Maggots in Cloth Diapers


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. Fruit Fly Trap for Indoors (2 Pack)
  2. Fruit Fly Trap for Indoors (2 Pack)
    $15.99 ($8.00 / Count)
    Get it on Amazon Now

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    09/28/2022 06:09 pm GMT
  3. RESCUE! Non-Toxic TrapStik for Flies – Indoor Hanging Fly Trap - 4 Pack
  4. RESCUE! Non-Toxic TrapStik for Flies – Indoor Hanging Fly Trap - 4 Pack
    $19.95 ($4.99 / Count)
    Get it on Amazon Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    09/28/2022 06:20 pm 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:

  • Rinse the maggots off. Take them outside if you can, or if you can’t get outside, set up a bin with a big garbage bag inside next to your shower or diaper sprayer. This is the nasty part, but it must be done.
    If you don’t have a sprayer of any sort, you’re going to have to dunk them in the toilet and either swoosh them around or hold the diaper tightly while you flush them off. I REALLY recommend getting a cloth diaper sprayer for this though, it will be much less of a gross mess.
  • Do your initial rinse, and add bleach if it makes you feel better. You don’t actually have to bleach your diapers after they’ve hatched maggots. Since your diapers are the only thing the maggots have been on, they are just as dirty as your diapers, no more. While maggots out in the wild can carry disease from the thing they’ve been feeding on, the maggots themselves are not harmful, in fact they’re even used to clean wounds in some situations! (Source).
    With that said, maggots are gross and if you’re going to get creaped out by the thought of them every time you look at your diapers, add some bleach to make yourself feel better and more confident about them.
    No more than 1/4 cup in your initial rince cycle is needed to kill germs that may be there, and give them a nice bleached-clean scent.
    Similarly you can also use Lysol Laundry Sanitizer (Amazon Link) if it makes you feel better and you don’t want to use bleach. (Side note: Lysol Laundry Sanitizer can not sanitize diapers against yeast diaper rash, or rotovirus. Bleach must be used in these situations, and when sanitizing used diapers as well).
  • Follow the rest of your Measure Method diaper wash routine.

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