Can Ants Kill Maggots?

Ants prefer to get nutrients from easily accessible food sources without making any serious efforts. These scavengers can access maggots after reaching the decomposing bodies of animals.

Can Ants Kill Maggots? Ants can kill maggots for nutritional purposes as they get fats, proteins, or other essential nutrients from their soft bodies. They attack maggots by biting their bodies and stinging them repeatedly while they begin to curl their bodies quickly for defense.

Larvae of flies are tiny creatures that appear off-white or yellowish-red in color that can turn into adults within 2 to 4 weeks. They have tiny heads but lack legs to move.

The transparent larvae of ants also look like maggots because their color and shape resemble the larvae of flies.

Why do ants kill maggots?

Ants obtain nutrition from almost everything in nature because their omnivorous dietary habits allow them to extract essential nutrients from plant and animal-based food.

These insects can kill other insects belonging to the same or different species or genera when they feel hungry. They are good scavengers and consume the dead bodies of other insects or animals.

Accordingly, they do not skip an opportunity to kill and eat the larvae if it is possible to do so. Maggots can provide plenty of nutrients to tiny creatures and are easy to chew.

Moreover, they can become a good source of protein or fats and help grow larvae by developing dense muscle mass. It also helps adult workers to overcome injuries by consuming proteins.

These are usually present in the rotting bodies of animals and feed on tissue debris. Ants also reach there to explore the food after detecting the decomposing odor of the dead animals.

Accordingly, it is one of the easily accessible food options for these tiny ants.

Increased rates of exposure to these larvae of flies allow them to attack and kill them brutally by stinging their soft bodies and obtaining nutrition.

How do ants attack maggots?

It is challenging for ants to reach the hidden maggots within the flesh of decomposing animals, birds, and rotting plants in the garden.

They have a defense mechanism to resist insects from biting or stinging their bodies. They can hide their smaller heads to avoid the risk of attack by their tiny eyes on the back of their head.

Moreover, they begin to curl their bodies and roll down on the ground surface to remove insects from the body. Such movements can help get rid of the small number of insects to ensure survival.

However, the situation becomes problematic when a large swarm of these insects attacks tiny larvae of flies present at a close distance from them.

They begin to attack aggressively on their soft bodies appearing whitish or pale in color. These larvae are only 2 to 3mm long, almost equal to an ant’s size at the first instar stage.

In addition, they can reach a body length of 5 to 10 mm before shedding their skin. So, these insects can easily overwhelm one fly’s larvae by swarming their bodies and repeated stinging.

A group of almost 20 to 50 ants is enough to deal with fly larvae according to their body size. They begin to bite their soft bodies at once and cause injuries that are not easy to tolerate.

Furthermore, these predatory insects will bring the body of dead larvae back to their nests by carrying or dragging the dead body on the floor if their nest is close.

It is usually stored inside the nest chambers to use as a food source in the long term. The workers break its body into smaller chunks that can be easily swallowed and digested by them.

Which ants are deadly for maggots?

Maggots are commonly found outdoors, like in gardens, trash bins, meat sources, and dead bodies of animals and birds because they are carnivores or particularly omnivores by nature.

Some carnivorous species of ants also reach these places to get nutrients as they rely on proteins from living or dead insects and other animals.

Accordingly, they can attack larvae of flies living on the decomposing bodies of animals while foraging in the meat of dead animals.

However, their preference usually remains decomposing animals because these dead bodies pass through complex molecules’ breakdown.

It does not mean that these carnivorous creatures spare the living or dead larvae of flies feeding on the meat and growing in size.

Most commonly, the southern meat, carpenter or wood, green, army, and argentine ants, in addition to a few other carnivorous species, are deadly for maggots.

They have bigger mandibles to tear down predators’ bodies into smaller pieces that can be easily chewed and digested by their small mouths and simpler stomachs.

Can fire ants and maggots live together?

Fire ants have different types of relationships with maggots than other species of these insects because these larvae act as parasites of this species.

Most probably, you know about the potential of fire ants to cause painful bites and kill the organism, but maggots can be deadly for this specific species.

It is observed that flies are smart enough to lay eggs on the bodies of fire ants by dropping them from a distance after reaching their mounds.

These eggs turn into larvae within their nest without getting noticed by the workers and other nest members. They feed on food resources within a nest and complete their growth cycle.

Moreover, it is observed that these eggs develop and turn into maggots inside these insects. These parasitic creatures eat the brain of their host organisms and leave them brainless.

It affects the functionality of the insect as they cannot coordinate with the colony without a brain and lose their senses. They wander in the territory without any aim and die.

It is a survival strategy to live within the nest of fire ants without being attacked by the members because they lose their ability to identify foreign insects without brains.

So, fly larvae can become a part of the fire ant colony, but they behave like a deadly parasite for their host. They obtain nutrients from the host’s brain, which leads to its death.

Can you feed maggots to pet ants?

Some people feed ant colonies with maggots because their tiny mouths and chewing abilities make it easy to eat these soft-bodies larvae of flies.

They can be grown on a separate farm at home to feed pet ants because it is easy and cheap to raise the population of flies indoors.

Moreover, it is considered a suitable option for owners to grow fly larvae at their place instead of buying the feed for their pets.

Accordingly, growing these flies at home allows you to get more biomass in a short time, as these larvae can grow up to 8mm within 2 to 3 days.

One of my friends has a personal farm of flies in the backyard that helps avoid the need to get protein feed from the market.

So, you can feed ants by dropping a living or a dead maggot on their farm as a treat to your pet. They can chew larvae bodies using their sharp mandibles and extract nutrition from them.

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