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How Do Maggots Get Into a Closed Refrigerator?

This is a question I get asked a lot. People are always interested in knowing what attracts maggots to a refrigerator, since they always seem to find their way into it. All food-loving home owners dread this problem, and it is an ever-present danger in homes where the refrigerator is used to store food.

It’s pretty simple, really—maggots are found in your fridge because they are attracted to the odors of rotting food, rather than entering through any openings on the inside of the refrigerator.

If you have a leak or spill that has gone unnoticed, you could also have a small pool of liquid that is a breeding ground for maggots.

The maggots are generally just enjoying the free buffet and won’t go inside the pipes or the refrigerator itself. 

The key is to prepare the inside of the refrigerator, killing off any remaining eggs or larvae that could hatch.

The good news is that, though creepy, maggots are harmless to humans and your refrigerator. 

Once you clean the mess, the maggots will die. 

The bad news is that the same won’t happen to the next batch of maggots unless you figure out where they’re coming from. 

The most common way for a maggot infestation to begin is with a piece of rotting meat or fruit, so check your refrigerator for any decaying leftovers or other items that could be attracting flies.

How long do maggots live in a fridge?

Maggots are the larvae of many different species of flies, including houseflies. 

Normally, maggots live as scavengers in the  body of warm-blooded animals, such as cattle, sheep, and humans. 

They are considered a biological control because they consume and convert dead organic matter into food for the fly. 

But, if you’re anything like me, when you think about maggots what you really think about is the grossest thing imaginable.

When you catch a glimpse of a bag of trash with what looks like hundreds of maggots writhing in it, it’s easy to assume the worst. 

But you may be surprised to learn that even the most repulsive-looking bag of rotting meat is unlikely to contain maggots. 

Maggots can only survive in meat if it’s very warm—so most bags of trash in a refrigerator are safe from maggot infestation. 

If maggots do invade a bag of meat, they will only survive for a short time, especially if they are trapped in a refrigerator.

Maggots usually begin to die when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and usually die within a few hours.

In a refrigerator, maggots often won’t survive more than 12 hours or so, because the temperature of a refrigerator is generally kept to 40 or 30 degrees or less.

Can maggots get into sealed containers?

Plastics are one of the most common storage containers used in the kitchen. 

They are also one of the most common storage containers that have bugs in them. 

Fruit flies and moths can lay eggs in the food before it gets into a sealed plastic container where it’s stored. 

Sometimes, it is the cap of a plastic bottle that is left off or cracked that allows these bugs to get in, and the eggs hatch into maggots. 

Either way, once they are inside the container they cannot get out, sometimes not even if you open the container up.

Maggots can live in a sealed container, provided the container has some form of food in it. 

The food can be dead or alive, but it must be some form of organic material. 

Other than that, the maggots will be able to survive even if the container is sealed and air tight.

Can maggots eat through plastic garbage bags?

We have all gone through the process of putting our trash in bag and out in the can for trash day. 

However, a quick question came to my mind that “what happens if the bag is left in the garbage can for too long and the trash inside starts to smell really bad”? 

Well, a friend of mine tried a little experiment to see how long a trash bag could stand the smell. 

The experiment included leaving an empty trash bag in a closed garbage can for two months. 

To the surprise of many there were maggots inside the bag after two months. 

So, if you think that your trash bag can stand for weeks before you have to throw it away, think again.

Maggots can eat through plastic. 

The problem is that many plastics are made from petroleum, which is a source of food for the larvae of the common housefly, and other flies. 

So, all the maggots care about is getting through the plastic to eat the petroleum-based material. 

When they have eaten all they can they will move on in search of a new food source. 

However, it is not a very strong material, and they can, and do, chew holes in it.

Conclusion 

You might not think about much besides the food in your refrigerator, but the creatures living in the food are likely to be thinking about you a lot. 

The fact is that your refrigerator can be a hotbed of activity, and it belongs to an ecosystem that is as diverse as it is disgusting. 

If you’re brave enough to open your refrigerator after reading this article, you should be able to track the different creatures that occupy your food and clean any mess you find.