Facts About Maggots

Updated April 17, 2017

Maggots are part of the life cycle of different types of insects known as flies. Maggots live and feed in a variety of ways and they may even be used for medical therapies.


Maggots are the immature larval stage of insects in the Diptera order. Mature insects of the Diptera order are known as flies and include midges, mosquitoes, gnats and the common housefly.

Physical Description

Maggots have a wormlike appearance, they do not have legs and they are frequently white or colourless; they have small undeveloped heads and segmented body parts.

Habitat and Feeding

The growth of a fly from a maggot to an adult requires a lot of food. Plant maggot species will live in and feed off fruit and leaves while parasitic maggots will live in and feed off of decaying flesh.

Life Cycle

The maggot is the second Diptera immature stage, which develops from an egg. After a week or several weeks, depending on the type of the maggot, the maggot will develop a cocoon like shell (i.e. pupae) where it will mature into an adult.

Medical Uses

Maggots, with a prescription from a physician, may be used to clean decaying flesh in wounds that may otherwise cause dangerous bacterial infections. Maggot therapy is especially useful for persons, like diabetics, who experience wounds that are slow to heal.

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About the Author

Jane Peterson has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. She enjoys covering subjects such as personal health, diet, women's health, pets, alternative medicine and green living. Peterson graduated from the University of Florida in 2003, earning a bachelor's degree in science.