Maggots in Cloth Diapers

By April Duffy •  Updated: 05/30/24 •  5 min read

Finding maggots in your cloth diapers isn’t common, but it can happen, especially in the summer months.

If you’ve opened up a diaper pail and found maggots, you’re likely wondering what you signed yourself up to with this cloth diaper thing; but again, it’s not common and you can remove them and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Keep reading to learn how.

How Do Maggots Get in Cloth Diapers?

The first step is understanding how on earth maggots got into your cloth diapers in the first place, and the answer is, flies. Maggots are simply fly babies, so at some point, a fly got into your diaper bin and laid eggs.

With the quick life cycle of flies, especially fruit flies and house flies, it doesn’t take more than a few hours for a fly egg to hatch.

According to Terminix, “Eggs take eight to 20 hours to hatch and reach the first of three larval stages. During this part of the fly life cycle, larvae are also referred to as maggots.”

Why Are Flies Attracted to Cloth Diapers?

The fact is, flies love poop, so if they find a nice, fresh supply (and it doesn’t have to be much) that’s where they’ll go, and therefore that’s where they’ll lay their eggs.

How to Keep Maggots Out of Your Cloth Diapers

If you have flies in your home, there are a number of things you can do to keep the maggots out of your diapers:

  1. Rinse your soiled diapers as soon as they are dirty. Many parents like to put all their soiled diapers aside and spray them all at once, but this isn’t the best strategy to keep flies away. That poop looks really good to any flies in your home, so spraying it off immediately will help keep them off (and not laying eggs on your diapers).
  2. Use a closed diaper pail. Open-air dirty diaper storage is great for lengthening the time you can go between washing your cloth diapers, but it also leaves them open to flies. Consider using a closed diaper pail until the fly situation is under control.
  3. Wash your diapers more often. As mentioned above, a fly’s larvae cycle is 8-20 hours, so it stands to reason that the more often you wash your diapers the less likely it is that any eggs laid on your diapers will hatch into maggots.
  4. Get the flies out of your home. As long as there are flies around your diapers, there’s a possibility they may get onto them and lay eggs. Sealing up any holes in window screens etc., and then catching the flies in your home now will reduce this risk.
    I love the TrapStik traps for houseflies because I find the tape rolls impossible. I can also vouch that little liquid fruit fly traps also work well. Here’s some links:
  1. CatchMore Fruit Fly Traps (4+2 Bonus Pack)
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  2. RESCUE! Non-Toxic TrapStik for Flies – Indoor Hanging Fly Trap - 4 Pack
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    03/08/2024 05:37 am GMT

How to Remove Maggots from Cloth Diapers if They Do Get In

If you find yourself with maggots in your cloth diapers, don’t panic, they are salvagable!

Don’t get me wrong it will be gross, but you can easily get rid of the maggots and once removed they won’t pose any health risk to your baby.

Here’s what to do:

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.