How to Keep Maggots Out of a Food Pantry

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Finding maggots in or near your house can be disturbing. The tiny, worm-like creatures hatch from eggs laid by flies on rotting food and grow quickly after feeding on meat or produce. Maggots can cause disease and organ failure if ingested by humans. However, cleaning the food pantry and taking measures to prevent the insects can be very effective in wiping out a maggot population.

Things You'll Need

  • Airtight plastic containers
  • Bleach
  • Beer
  • Steam iron
  • Eliminate flies from the home by hanging flypaper, repairing window screens and installing screen doors. Remove all food from the pantry, inspecting each item for maggot infestation.

  • Place a shallow container filled with beer in the pantry. In the absence of other food, maggots will be attracted to the beer, crawl into the container and drown. Let the beer sit for at least 12 hours. In the meantime, tightly bag any garbage and take it outdoors to a sealed trash container. In addition, pour bleach down the drains and disposal.

  • Pour out the beer and examine your pantry for surviving maggots. You may kill the additional larvae without chemicals by blasting them with steam from a hot iron. Thoroughly clean and wipe down the pantry, preferably with bleach.

  • Replace items in the pantry, sealing grains and other loose foods in airtight plastic containers. Some types of maggots also like apples and blueberries, so store those fruits in the refrigerator.

  • Do not leave out any meat, poultry or fish. When disposing of these items, seal them in plastic bags and store in the refrigerator until trash day, and then place outside in garbage containers.

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