Maggots swarm gardens in Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood

It was like a scene out of a horror film as maggots appeared to rain down on Blackpool and the Fylde Coast last night (Monday, September 11).

“My son slept in a tent in the garden and he came in screaming saying it’s raining maggots,” said Sandie Coles in Cleveleys. “I told him to stop being stupid then I saw the other Facebook posts! He’s 15, I thought he was just being dramatic.”

And it wasn’t just Sandie’s teenage son who was grossed out by swarms of maggots wriggling their way around gardens in Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood after rain showers on Monday.

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Others across the resort took to Facebook after their gardens were also suddenly infested with thousands of the creepy-crawlies, with some sharing pictures of the creatures swarming over doors and windows.

"Anyone ever seen anything like this before!?,” said Helen Walmsley, after she made the grim discovery in her back garden last night.

"Its raining maggots everywhere in the rain? There are millions of them that have appeared in the last few hours, all over the slate on the garden. They are larvae/maggots!”

"Our whole front door is covered in maggots,” added a Fleetwood woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

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"We’re a very clean house but our issue is that our black bin is in the front garden and we’ve never had this problem before. We’ve covered them in malt vinegar, bleach and salt and they still seem to be crawling around and having the time of their life.”

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"OMG! I've had exactly the same tonight,” said Lindsey Liddell in Blackpool. “All over my door step and my door are absolutely covered! Absolutely vile. I've no rubbish there either. Not sure how they have got there?”

In one street – Cavendish Road, Blackpool – one resident reported swarms of maggots in nearly every front garden. Others reported similar infestations around streets in South Shore.

But was it really raining maggots?

The maggots appeared shortly after a recent hot spell followed by rain showers on Monday evening, but it’s unlikely that they came with the rain.

However, they can sometimes seem to appear out of nowhere.

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But that's because we don't usually notice the fly or its eggs, which are laid thousands at a time and begin to hatch within a single day. A day after the eggs are laid, the maggots will appear.

Maggots like meat—leftovers, discards, pet food, dead animals—any old meat will do. Which is why they are most often found inside or near wheelie and litter bins.

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Maggots require a moist environment to survive and thrive, so they are often attracted to areas with high humidity or standing water, such as soggy gardens.

The recent hot weather has likely caused food waste to decompose quicker than usual, attracting flies which swiftly lay eggs that will hatch into maggots.

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High temperatures as well as humidity can increase the presence of maggots as well as speeding up their life cycle, meaning they can suddenly appear in swarms in just a matter of days.

How to keep maggots away

- Store all food in airtight containers or the refrigerator

- Keep areas such as bins, pet food bowls, and other food sources tidy, contained, and clean

- Make sure your home is dry since standing water can provide an ideal breeding ground for maggots

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- Keep windows and doors closed when possible to prevent flies from getting inside your home or space

- Clean floors and surfaces regularly with a disinfectant to remove traces of matter that might attract maggots