Blow Fly Maggots

Facts & General Information

What Are They?
Blowfly maggots are the larvae of blowflies. In the wild, the adult flies deposit their eggs on dead animals. Around homes, the adults deposit their eggs on animal droppings or in garbage cans. The larvae, or maggots, eat the material where they hatch.


What Do They Look Like?
The larvae are cream-colored to yellow. They have no eyes and no legs.

The body is tapered toward the head.

Depending on the species and the age of the larva, the size can range from 3/8″ to almost 1″ in length.

blow fly maggots
Image credit:
New York Times


What Are They Doing?
The maggots eat the material where they hatch. As they grow, they burrow deeper into the material. When they are full grown, the larvae crawl out of the food material and burrow into the soil. The larvae change into adults in the soil.


As they grow, blowfly maggots must shed their skin two or three times. When they are fully grown, the maggots can be almost one inch long. They are whitish in color. The body is tapered with the wide end toward the rear. There is a pair of dark hooks at the head-end of the body.

In the Home

People have come home from vacation to discover blowfly maggots in a garbage can. There have even been cases of maggots falling from ceiling light fixtures. The larvae had been developing in the carcasses of rodents in the attic. Homeowners who discover blowfly maggots in their home do not think of them as beneficial. They consider maggots as disgusting and they want them gone.

Wait…They Have Benefits?
Medical professionals have learned to take advantage of the feeding habits of blowfly maggots. They use specially selected blowfly maggots to clean out infected wounds. Doctors have found that this therapy will remove all of the infection and stimulate healing.

How to Get Rid of Them

A vacuum cleaner is probably the quickest way to get rid of blowfly maggots. They can also be eliminated with an aerosol insecticide. The most important step is to find the location where the adults have been depositing the eggs. If that material is not removed, the flies will continue.

Many people call a pest control professional to make the inspection to find the blowfly-breeding site. These people can also point out sanitation issues and make any insecticide applications that are needed.