What is a maggot?

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A maggot is baby fly! A baby cat is called a kitten, and people usually think they’re really cute and cuddly tiny versions of cats. Baby dogs are called puppies. People usually think they’re very cute too, and the puppies look like small versions of adult dogs.

This isn’t really the case with baby flies. Maggots don’t look anything like adult flies. They’re very small and usually very pale. They look sort of like a caterpillar. Whether or not you think they’re cute is a matter of opinion, but they definitely don’t look like flies. The reason for this is because they are larvae. A larva (“larvae” is plural) is a special part of an insect’s life cycle. During this phase, a larva eats a lot of food so it can become a pupa. A pupa is the next stage, where an adult fly grows inside, like a butterfly in its cocoon.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Harmful, Healthy or Both?


    Maggots tend to show up in huge numbers around animals, like sheep, and also around garbage. They can spread a lot of diseases too. It’s always good to notify a grown-up if you see a lot of maggots crawling around your home. It’s also good to make sure that the lids on your trash cans are tightly closed so adult flies can’t get in there to lay eggs.

    Maggots aren’t all bad. They’re also used for healing. Don’t try it at home though. There are special medical facilities where this is done. Maggot therapy uses live maggots to help clean out wounds. Sounds gross, right? Maggots used in maggot therapy luckily only eat dead and infected body tissue (the bad parts of an infection) and they leave the healthy tissue alone. This can make recovery from an injury or infection much faster, but you would have to let a doctor put live, squirmy maggots on you to do it!

     

  • Sources & links

    “Maggot Debridement Therapy” 15 Jul 2009. DermNet NZ. 23 Aug 2009. "dipteran." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 23 Aug. 2009
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