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robbiefpb's avatar

How dangerous are insects from rotten food?

Asked by robbiefpb (9 points ) October 14th, 2010

Hi, my wife bought a bread making machine some time ago and after using it a few times we simply got bored and went back to buying shop baked bread. This morning i noticed that the bread maker had dust all over it, but when i investugated it more closely, i found to my horror it was covered in thousands of tiny insects! Somehow, the lasy time it was used, no-one actually took out the loaf and its been rotting away ever since. Now I know this is disgusting and beleive me when I say that both I and my wife are horrified, but I am really concerned about these bugs. I’ve cleaned everwhere i can with bleach but AND I REALLY HOPE ITS A CO-INCIDENCE but i’v been suffering with breathing problems / chest infections for about a month. Could these 2 things be related?

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8 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

What can you tell us about the insects? Obviously, not all insects are equally dangerous and not all are dangerous in the same way.

What kind of bread are we talking about, first? That might help to narrow down what kind of insects would be attracted to it. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a loaf of bread attacked strongly by insects. Mold, yes, and depending on the type of mold that can be a problem.

But depending on how you attempted to clean with bleach, that stuff can fuck up your breathing. I’d be more inclined to think you may have harmed yourself with that.

cazzie's avatar

If you are having breathing issues, it’s less likely the bugs and more likely the mould. How long was the loaf of bread in there and could the spores be easily airbourne? Where do you live, climate wise. What type of ‘bug’ was it… (technically… probably not a bug but a small insect of some type?, most likely with soft wings?) but if you take the insects food source away, you get rid of them.

I had an infestation of a a type of flour moth in NZ and had to throw out all sorts from my cupboard, but the eggs get laid in the ‘food’ and as long as you throw that out, you’re getting rid of the next generation and can be pretty sure the pest is gone.

Bugs and mould can cause types of infections, but if you are improving with antibiotics, it’s probably unrelated to the bugs and bread. Bleach was probably overkill. Hot water…perhaps some vinegar but I hope you used the bleach sparingly and well diluted.

Let us know how you go with this.

RocketGuy's avatar

@cyanoticWasp – I agree. I have a friend who bleaches everything in his house, including his kids’ tables and toys. They have severe breathing problems. Funny coincidence?

Civic_Cat's avatar

I occasionally eat food that insects have been in or perhaps are still. If I have breathing problems, I treat it with tea, Vics rub in the nostrils, and/or a few hours a day in the outdoors.

snowberry's avatar

In future, please remember mold and mildew are easily killed with VINEGAR! It is safer than bleach, and leaves no residue. I’ve also noticed that often it will dissolve mold.

robbiefpb's avatar

Hi guys, you’re all absolutely correct about the bleach. It was just a panic knee jerk reaction. Will use vinegar if i’m ever in that situation again. I’ve only just used the bleach this evening, so that can’t be related to the breathing issues.
The bugs were tiny, about 1mm and white. best described as maggot like, but absolutely tiny in comparison to any maggots i’ve seen before.

mattbrowne's avatar

Depends on the insect. Fruit flies are usually quite harmless for example.

RocketGuy's avatar

Do you have any of these bugs left? Maybe they were Springtails:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtail

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