Skip to Content

Maggots on Ceiling: Steps for Removing and Cleaning

Maggots on Ceiling: Steps for Removing and Cleaning

Have you found maggots on your ceiling? Removing them from hard-to-reach areas can be tricky, but you can eradicate these pests in no time with my guide.

The first thing you must know about maggots is that they are fly larvae usually found in areas that provide the nutrition they need.

In households, this often means forgotten food particles left on surfaces and rotten food left in the garbage bin.

But if maggot-like creatures end up on your walls and ceiling, they are not maggots at all.

They are likely Indianmeal moth larvae laid by adult moths that have entered your home through open windows or doors. 

what indianmeal moth larva looks like

Fly larvae don’t have legs, so they just remain and wiggle in place once they hatch from eggs.

In contrast, Indiannmeal larvae use their tiny legs to look for a good place to hide and turn into a silken cocoon.

Indianmeal larvae are notorious for nibbling on food stored in pantries, earning them the nickname “pantry moths.”

These moth larvae also feed on fabric and can cause damage to clothing. 

indian meal moth on ceiling

Typical Indian Meal Moth

Do you worry about maggots falling from the ceiling? It’s in the best interest of everyone involved to get rid of these larvae as soon as possible.

This article will tell you more about where these larvae come from and what you can do to get rid of them. 

Let’s get to it!

Where Do Maggots on the Ceiling Come From?

moth on ceiling


The moths responsible for the “maggots” on the ceiling enter homes through open windows, cracks, and crevices.

Artificial lights are a big attraction, so you’ll usually find them entering your home after sunset. 

They then look for grains, cereals, and nuts to lay their eggs.

Indian meal moths have strong jaws, and they can also chew through plastic, including Tupperware, to get to the food inside. 

Another way Indian meal moth larvae can get into your home is through store-bought food packets.

Bags of rice, other grains, dry food, or cereal packets that may have been lying around in the store for months are possible sources.

When it’s time to enter the pupal stage, the moth larvae will look for a hot and humid place to complete its transformation.

It’s no wonder they’re commonly found under kitchen ceilings!

Unlike fly larvae, these moth larvae can crawl upwards, which is how they end up on the ceiling.

Once cocooned, they emerge as fully grown moths in 4 to 10 days. 

While moths may not inherently be harmful to humans or pets, their larvae can feed on the dry goods in your pantry or damage the clothes in your cupboards — not something you want to deal with.

How to Get Rid of Maggots on Your Ceiling

There are several ways to get rid of these so-called maggots on your home’s ceiling.

Here are the most effective ones I’ve used with success:

1. Remove Infested Materials 

Killing maggots

The first step to dealing with any infestation, whether it’s fly or moth larvae, is to isolate the infestation.

Once you remove the infested source, it becomes easier to clean up.

Put infested food packets in a trash bag, seal them in, and throw them in a garbage container outside your house.

If you find a moth larvae infestation in a closet ceiling, remove everything inside and run them through the washer. Then vacuum every inch of the space to get rid of the larvae.

2. Suck It All Up

Deep cleaning is an excellent way to eliminate any moth eggs or larvae you may have missed across your ceiling, its corners and crevices.

Using a powerful vacuum cleaner is your best bet as it can help you target hard-to-reach areas. 

Make sure you dispose of the vacuum bag properly once you’re done or empty and rinse out your bagless vac canister.

3. Disinfect, Clean, Repeat

cleaning maggot residue off ceiling

Disinfecting your interiors is an important step to ensure a hygienic household and deter moths from laying their eggs anywhere around your house.

Once you’re done vacuuming, use an all-surface disinfectant liquid to wipe the kitchen counter, pantry surfaces, and even the floor.

Scrub the walls and sideboards, as well as the inside of your closet, and make sure no spot is left untouched! 

4. Seal the Deal

When looking for a place to hibernate before they bloom into full-fledged moths, larvae will look for cracks and crevices in your home’s walls and ceilings to make their home.

So, it goes without saying you must ensure that any cracks and crevices are sealed properly with a good quality sealant to keep out the larvae or even moths from finding their way into your home.

Click here to learn more about killing maggots in your home effectively.

How to Prevent Maggots from Infesting Your Ceilings 

It can be a hassle to treat affected areas and clean your home interiors once there’s been an infestation of these maggot-like larvae.

So the best course of action is to adopt some measures to prevent infestations from occurring at all.

Here are some simple ways to prevent Indianmeal moth larvae infestations in your home:

  • Always check the manufacturing date on your dry food and grains before purchasing. Choose products that have been recently packed. 
  • Buy only what you need in the short term to ensure food items don’t lie around in your pantry for months or years.
  • Throw away old food packets that may have expired. 
  • Keep your storage containers and jars clean and dry, and clean them thoroughly after each use.
  • Store seldom used grains or dry food products in your freezer if possible. 
  • Set up pheromone traps around your house to lure and kill moths (as well as other pests).


Can Maggots Crawl on Ceilings?

What you see crawling on your ceilings is not fly larvae (maggots) but Indianmeal moth larvae.

They have tiny legs that help them climb walls and reach the ceiling.

The same can’t be said of maggots or fly larvae that can hardly get out of their hatching area until they turn into flies.

Why Do I Keep Finding Random Maggots in My House?

Maggots don’t just appear out of nowhere. Common reasons for maggot infestations include trash that’s not disposed of or the presence of rotten food, pet feces, and animal carcasses.

Flies will lay their eggs in such spots to ensure their larvae get enough food, so the first step to eradication is to address these issues.


The maggots on your ceiling are not fly larvae. Regardless, they are still pests that must be dealt with.

It’s said that prevention is the best cure, and there’s no better way to ensure that you never have to deal with such an infestation than by keeping your home clean and sanitized.

Sharing is Caring!

Samantha (Sam)

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

There are these maggots with (sometimes) strings on them, I searched loads of things up but no use, do you know what it could mean? The first one was in my living room, dangling from the ceiling, the second one was in my bathroom, it was on the side of the tub, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth one was on my sister’s new skirts, please help someone!!! The most recent one was today, it was on my bedroom ceiling!! The same room were the third, fifth and sixth ones were!! I can’t do anything, please help!! Anyone!


Wednesday 30th of August 2023

Since maggots are the larval stage of flies, yours may be ready to pupate and transform into adult flies. The string-like structures you're observing could be the pupal cases or threads that the maggots use to anchor themselves from the ceiling while they undergo the pupation process. The stringy stuff could also be caused by higher humidity levels in your home, i.e. the pupal cases might be more visible and pronounced. Follow the steps/tips in the article to get rid of them all before more keep coming!