- Maggots (baby flies) are attracted to rotten food, even if that is inside a closed refrigerator.
- One way they can get into a sealed fridge is that a fly may have laid an egg on some food inside your refrigerator without you noticing. Either before or after you placed it inside.
- If your refrigerator is smelly, flies will quickly get attracted because they love old food for a breeding ground. All it takes is one to lay an egg!
A maggot-infested refrigerator is a nightmare that nobody wants. But such a nightmare does happen. What causes this? How do maggots even get into a closed refrigerator?
Where do Maggots Eggs Develop in a Fridge?
Maggots populate certain environments. Female flies prefer to lay their eggs on areas that have rotting organic materials such as vegetables and animals. They also love to lay their eggs when materials get decayed or fermented. So if your fridge has any of these conditions, maggots are most likely to find their way in.
Food past the expiration date is prone to infestation. Wilted vegetables and rotten fruits can also be a perfect breeding ground for maggots. Meat that’s rested on the counter for a couple of hours before you put it inside the freezer may be prone to infestation too. If you have at least one of these conditions, you should start checking your fridge.
Can Maggots live in Cold Temperatures?
Maggots can survive in cold temperatures as well as in warm temperatures. However, maggots develop faster in warm temperatures. If you have meat inside your fridge infested with maggots, there’s a chance that the maggots will continue to develop.
Maggots move to a cool environment when they feel that temperature gets hot. Yet, even at the colder temperature, they can still keep their normal body temperature as they can generate heat in their body.
They cannot survive in freezing temperatures. If you plan to store meats and fish for a long period, keeping them in the freezer can avoid spoilage.
On the other hand, maggots cannot survive as well on temperatures above 104F. If you find a maggot inside your fridge, pouring boiling water on it is one way to kill them.
How do you Clean Maggots out of the Refrigerator?
Cleaning maggots out of the refrigerator requires the same effort as the usual refrigerator clean-up – except it’s extra gross for all of us who dislike insects!
Follow these steps to clean maggots out of your fridge:
- You must empty the refrigerator then wipe out all the maggots. Pour boiling water on the maggots before throwing them away to kill them.
- Ensure to clean the interior and exterior of the refrigerator. Avoid spot cleaning to ensure that all parts are clean. You can start by using warm water and soap to remove the grime present. You can also use commercial products intended to clean a refrigerator. Pay attention to the spills that look like a stain. You must remove it as well.
You can use vinegar after cleaning it to disinfect the interior. A gallon of water with one tablespoon of bleach is also an alternative for the vinegar disinfectant. But I prefer to use vinegar on the fridge because it is food-grade and non-toxic.
- Wipe dry the interior to avoid contamination. You can place an open box of baking soda inside to remove the unwanted odors. Flies get attracted to smelly things and baking soda helps to eliminate them.
- Before you put back the food inside your refrigerator, check the expiration date of the food. Throw away that past expiration date food. Check for molds especially on cheese and bread. Check for spoiled leftovers as well. Remove all the food that is not good to consume.
For fresh produce that has no expiration date, when you see that it is starting to wilt, consume it right as soon as you can. If they started to rot, remove them, then clean your fridge.
- Don’t forget to take out the drawers and shelving of the refrigerator. If there are other removable items such as an ice maker, remove it as well. Clean the drawers and shelving and use hot soapy water. Dry it clean before you put it back on the fridge.
- Clean the exterior refrigerator and any spill on the floor to avoid attracting flies within the area. Do not forget to use gloves when cleaning your refrigerator. Always wash your hands after cleaning.
- If you put your refrigerator items on a table or a counter, clean them. You must ensure that any dirt and germs are clean. Dirt and unwanted matter can attract flies. The main goal is you keep the fridge clean as well as the area near your fridge. No dirt, no germs mean no flies roaming around.
Can Maggots get into Sealed Containers?
Maggots cannot get into sealed air-tight containers especially when it is inside a refrigerator.
If that happens, the fly may have laid its egg before you sealed the container. If the condition inside the container is still perfect for the egg to hatch then it can turn to maggot within eight to 20 hours. But it still depends on the temperature inside the refrigerator.
To avoid maggot problems, make sure that there are no flies within your kitchen area. Keep your food preparation spaces clean. Close your windows if possible, or make use of fly screens if you’d like to keep airflow in your house.
It is easy to avoid a maggot problem inside your refrigerator. You will only have this problem if there are flies in your kitchen and you do not throw rotten food.
Always keep your kitchen and refrigerator clean, and you will never worry about a maggot infestation ever.