The purpose of this guide is to explain what causes maggots on ceilings. Maggots crawling up the walls or on the ceiling is an unusual sight.
Maggots belong to trash bins and rotting food, as you have always known. What makes these tiny white worms crawling on the ceiling?
As a matter of fact, the maggot on the ceiling isn’t a maggot. Rather, it is a moth larva.
There are two types of worms: maggots and moth larvae. Now that we’ve uncovered the mystery of both, let’s see how they differ.
Maggots and Indian Meal Moth Larvae
The fly maggot is the larval stage of house flies. The moth larva is the larval stage of the Indian meal moths.
In the larval stage, you see these tiny white worms in your home. This occurs before the pupa stage.
The pupae stage is when the larva transforms from a worm to an adult with wings by building a cocoon.
It breaks out of the cocoon when it becomes an adult. There is only one similarity between the moth larvae and the fly maggots.
The process is similar to the transition from caterpillar to butterfly.
What are the differences between the two?
The difference between a maggot and a moth larvae is that moth larvae have legs while maggots do not.
As the Indian meal moth has legs, it can crawl on vertical surfaces such as walls and ceilings.
Until they become adults, fly maggots can hardly leave garbage bins or their habitats. Despite wriggling to move, they cannot climb walls because they lack legs.
Lastly, there is a difference in size.
The larvae of Indian meal moths are larger than those of house flies.
The Indian meal moth larvae are 12 centimeters long, while the maggots are 14 centimeters long, but if they get enough food, they can grow to 12 centimeters.
The color difference is also noticeable.
The larvae of the Indian meal moth are pink or green. The fly maggots are white or cream in color.
Larvae of the Indian meal moth have a prominent brown head. In contrast, the fly maggot does not possess that feature, and its head is barely visible.
In fact, if you look closely, you will see a tiny black dot at one end of the maggot, its mouth.
The next time you see a pinkish white worm crawling on the wall or up the ceiling, make sure it isn’t a maggot.
The larvae of the Indian meal moth are responsible for it.
Now let’s get to your next question, how do the moth larvae get into your home?
How do moth larvae enter your home?
You can blame it on the adult Indian meal moth.
Indian meal moths enter your home through open windows or doors to lay eggs in your pantry.
In your kitchen pantry, they look for foods such as cereals, nuts, and grains to lay their eggs.
Indian meal moths have strong jaws. Additionally, they can chew through plastic Tupperware to gain access to eggs.
The artificial lights attract Indian meal moths. Therefore, they are likely to enter your home after sunset when the lights are on.
Indian meal moth larvae can also enter your home through food packets you buy from grocery stores.
The Indian meal moth larvae can be found inside rice bags, cereal packets, and other types of grains and dry foods lying around for months in grocery stores.
Infested food is left behind after the female Indian meal moth lays her eggs.
Larvae emerge from the eggs after hatching. They feed on the food they were born with. In fact, they poop on the food!
As the larva moves toward the pupae stage, it abandons the food and searches for a place to spin itself into a silken cocoon.
For this reason, they crawl on walls, ceilings, and floors looking for a gap where they can hide safely for 4-10 days.
An adult Indian meal moth emerges from its cocoon after 4-10 days. The first thing it does after emerging is mate.
A moth larva on the ceiling is looking for a place to hide, so it’s looking for a hiding place. Larvae of these moths sometimes fall from roofs when they lose their grip.
Is it Possible To Get Rid Of Indian Meal Moth Larvae?
Let’s take a look at how you can get rid of these crawling maggots (which are moth larvae) now that you know what’s up with them.
The larvae of Indian meal moths come from the pantry or kitchen.
Here are 3 steps you can take to get rid of Indian Moth larvae –
Step # 1 – Remove Any Stale Food Or Dry Foods, Cereals, Grains From Your Kitchen
Your pantry may contain stale or dry food that has been sitting there for months. What are you doing with it?
Do not keep them if you do not need them.
If you still need those dry foods or grains, spread them on a piece of cloth, and keep them in direct sunlight.
Larvae of moths need moisture and don’t like direct sunlight. The larvae of these moths will leave these foods once they are exposed to direct sunlight.
Normal water should be used to wash these dry foods or food grains.
Ensure that they are dry by exposing them to direct sunlight and storing them in thick airtight containers.
Step # 2 – Clean Your Kitchen And Food Pantry To Get Rid Of Any Moth Larvae Hiding Inside
The next step is to clean your kitchen and your cabinets.
All you need to do is vacuum slowly.
Use a disinfectant to wipe down the surfaces of the kitchen and food pantry after cleaning.
The adult Indian meal moths can be repelled with a good disinfectant even if they enter your home.
Step # 3 – Seal Of Any Cracks And Gaps On Your Home’s Walls And Ceilings
You should seal any gaps on the walls and ceilings of your home with a quality sealant if there are any.
It is possible that pupae are present in these gaps. By sealing these gaps, the adult Indian meal moth won’t be able to get out.
Conclusion of Maggots On Ceilings
Those maggots you see crawling on the ceiling or walls aren’t maggots. They are Indian meal moth larvae.
Maggots are the larvae of house flies. Their size is smaller than the larvae of the Indian meal moth.
There is one significant difference between maggots and moth larvae: the moth larvae have legs. Moth larvae can crawl on walls and ceilings thanks to these legs.
The following is a summary of the differences between Indian meal moth larvae and maggots
The larvae have emerged from eggs that the Indian meal moth adults laid in your kitchen.
- 8 Small Green Biting Bugs (one of which is toxic)
- All You Need To Know What Are Big Cockroaches? Bites, How To kill Them
- How Big are Bed Bugs? Size Of Baby Bed Bugs Bites, Eggs
- 7 Invisible Microbes That Bite And Their Solutions
- Comparison Of Wood Roaches And Cockroaches (2 Differences)
- How Long Do Rats Live As Pets (Ultimate Guide Of Rats Facts)