Strange looking fly larvae show up in a RV

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.      

Terrie Williams, MSU Extension educator, sent me some strange fly larvae that a client kept finding in or by her toilet in her RV. I identified the larvae as soldier fly larvae (Diptera: Stratiomyidae).  In nature, these larvae can be found in a diverse array of situations mostly in wetlands and damp places in soil, sod, under bark, and in animal excrement and decaying organic matter. I’m pretty sure these were living in the RV’s septic tank (way gross!).

Soldier fly larva
Soldier fly larvae that was found in or around an RV
toilet.  Photo credit: H Russell, MSU Diagnostic Services.

Soldier fly
Close up photo of the head of one of the RV toilet
soldier fly larvae.  Photo credit: H Russell, MSU Diagnostic Services.