Can Maggots Drown? And Other Facts about Them


You never thought about asking these questions, did you? Where do maggots live? How to get rid of maggots in your trash can? Nevertheless, we will try to answer them in this article fully dedicated on the subject of maggots. Why? Because it is always interesting to gain knowledge, even if the subject is strange, or in this case, a little creepy. So, are you ready to learn more about maggots?

Did You Know that Maggots Become Flies?

One of the reasons I got to be interested in maggots is because I found a video on the internet which showed a time-lapse of a maggot becoming a fly. I thought it was so cool, that it got me curious about these not-so-good-looking insects. I started wondering: Where do maggots live? Can Maggots live in water or do maggots drown in water? It may seem uninteresting at first, but once you really enter the subject, you will see that it can actually be quite fascinating.

An undeserved bad reputation

When you have a maggot infestation in your trash can, you don’t think of them as an important part of the cycle of life. You just want to know how to get rid of maggots in a garbage can. But you should keep in mind that they are, along with bacteria and a few other insects, the ones that break down dead things; something necessary in this world. They also provide other services that we rarely think about at their view, which creates a revulsion feeling inside most of us. But in reality, they can help to heal wounds and also solve crimes. Not bad for such ugly little things, right?

It is true though that they sometimes are the bad things we usually think they are. For example, they can eat crops in the field, and they do tend to find their way into our garbage. But let’s keep an open mind on these insects and let’s look deeper at facts surrounding maggots.

Facts about Maggots

An appetite for destruction

Maggots are voracious eaters. They eat everything until it completely disappears. They look for rotting food and then they start eating through carcasses, rotting fruits and everything else found in a garbage can. They may not have legs, but their front end has hooks that catch the decaying elements to bring it inside its mouth. Their digestive system is quite basic though, so as they go through the rotten food, a digestive enzyme inside their body dissolves it. A perfect little machine to have everything disappear cleanly!

They even have cannibalistic instincts. In a study from Switzerland, searchers have found that fruit fly maggots, which were thought to be vegetarian, were actually also eating… each other. Now, let it be known that they actually only go for the ones that are wounded. But once that happens, the other maggots do not miss the opportunity to jump on them and ingest them. For now, there are no explanations on why does a vegetarian species become cannibalistic. But it is definitely a subject of interest to researchers who envision the possibility of explaining the evolution of such tendencies.

Maggots can live in water, but there are other ways to kill them

If you find maggots inside your trash can and you decide that you will drown them; think again. Maggots don’t have a problem with water. You are just providing them with a bath when you do so, as they can live in water. If you want to get rid of them, there are much better ways. Here are a few.

First of all you should know that maggots only live in that state for about eight to ten days. After that, they turn into flies. But there is no point in waiting that long to get rid of them, when you have an infestation. If you like the idea of water, you can actually pour boiling water over them. They may be able to swim, but they will die from the heat. You can also use steam which will have the same effect on them. Continuing with liquid methods, you can place a bowl of beer next to them. They will be attracted by it and will end their lives completely drunk!

The easiest way remains to crush them, although it might not be very tasteful. If the infestation is really too large to be contained, then you may use chemicals available for that purpose, but this should definitely be a last resort as chemicals are bad for you and the environment. So please use with caution and only if need be.

Better to simply avoid these infestations by keeping the kitchen and the bathroom clean at all time, sanitizing the garbage cans on a regular basis and getting rid quickly of all rotten food. That way, you won’t have any maggots to get rid of!

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