How Are Maggots Formed And How To Get Rid Of Them Forever | Kidadl


How Are Maggots Formed And How To Get Rid Of Them Forever

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Maggots are conically shaped, worm-like creatures.

They are eggs of flies. All maggots are light-colored and look the same.

It is hard to tell the species of flies by taking a look at maggots. Flies lay their eggs on a food source, which develop into maggots in just a few hours. Maggots have two hook-like structures that help them eat food. The human body and animal body are two of the most common hosts. Maggots feed on the flesh and tissues of the host and create an infection. These infections are usually not serious. Most of the time, the larva is dead due to the presence of juices in our stomachs. They are then discarded through feces. But this does not mean the victims can heal on their own. Victims need immediate treatment. If left untreated, maggots within the human body can be life-threatening. To get rid of maggots, you can always seek the help of pest control services. To know more about maggots in food and maggots in human organs, keep reading.

Once you have finished reading this article, check out our other articles on how are seashells made and what are shower onions.

What are maggots?

Maggots are baby flies or fly larvae. The larvae of Brachycera flies are mainly referred to as maggots.

Maggots are more common during the summer seasons and in hot areas. They are mainly found in garbage bags, food waste, and dead animals. The insect eggs only take a few hours to reach the larvae stage. Female flies lay multiple batches of eggs every two to three days, with each batch containing 100-150 eggs. The eggs hatch when the temperature is warm. Maggots look like tiny light-colored worms. They have soft bodies with no legs. Maggots find food in the area where they are laid. This is why female flies usually lay eggs on a garbage can or waste stale material. Female flies also lay their eggs on open wounds. These areas are seen as a potential food source. Once the maggots are well fed, they start to pupate. The duration of the pupal stage depends on the climate. Flies emerge quickly during the summer seasons. Adult flies start the life cycle again and multiply rapidly. This is why a maggot infestation can be a serious problem. You must kill maggots and treat the infested areas immediately.

Though maggots are a pest, they can still be useful in some ways.

Medical Field: Maggots can save lives. Yes, you read it right. Maggots are widely used in the medical field. Maggots of certain species are being used in maggot therapy. Larvae of calliphorid flies of the species Phaenicia sericata are the only maggots that are marketed in the US. Maggots are used in debridement therapy, which is a procedure for treating wounds. Maggots used for this therapy feed on rotting flesh. They eat all the dead tissues, which stimulate the growth of fresh tissues. They only feed on rotting flesh and leave the fresh flesh as it is.

Fishing: Maggots are used as bait to catch fish. Fishers attach maggots to the hooks of a fishing rod. Fishes love maggots. This is why maggots are very popular among anglers. Earlier, fishers used maggots as a food source to lure fish only during the summer seasons when the availability of maggots was high. Now they have started using maggots in almost all seasons.

Forensic: Flesh is one of the major food sources of a maggot. They are also found in corpses. This helps narrow down the time of death. Flies lay eggs on the corpse soon after they find it. The eggs hatch in 24 hours. Based on the life cycle of maggots, forensic specialists are able to tell the exact time of death. This method can only used be for three to four days after the discovery of the corpse, as its rapid multiplication makes the method unreliable after a few days. Blowflies are the most popular flies that are used in this method. The black blowfly, a species of blowfly, is often the first fly to lay eggs on a corpse.

Did you know the largest maggot was 0.7 in (20 mm) in length?

Can maggots cause health problems?

Just like ticks, maggots can also be a great nuisance. They can be a threat to pets and other domesticated animals. Maggots rarely cause major health problems in humans, although if they reach meningitis (base of your brain), they can be fatal.

Maggots live on stale material and rotting food surfaces. So, it is very unlikely that you come into contact with maggots if you are hygienic. When and if you accidentally consume a maggot, it can cause myiasis. Myiasis is an infection in humans caused by maggots that damages the tissues. There are three main types of myiasis, namely furuncular myiasis, creeping (migratory) myiasis, and wound (traumatic) myiasis.

Furuncular Myiasis: Dermatobia hominis, also known as the human botfly, causes this infection. The female fly which bears eggs catches a mosquito and attaches the eggs to the backside of the mosquito. When the mosquito sucks blood from the skin of a person or animal, the heat from the body makes the egg hatch and fall onto the surface of the skin. These eggs enter the body without inflicting pain. The larva soon develops and reaches a length of 0.6-0.8 in (15-20 mm). It feeds on the flesh and tissues, causing an infection.

