor, furniture, under appliances, on the walls or just about anywhere in the home. This type of infestation is basically when the maggots are relocating from their source of food to where they want to stage their metamorphosis to become adults. Since small amounts of food can serve to enable many maggots to grow, it is not always detectable what could be feeding them. Many times a piece of meat or some other food can fall behind or under an area in the kitchen where it remains hidden. Its odor may be slight enough to avoid human detection but most any fly or other insect will certainly find it
When you have stage two maggot activity, your best approach at stopping the problem is to use a broadcast spray. These come in two forms and can be safely applied over carpets, furniture, cement and other areas where maggots are seen.
The simplest option is to spot treat with MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER. This product is safe enough to spray all carpeting, baseboards and even furniture..
One can will be enough to treat the average 1500 sq/ft once and should be applied as needed. When maggots are on the move, they can often times “surge” back within 2-3 days of a treatment.. In general, treating the room with activity is all you will need to focus on but be careful; if they show up in any other room, get them treated too.
For large scale problems where you’re seeing them appearing on walls, flooring, carpets, furniture, ceilings, etc, get our BITHOR concentrate. Its odorless, can be sprayed or wiped over all these surfaces and will provide long term control of invading maggots.
Mix 1.5 oz of Bithor per gallon of water and plan on using the mixed gallon over 800-1000 sq/ft of flooring. Treat weekly until all activity stops. In general, one thorough application will stop the problem unless the source is unknown and coming from a hidden space or outside.
Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply the Defense and make sure you get uniform and equal coverage over all surfaces.
MAGGOTS IN THE SINK OR TUB
When maggots show up in your sink or bathroom tub, it usually means there is a food source close to the drain or down the drain line. Animals tend to die close to water and drain lines can many times “trap” or harbor small animals that die and become maggot infested. Drain lines are attached to sewer lines and animals will routinely forage “up” drain lines and eventually end up in your tub or sink. If they can’t escape, they can get trapped and die. Additionally, many food items and organic matter common to any drain line can feed maggots. All it takes is one fly laying eggs on this potential food source and a local problem can develop.
To treat maggots when emerging from your drain line, first try to remove anything organic that might be reachable. Next, treat with with LEMON AIR DRAIN LINE TREATMENT. This unique “lemon fresh” concentrate can be safely used down the drain to control a wide range of insects including flies.
Mix 2 oz per gallon of water and treat in the evening before retiring. Use the whole gallon and be sure it can sit without running the water for at least 6 hours.
Plan on treating once a week until the problem is over; treating every 2-3 months insures they won’t come back. This is smart during the summer/warm months for your region.
MAGGOTS COMING FROM UNDER CONCRETE CEMENT, DECKS OR PATIOS
Since organic matter can easily accumulate under cement, it’s not uncommon to have maggots coming out of cracks found in sidewalks, patios and other cement slabs in or around the home. In some cases water or some other natural carrier is depositing organic material under the cement. In other cases, mold and algae are living under the cement feeding maggots which are then foraging out and in somce cases, into living spaces.
For small areas, treat all cracks and gaps with FS-MP AEROSOL. This product is fast working and penetrates deep into voids when injected. Maggots will die quickly when sprayed directly with this product and residuals will last 1-2 weeks. Pump cracks for 5-10 seconds to ensure you get enough applied. Plan on retreating as needed if they should reappear. But if you are thorough, you can knock them out with one thorough application.
MAGGOTS IN CARS
Since most everyone will bring food into their car, we commonly get calls from people who have maggots in their auto. Flies will routinely get inside the cab and if left trapped for a day, might lay eggs. Days later, maggots will be active in the carpeting and up under the seats. The first thing you need to do for these infestations is to vacuum the car thoroughly. This will help remove maggot food, eggs and pupae but it won’t solve the problem.
To make sure they don’t come back, mist MULTI PUPOSE INSECT KILLING AEROSOL over all the floor mats, under seats and trunk space. When used properly, MultiPurpose Insect Killer will go on “dry” and won’t be noticeable leaving no odor. Plan on treating every night for 1 week (assuming you use the vehicle during the day) and be sure to treat late at night so the treatment can sit for several hours undisturbed.
