Monday, August 18, 2008
Maggots break large or plentiful dead things down. And fast!
Compost piles that are not "not hot enough" will attract flies and breed maggots. That is because waste breaks down both by microorganisms, as well as insects and small animals. If you want less of them, just add more carbon-y stuff like dried leaves, turn your pile, or bury your food waste under some debris.
I quite like maggots (and worms in general), and the birds and chickens come for them as well. Furthermore, flies can bring good bacteria with them. Just know that a lot of your vinegar comes from a "mother" that was grown using bacteria from the ends of flies' legs!
Maggots are pretty amazing small creatures. Just look at their little bodies go! My brother and I found a snail dead in its shell, being devoured by a lot of small wriggling whities.
They are pretty great at doing what they do (breaking stuff down), and their poop is used further by worms. They excrete a soupy liquid that makes rotting even faster, and their activity actually produces heat. Sometimes you see a few maggots "getting some fresh air" or gravitating towards the periphery of the action to cool off. Then they dive in for more!
People associate maggots with death and bad smells. Of course they do. But maggots don't actually cause those. If they weren't around, we'd be smelling death a bit longer than we do.
Posted by Bea