How to grow maggots

Written by paul bright
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How to grow maggots
Maggots thrive in moist and dark places. (fiulo/iStock/Getty Images)

Maggots aren't exactly the most popular household pet. However, they can be very useful to budding scientists and biologists who need them to study areas such as decomposition or life cycle development. Maggots are sometimes used as food for pet reptiles and frogs or as fishing bait. Whatever your reason for growing maggots, the process takes a few days and requires flies and meat scraps.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 0.5 kg meat scraps
  • Small plastic container
  • Tall plastic container
  • Olive oil
  • Cling film
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Spatula or spoon

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  1. 1

    Get some leftover meat such as chicken or beef parts. Flies, which lay the eggs to produce maggots, are more attracted to meat than any other foods and will lay up to 300 eggs on their food sources.

  2. 2

    Place the meat scraps inside a plastic container. Add just enough water to keep the meat moist. Seal the container with cling film, but poke several holes in the film in order to allow flies entry and exit. Place the container outside, preferably near dustbins. Dark places are also a good place to encourage maggot breeding.

  3. 3

    Check the container in three days to see if maggots are forming. If so, transfer the maggots and container into a taller container, still keeping it outside. Rub olive oil on the inner top of the container's circumference to help keep crawling maggots inside. Reseal with clear plastic, using much smaller holes to keep the air circulating.

  4. 4

    Use a spoon or spatula to scrape the maggots into the plastic container with a lid. Close and seal the container tightly and poke pin-sized holes in it. You can now transport the maggots to wherever you need them.

Tips and warnings

  • Maggots only live up to 10 days before they die or morph into flies. Ensure you use your maggots within this time frame or you'll have to repeat the process.
  • Maggots and flies are known disease carriers. Ensure you thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling.

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