What Do Maggots Look Like?

Bradley Tinney/CC-BY 2.0

Maggots of the common house fly look like small, pale worms. Maggots emerge from their eggs, which look like grains of rice, within 24 hours of being laid. For about five days, the fly larva, or maggot, eats extensively to store energy for its metamorphosis into a fly.

Maggots are most commonly found on rotting animal or plant materials. They feed on these items until they find a dark and dry location where they enter the pupal stage. During this stage, the maggots develop a hard outer shell. Once they emerge, flies are capable of breeding in a few hours, and a female can lay nearly 1,000 eggs throughout a lifetime.