I went to make some toast for dinner the other night, and realized as I was opening the bread bag that I couldn’t. Well, I could, but I’d have had to use the oven. You see, I no longer have a toaster. And it occurred to me that the reason I don’t have a toaster is so messed up that I’m kinda surprised I never got around to blogging it.
I had mystery maggots.
Back in September, I went into the kitchen one Saturday morning, and noticed crumbs all over a fair-sized section of the counter. Which made no sense since I hadn’t prepared food or cooked in there in some time.
As I quickly learned, the crumbs were… alive. There were wee maggots all over my counter. WTF? As noted, there wasn’t any food around, nor any flies in the kitchen, so where the hell had they come from?
I squashed, wiped up, and bleached the hell out of the counter, including lifting and cleaning under everything on it — coffeemaker, canisters, etc. (In part to see if they had come out from under or behind anything.) Still had no idea where they came from.
Over the course of the day I would go into the kitchen, and every single time there were fresh maggots on the counter. Squash, wipe, bleach — repeat! I checked under and around everything on the counter. I checked by the window. I checked the cupboards above and below. I checked the stove and the garbage and the mat and everything else I could think of. I made sure there were never any dirty dishes. No visible source and they just kept appearing. Sometimes there’d be two, sometimes there’d be 20.
This went on for four days. I was getting to the point where I was going to have to burn down the building just to stop feeling skeeved out. And thank goodness they fed me at work, cuz no way I’d be able to prepare food in there.
Now, it was always in the same area beside the sink, so I decided to remove everything from that area, bleach the hell out of it, and see if anything showed up. Because, really, they’d have had to have been dropping out of the sky.
That worked — nobody showed up. But then… I’d moved the coffeemaker, toaster, etc. onto the stove during the experiment, and sonuvabitch, there were maggots. Okay, so they had to be coming from one of those things. But I’d picked them all up, I’d cleaned them and shaken them and… WTF???
So I moved all the things that weren’t near the maggots back to their original locations. Maggots still appeared. I started moving things that were near the maggots back to the counter one at a time, until only the toaster was left. Then, after the toaster had sat on the stove by itself for a while, I picked it up.
Sure enough, maggots. Which apparently had dropped out the bottom.
Woohoo, right? Well, kinda. I immediately threw out my toaster, because… ugh. But WTF laid eggs in there? I hadn’t seen bugs in the apartment, not even the ubiquitous fruit flies that show up should there be a molecule of sugar they can detect. And what insect that produces maggots (larvae) prefers old toast crumbs?
I even googled “toaster maggots”, but the closest thing to useful was a tale that involved a mouse accidentally being killed and decomposing in the family’s toaster. I guess I never did check mine for deceased wildlife, but I also never smelled anything.
Fortunately, since I threw out the toaster, I haven’t been visited by any more maggots. I also haven’t gotten around to getting a new toaster, which I suppose I should, if I want to make good use of that kamut bread I bought as a gluten-free experiment.
I have a feeling I’m going to be a bit uncomfortable using even a new one for a while. I guess I’ll just have to make sure it looks nothing like the old one.