Creeping Myiasis: It is caused by flies of the Hypoderma genus. They rarely pick humans as hosts. Their prime targets are horses and deer. When these larvae enter the human body, they quickly settle on the tissues. This causes painful swellings in the mouth. They can also attack the orbit, pharyngeal region, and spinal canal. Luckily, these are just rare cases. The victim can also develop lesions in areas the larvae wandered before reaching the tissues. The infection and all symptoms usually subside in a week or two, as the larva will not survive in the human body for a long time.

Wound Myiasis: This type of myiasis is caused by Cochliomyia hominivorax or Phaenicia sericata, also known as a blowfly. The larva gets deposited on the human body by mistake. It is usually carried by the wind and gets attached to the skin. These eggs feed on necrotic or live tissues present in the opening of wounds. Applying chloroform or vegetable oil to the wound might provide relief.

Symptoms: Painful blisters, ulcers, and sore throats are the most common symptoms of cutaneous myiasis. Severe irritation in the nasal passage, facial edema, and fever are symptoms of nasal myiasis. Creeping sensations and fuzzy noises along with smelly discharge can also be observed. Irritation and pain are the most common symptoms of maggots in humans.

Maggots, in some cases, may enter the brain, causing cerebral myiasis which might cause death in children. Maggots can also cause several deformities. Deaths and cases of meningitis have rarely been reported. Seek medical help if you have any of the symptoms and start treatment right away to avoid major complications.

How to reduce the risk of maggots?

In order to control and reduce the risk of maggots, you need to follow a few steps.

The first thing you need to do is check your garbage cans and make sure that the flies don't feed on the garbage in your house. For this, you can seal your trash cans and use a wheelie bin in place of a thin, flimsy trash bag. If there is any leftover meat, wrap it up in a plastic bag before you discard it. Make sure you seal the bag properly before placing it in the trash. Tossing your trash out in time is also very important to keep the maggots at bay. If there is a maggot infestation in your trash can, empty all the contents of the trash can. Then fill the trash can with boiling water. This will help get rid of the few maggots that stick to the bin. Flies mainly lay their eggs on rubbish, as it is an excellent food source. So, use protective measures when you are handling anything from the trash. Fly spray can also come in handy and can prevent the flies from laying their eggs in your house. The eggs hatch within 24 hours. So do not leave any type of food out without properly sealing it. Flies never enter sealed food sources. Let the air out of the trash bags. Tying them tightly can reduce maggot infestation. Double wrap all your pet waste and food scraps. Place the trash bin in an area where direct sunlight can fall on it. Placing insecticides inside the bin will help control flies. Make sure all your trash cans have fitting lids and close properly. If your bin has maggots, seek help from professionals who are available for trash bin cleaning. You can also use disinfectants to clean your bins regularly. Follow all these steps and be extra cautious during the hot seasons.

You can easily get rid of maggots with help from pest control.

How to get rid of maggots?

There are natural as well as artificial remedies that help to get rid of maggots quickly.

Natural Remedies: Unlike other insects, maggots do not have a thick outer covering to protect them. This is why using natural remedies to kill them might be a great and easy way. Lime juice has antioxidants that quickly kill maggots. Don't just spray it on them, cover the entire area that was occupied by maggots. This ensures that the unhatched eggs are also killed. You can also bury diatomaceous earth in the soil. It is a light-colored sedimentary rock that is also known as Kieselguhr. The use of Citronella can also get rid of flies. Sprinkling salt over the maggots or boiling water in the trash bins that contain maggots will also help.

Treatments: You can use two types of treatments to kill maggots. A spot spray treatment is ideal for small maggot infestation and a broader spray treatment can be used for a large maggot infestation.

Locate all the feeding areas of maggots. Carefully look through the food waste in the trash. It might look like they appear out of nowhere. If you are unable to locate the feeding area, you might need professional help. Rinse all the vessels or cans and wash all the areas with boiling water. Change the trash bag and make sure to use new bags after each disposal. If both these methods don't work for you, contact a professional pest controller.

Maggots are a problem for pets as well. Thoroughly check all their wounds and joints for maggots. If you think they have an infection, take them to the vet immediately. The vet will kill the maggots without causing any injuries to the pet. Keep your pet food sealed or tightly closed at all times. Check your pet's food before they eat it. Clean your pets regularly with shampoos.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how are maggots formed, then why not take a look at how fast can a lion run, or how big do guinea pigs get.

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