MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Do maggots (larvae of Musca domestica and related species) give of toxins?

Date: Mon Aug 2 15:44:13 1999
Posted By: Gil Stoewsand, Faculty, Food Science & Technology, Cornell University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 933356843.Gb

I don't think maggots (wormlike larvae of a fly), upon infestation of
animals (myiasis) that occurs usually accidentally due to poor hygiene
(decaying and uncared for wounds), produce any "toxins". Indeed, years ago,
maggots were put on human wounds to feed on dead and rotting tissues. This
would actually assist in the total cleaning and healing of quite serious
wounds. It would appear that dogs and animals with major cuts, bites, etc.
that are infested with maggots are seriously infected by disease causing
bacteria and probably developed septicemia. In addition, they are probably
malnourished and in general poor condition before a veterinarian sees the
animal with myiasis!

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