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How Maggots Are Formed On A Decaying Animal Body, Their Effects, & How To Stop Them

How Maggots Are Formed On A Decaying Animal Body, Their Effects, & How To Stop Them

How Maggots Are Formed

The wonder of seeing maggots on a decaying body is one of the science that is yet to be clarified to many people. Though it appears to be a very common incident around us such that virtually everyone is aware that maggots always take over any dead living thing, only those that are well-educated in science could provide detailed information on how this happens.

Seeing maggots on a decaying body has made many people assume that maggot is a different species of living things except for those who understood the lifecycle of insects as being thought of in Biological classes.

Maggots are not the only bio-degrading agent, there are bacterial, and vertebrates as well as other active agents that help to decompose any dead living thing. The active agents work together by feeding on the freshness of the dead. But how did maggot came about? This would be the question in the mind of many people who has no knowledge of the science behind the emergence of maggots on any decaying body.


When any living thing dies, in a space of four to five hours the flies would perceive the smell from afar up to 1 mile away. During this period, the houseflies will be able to locate the decomposing corpse and lay her eggs on it.

After just a few hours of laying the eggs on the decomposing body, the eggs will hatch into maggots and find their way into the body through the holes in the skin.  As they move into the skin, they will start eating the flesh of the dead body from inside for days.

As the maggots feed on the flesh from inside their size will keep on increasing as well as their activities on the dead body. Besides the presence of maggots, there are usually other agents such as bacteria, fungi, vertebrates, and maggots of other species of flies.

As the eating and depreciation of the fresh continue, the maggots gradually finished eating the inside and find themselves on the skin where they quickly eat up and become victims of food for nearby birds and rodents while the lucky ones find their way into the nearby soil and remain hidden in the soil while they develop into their next stages of the majority to the fly level.

While on the soil it feeds on dead microorganisms. The main existence of the worm-like species can be noticed some hours that any living thing dies especially animals but it could take longer for plants.

While maggots appear on dead animals, it is still possible to see maggots on a decaying plant. However, as the name ‘flies’ is used the maggot is not coming from only one species of fly rather all flies and insects have their various maggots though different in appearance, size, and hatching environment.

The maggots of flies are easily seen on the dead and decaying bodies because they have high sensing/smelling organs to perceive the odor of dead animals just a few hours after their death. Because the dead body is the most favorable environment for their eggs to hatch, the female flies quickly gather in numbers on any dead body when the odor has been sensed from afar.

As they gather in good number they lay millions of eggs on the skin of the dead body, few hours later the eggs will hatch into tiny maggots. The maggots quickly find their way into the skin of the dead body and start feeding on the fresh inside the dead body.

The activities of maggots otherwise referred to as ‘worms’ by some people occur in millions or thousands on a decomposing body and continues until the entire body finishes.

The above explanation is a clear way of how maggots usually surface on a decaying body.


Since you have known how it started you can now be able to devise a means of prevention if the need be. There are instances we would like to preserve the body of dead animals from decomposition and the easiest way of achieving that is to keep the maggots and other decomposing agents away.

Assuming you have the intention of preserving any dead animal body from decomposition, here are few options available for:


The general and easy way of preserving any dead animal or plant against decomposition is to put it into a very low temperature that no germs, fungi, bacteria, or flies could survive to dwell or stay. Such practice keeps the decomposing agents away and helps to keep the body fresh as long as the freezing temperature remains constant.


Liquid injection had been a traditional way of preserving the dead bodies from decomposition. It is a method that allows the body to be soaked or injected with disinfectant liquids such as formaldehyde and ethanol or any other powerful liquid capable of keeping insects and flies away. Their smell dominates the odor of the dead body and chases away anybody decomposing agents.

The disadvantage of this method is that the liquid needs to be injected through the arteries from time to time to keep it active and maintain smell dominance.


Embalming is a traditional method of preserving the dead body against decay. Most of the mortuaries in local areas use embalming to preserve the human corpse. It is a process that uses chemicals to fill up all the cavities and outlets of the dead body after removing the body fluid and soft tissues in the body.

Just like the liquid injection, the embalming chemicals need regular checking and refilling to keeps the decomposing agents away for as long as possible.


Mummify simply means to dry up the dead body. Drying up the dead body using any means possible is another of preserving the body against decay.

Some dry-up methods may require removing all the soft tissues to fasten the process and make it more effective.

The method is used in the smoking of fish and meats for preservation purposes. Even sun-drying could be applied for the Mummification process.


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