Does anyone remember that film Slither? The one with Nathan Fillion versus alien worms? Last night, that became something of a reality for me when I opened the back door to break up a catfight, and found myself confronted with hundreds of fat, white maggots, all trying to wriggle their way into the house.
I’m not generally a squeamish person. Slugs, snails, worms – none of that bothers me, and maggots never have either. Until I was confronted by hundreds of them, all on a single-minded rampage to get inside. As fast as I tried to sweep them from the doorstep, more and more replaced them, frantically wriggling over the corpses of the ones I’d managed to crush. They slithered up the doorframe, going almost as high as the ceiling, and while the spiders who live in the corners of the room were happy with the sudden buffet, I was entertaining horrifying visions of a sea of white wrigglers completely submerging me.
Not knowing anything about maggots, I decided they might react to salt the same way as a slug – shrivel up and die. I frantically salted the doorway with the kind of speed and precision that Sam and Dean Winchester would be proud of…and the little buggers just kept coming, rolling happily over the salt like it wasn’t even there.
One thing I learned about maggots last night – they’re tough.
Desperate to keep the infestation out of the house, I resorted to pouring boiling water on them. At this point, I’d like to stress that I wasn’t happy about doing this. As far as I’m concerned, maggots have as much right to live as anything, but without knowing what they were going to hatch into, I couldn’t risk having hundreds of them getting into the house. Three kettles of water later, and the maggots were still coming.
At this point, I was seriously starting to wonder whether or not Slither had been inspired by true events, and whether these maggots actually were alien in origin.
Okay, maybe not that last part. It was more like the battle at Helm’s Deep – but with maggots.
Rummaging through the cupboards, I found a can of bugspray and promptly turned that on them. Nothing. These were like armour-plated super-maggots.
Then I heard a pop like someone snapping gum. The second thing I learned about maggots last night is that they make a popping noise when you step on them. Despite my best efforts, the maggots had got through the boiling water, through the bugspray, and over the line of salt, and were hideously wriggling across the floor. Everywhere I put my feet, I was treading on them. Slimy yellow guts splattered the floor and pieces of crushed maggots covered my boots. I was killing more of them by accident than when I’d actually been trying.
As I fought off the invading horde of white wrigglers, my cat looked on with a sort of vague bemusement, but didn’t lift a paw to help.
Every time I thought I had them beaten, a fresh wave appeared. It took an hour and a half of stamping, pouring, and spraying, before the wriggly tide finally thinned.
There isn’t really a point to this story; I just wanted to share the ick factor with you. It was crazy o’clock in the morning by the time I’d stamped out what I hoped were the last of the stragglers, and I was jumping and twitching every time I thought I saw a flicker of movement. I’ve lived in this house for about twenty-six years and I’ve never seen anything like this maggot attack. But you can bet that as soon as it gets dark tonight, I’ll be at the back door, armed with a kettle of hot water in case there’s a new wave of maggoty invaders!!