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Maggots...what Now?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Doin The Raccoon, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Doin The Raccoon

    Doin The Raccoon New Member

    I've cleaned and kept many found bones and never had this issue. I have a fox skull that surface macerated. I soaked it in soapy water, and after it dried, did two separate peroxide baths. It seems 100% fine...Except that every time I open the container there are a couple maggots. I get them out, then find more.
    What now? How do I kill them or are they a sign of failure for this project?
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Not sure what surface macerated means. You left it on the ground to rot? Pictures? There is probably enough flesh left inside of it that it is attracting bugs. Might not be maggots but some other insect. Keeping it in a closed container is also going to encourage mold if it is not completely clean.

  3. KTWolf

    KTWolf New Member

    In this case, "Yay, maggots!" If they hadn't alerted you to the problem, it would have gone badly later, when the hidden flesh stinks or draws mites. Sounds like your project just isn't finished on the inside. Keep it damp and let the maggots go to town--once the meat is gone, the maggots will finish up, too.

    The hidden flesh might be inside one of the canals for blood vessels, or in the ear bones, or in the turbinates. Really good backlight will help you to see dark spots where there's still either insects or flesh inside. But let the bugs go to work finding it first, so there's less to dig out.
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    In this case, the poster asked a question and never came back to see what the answers were. Been almost a year now so maybe the maggots ate him in his sleep.
  5. KTWolf

    KTWolf New Member

    Lol ... this was the last of the post I looked through before I remembered to start looking for the dates of posts.

    I am quite impressed with maggots, though. Last year I was trying to figure out what to feed my accidental bullfrog. My daughter left out a chicken breast on the kitchen counter for too long, so I put it outside to see what maggot development would be like, if they'd perhaps provide a food source through the winter if I refrigerated them at first instar.

    Well, maggots themselves smell terrible, even after they're washed off, so I gave up on that idea for feeding the bullfrog through winter. But WOW, their conversion rate for meat-to-insect is amazing! Once they hit their second day after hatching out, they melted the chicken breast in about four days, and there was nearly as much maggot-weight as the amount of chicken-weight they'd eaten. You don't see that conversion rate in the best of feed-animals.

    Flies before beetles when possible? Heckyah, if I had my own undisturbed property where neighbors wouldn't freak out at the number of large flies buzzing around, lol.