Have You Found Maggot In Food? Here’s What You Need To Do To Get Rid Of Them

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Imagine looking forward to enjoying a delicious meal only to end up finding a maggot in food; sounds appalling, right? Honestly speaking, this can be a very common scenario when your home is under a maggot infestation.

Therefore, if you have found a maggot in food, here’s what you need to do to get rid of them.

What causes maggot in food?

maggots food stock photo

Food exposed to air eventually starts producing maggots. In fact, the presence of maggots in food was all too common in the days before refrigeration and clean food handling.

And now, over the years, people may still continue to see maggots in their food, particularly due to the fact that maggots will continue to grow on food as long as a fly can lay its eggs there!

let me elaborate,

Flies are attracted to food and often lay their eggs on or near the food. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the food until they are ready to become pupa and become adult flies.

Maggots are fly larvae, so if you see them in your food, it is likely that there is an active infestation of flies somewhere close by.

Common Reasons for Maggot infestation

Maggots are often a sign that there is an unhealthy or unsafe environment. This can be due to improper food storage, poor hygiene, or unclean surroundings.

Furthermore, Maggots have the ability to eat and reproduce quickly. When maggots eat, they not only consume the food but also spread disease to other organisms.

Therefore, if you find maggots in your food, it is important to take action to get rid of them and address the underlying cause.

One way to get rid of the maggots is by freezing the food or putting it in a sealed container.

How long do infestations of maggots typically last?

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Maggots can typically last for a few days to a week, but their presence will only get worse if the infestation is not properly dealt with.

Maggots feed on rotting food and organic matter, so disposing of food waste in sealed garbage bags or containers, will help to prevent the maggots from continuing to proliferate.

Risks of eating maggots in the food

If you ingest the maggots in your food, you may become vulnerable to whatever it was that the maggots were exposed to, such as feces or rotten meat.

In fact, food items with maggot infestations are usually rotting and tainted with pathogens. The following are common threats of consuming maggots in food:

Bacterial poisoning

Maggots are often associated with food poisoning as they can become contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis and Escherichia coli bacteria. Symptoms of these infections can include fever, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and cramping.

See a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms after eating something containing fly larva.

Furthermore, immediately discard the food with maggots and disinfect the area where these pests were found.

Human Myiasis

Myiasis is a condition that results when fly larva feeds on the living tissue of mammals, most commonly humans.

The larvae can live in the intestines, stomach, and mouth and exhibit a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including gastrointestinal problems and visible maggots in the mouth.

If you think you may have myiasis, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment typically involves surgically removing the larvae.

Allergic reaction

Some people who are allergic to the larvae of certain types of flies may experience an allergic reaction after handling or consuming the maggots. Symptoms can vary but may include swelling, itching, and difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms after coming into contact with maggots, seek medical attention immediately.

Step by Step Guide to Getting rid of maggots

Maggots can emerge in a variety of places around the house, yard, and, in the worst-case scenario, in your food. To permanently get rid of the bothersome visitors, each situation will need a different approach.

Learn how to eliminate maggots by referring to the instructions below.

maggot in food

Remove the Food Waste

Maggots are fly larva that thrives on food left out of the home. In order to eliminate these pesky pests, it is important to remove their food source. By doing so, you can starve the maggots and eventually kill them.

This can include garbage, compost, or pet food.

Additionally, upon returning home, store groceries in sealed containers and immediately put away any leftovers.

This will help get rid of the maggots and prevent pests like flies from being attracted to your food.

Make Use of Boiling Water

Maggots hatch from eggs that are deposited by adult flies. If you see maggots in your food, the best way to get rid of them is to kill both the maggots and the adult flies.

The good news is that there is an easy way to get rid of them: boiling water. Boiling water will kill the maggots quickly and easily, so you can dispose of them and get on with your day.

Use Spot Spray Treatment

If you find maggots in your food, it’s important to take action quickly. A spot spray treatment is the fastest way to kill them all.

insects fly larvae photos

Spot spray treatment is a chemical product that is designed to kill both houseflies and maggots. It can be used to treat areas where there is an infestation of flies or maggots, as well as to prevent future infestations.

Spot Spray Treatment comes in the form of a liquid or aerosol and is applied directly to the target area.

Clear Out the Refrigerator

One way to get rid of flies and maggots is to clear out the refrigerator. This means taking everything out, cleaning and wiping the interior of the fridge well, and putting things back in a way that will discourage flies from hanging around. You can also use traps or sprays to get rid of flies and maggots.

Investigate Hidden Spots

In order to prevent maggots from growing in your home, ensure that everyone avoids leaving scraps outside the kitchen or dining room. Maggots reproduce quickly, so it is important to take care of the issue as soon as possible.

Furthermore, Check around the house for hidden spots where these pests may be congregating and undertake measures to remove them immediately.

Bathe your Pets 

Maggots are fly larva that can infest and feed on the flesh of animals, including humans. 

These larvae are often found in areas where there is fresh blood or rotting meat. Pets can also get maggots if their wounds are open and they have access to fresh blood.

In fact, insects and parasites can live in your pet’s fur and cause skin problems.

So it is important to keep pets clean and free of maggot infestation. This can be done by bathing them frequently.

Steam Clean

Vacuuming and steam cleaning are two of the most effective methods of dealing with maggots.

In fact, steam cleaners are a great way to clean carpets, furniture, and other surfaces. The high-temperature steam will kill any fly larva or eggs, as well as remove any dirt or stains.

How to kill maggots naturally.

If you find maggots in your food, you can also undertake natural methods to get rid of these pests. 

The same can be achieved by spraying them with lime or lemon juice, and it should be enough to kill them if they are found outside a trash bin.

In addition, another home remedy is to use diatomaceous earth. It can be sprinkled over the soil or infected area to kill the maggots.

When to seek expert help with treating maggots

larva food eat images

Although there are times when it is possible to treat maggots on your own, there are also times when seeking expert help is the better option.

That said, in the case of any of the below-mentioned difficulties, seeking professional help is highly recommended:

  • not able to identify the pest that is causing the maggot infestation (hence creating difficulty for treatment),
  • You are unable to eliminate the maggots after trying different methods
  • if they are present in the sensitive area
  • or in case of a heavy infestation


Maggots can be a major nuisance, especially when they are found in food. If you have found maggots or fly larva in your food, it is important to take action immediately, as consuming infected food can lead to several health issues.

However, the good news is you can use any of the techniques mentioned above to eliminate maggots or, in the case of a severe infestation, consult an expert.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.