One can will be plenty to solve the problem no matter how bad it might be as long as your thorough.
MAGGOTS ON PETS
Since maggots love meat, flies will readily target animals when feeding and for egg laying. Pets who are well maintained won’t develop problems. But if your pet is kept outside or gets a small wound, they can become a host for fly maggots.
In fact its fairly common to have maggots suddenly appear on otherwise healthy dogs or cats. This will generally happen during the warm summer months and seems to occur more on pets which are kept outside. Animals with long hair can hide the maggots so its easy to miss their presence.
But don’t be careless. If left untreated, maggots on dogs or cats can be life threatening. This can happen due to deadly toxins that will be absorbed by the infested pet. These toxins will eventually put the animal into a state of shock which will require immediate veterinary action. For this reason its imperative that maggots on dogs, cats, livestock or other “pets” be treated using one of the options below.
HOW TO TREAT MAGGOTS ON PETS
The most direct approach is to use TRIPLE PYRETHRIN SHAMPOO. Commonly used for fleas and ticks, this pyrethrin based shampoo will kill active maggots and remove their food. One good bath should purge them of the problem.
After the pet is shampooed, plan on maintaining them the rest of the season by scheduling regular baths and treating their fur in between baths.
A good product to use in conjunction with the Pyrethrin shampoo is WATER BASED PERMETHRIN. This ready to use formulation is very gentle and well suited for pets with skin conditions. This formulation is still strong enough to keep away biting pests but since its water based, it won’t bother or irritate your pets skin. Plan on using it as needed; once a week is usually enough but if you’re in an area with a lot of pest pressure, treat more throughout the week.
GENTLE PET SHAMPOO AND SPRAY FOR PETS WITH MAGGOTS
For pest with super sensitive skin who have maggot issues, try MELALEUCA SHAMPOO to start. This super gentle shampoo will dislodge maggots and maggot eggs but its also medicinal. Shampooing will actually promote the healing process of wounds and sores as well as help take away some of the “itch” your pet will naturally feel. Taking away the irritation and itch on the animal is key to getting it healed.
In between shampoos, treat the pets skin with OXY MED. This is easy to use and only a little bit will go a long way. Designed to stop the itch, Oxy Med will help the healing process by stopping your pet from scratching and irritating itself. Scratching is often times counterproductive and can inhibit the natural healing needed.
First, the Pyrethrin will quickly kill off any live maggots which were not removed during the bathing of the animal. Second, the Permethrin will leave a 1-2 week residual on the skin and fur of the animal. This residual action will kill off any maggots that hatch during this time to prevent further infestations on the pet. Also, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO USE AN OIL BASED SPRAY ON THE HOST PET. Oil will not only irritate the pets skin, it will prevent proper healing and only lead to more discomfort and problems. You must only use a Water Based material like our spray detailed above. And if the animal is covered with maggots, be sure to spray it down prior to washing with the Melaleuca. This will help with the removal of them during the bath because dead maggots will wash away a lot easier then live ones. You will have to retreat the pet once dry but a good spraying will allow for better and faster results when dealing with active maggots on pets.
MAGGOTS IN THE GARDEN?
Another common place maggots will appear is in the garden. People commonly recycle a range of “waste” as fertilizer. Such formulations will readily attract flies which means maggots will follow. Animal manure sold in the market will often times contain fly eggs and only need be set out for them to get active.
If you’re dealing with maggots on your vegetables and want to save your crops from further damage, treat with VEGETABLES PLUS PERMETHRIN. Its odorless, labeled for yielding plants and will quickly kill off all damaging insects.
Add 1/2 oz per gallon of water and lightly spray all affected plants and soak the ground underneath them too. When done properly, Veg Plus will quickly kill active maggots and keep flies away so new ones don’t have a chance to develop.
For organic gardeners, use MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER. It’s approved for organic gardening and has just one day to harvest.
Add 4 oz per gallon of water when spraying for maggots and treat as needed. This could be as often as once a week or just once a month.
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