We all love a long lazy summer when we fling open the windows and doors and enjoy the gentle summer breeze drifting through our home. Then we open the lid of our recycling bins and are faced with a disgusting maggot infestation. In this post, I’ll be showing you how to get rid of maggots in the bin and a few other places too, and I’ll give you the lowdown on how to stop them from coming back.
The first time I had a maggot infestation I was horrified, they are disgusting little things, and I couldn’t fathom how I was going to get rid of them. I realised that the only way I could get rid of them would be to figure out how to prevent them. Once I’d discovered a way to get rid of flies around my bin it was a game-changer, no more flies, no more maggots in the wheelie bin!
What are maggots and where do they come from
Maggots are larvae which hatch from fly eggs, often from a housefly or blue bottle. The average housefly can lay up to 150 eggs at a time.
Maggots make their home in amongst your garbage and feed on rotten food, dead animal or bird carcasses and pet excrement. After 7-15 days they will reach the pupa stage and eventually hatch into disgusting flies, and so begin another lifecycle.
How long do maggots live?
Maggots form into pupae then hatch into flies, the whole life cycle of a larva is approximately ten days in the summer and roughly 30 days in the colder winter months.
Why do maggots live in the bin
Houseflies love rotten food, and your bin is full of food waste. Not only do they feed off the rotting food, but it is also a perfect place for a fly to lay its eggs. In a few days, the larvae will hatch and out will wriggle the disgusting little maggots.
Bins are an ideal place for them to breed because they are often warm, dark and damp. With the reduced bin collections, trash cans sit around longer and are often full to overflowing by the time the sanitation worker comes to collect. So, the lids are often left slightly ajar, allowing the fly to get in and lay its eggs. If you have more than one fly at any time, you can end up with hundreds of maggots!
Maggots munch their way through virtually anything that is in their way from the first minute they hatch, and they are not fussy what they eat.
Getting rid of maggots.
How to get rid of maggots in a bin.
Maggots in the bin is a repulsive sight, but you can fix it with minimum effort.
You need to get rid of any maggots to prevent them from turning into more flies.
As the bin empties on bin day, most of the larvae will get removed. Still, it is crucial to get rid of any that remain as quickly as possible, especially as our bins are collected less frequently, our food waste is sometimes sitting around for weeks.
With all that in mind here’s how to get rid of maggots in a bin for good!
- Boiling water
The easiest way to get rid of a small infestation of maggots and flies in a bin is to pour boiling water over them this should kill maggots and fly eggs too.
If you prefer to use something to kill the germs as well, you can also add a cup full of bleach to the water. The smell of the bleach will help to deter any more flies from going near your bin.
I know some people who pour a bottle of bleach inside their bin the night before bin day this helps to clean the wheelie bin as all the rubbish slides out. Please do not do this with any recyclable waste!
Use a 50% vinegar and water spray to get rid of maggots in the bin spray liberally over the larvae. The smell of the vinegar will help to deter any more flies landing on your bin.
- Beer bath
Putting a dish of beer in your bin is thought to attract maggots, they crawl into the beer and then drown.
- Call a professional exterminator
Most bin infestations are quickly dealt with at home, however, if you feel the outbreak is too large or you can not find the source of the maggots it is best to call Rentokil or another pest control company to help you get rid of them.
How to control flies and maggots in your bins.
The easiest way to keep flies out of your bins is to:
- Eliminate the food source, do not throw food straight into your bin without either carefully bagging it or in the case of bottles and jars rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any food waste.
- Use a bin powder. Sprinkle the powder over your food wastage every few days, this will overpower the smell of food, and the flies will not want to land. I use Jeyes bin fresh powder as it is a lovely fresh lemony smell and leaves your wheelie bin smelling so clean. I’m not sure you can get Jeyes outside the UK, but this one looks similar and had a cherry scent.
- Treat the bin as soon as it is empty sprinkle the powder over the bottom of the wheelie bin as soon as the sanitation workers have emptied it. Then each time you put a bin bag of rubbish in the wheelie bin sprinkle a small amount over the top to get rid of any odours.
- Clean the indoor bin each time it is empty. Use a disinfectant spray and make sure no food is allowed to spill down the sides of the bin bag.
- Empty your kitchen bin every day. I try to empty my bin every day in the summer to avoid bad odours attracting the flies. If there is no rotting food left around flies will be less likely to land.
- Hose down your wheelie bin each time you empty it. Washing your bin after each empty with disinfectant will help to prevent any gunge forming inside the bin.
- Use a wheelie bin liner. It’s a good idea to use wheelie bin liners to keep your bins nice and clean on the inside.
- Spray disinfectant around the lids of your bins I always spray disinfectant around the top of wheelie bins to take away any smell that will attract flies, I usually do this every day during the hotter summer days and find it works!
- Use heavy-duty bin bags. Use the thickest bin bags that you can so that the bag doesn’t split and cause food spillage when you try to empty the bin.
- Hang a bag of coins in water by your doors and windows. How can a simple bag of coins hung at a back door or window stop a fly from coming into your house? I hear you ask! It’s a good question! Well, there are a few different theories behind this simple little trick. Some people have said that it reflects the light off the pennies and enlarges the coin to look like other insects eyes, some say that flies don’t like the look of the coin in the water as they can not see correctly and will avoid coming near the area. I used a mixed bag of copper and silver coins and hung it above my back door and any open windows. It’s not fully known why a bag of coins confuses a fly so much that it doesn’t want to land, but some say that it’s because flies have loads of complex eyes and that the reflected light confuses the fly and makes it unable to see, so they move elsewhere.
- Wipe up any spills immediately you might be able to forget about that tiny spot of jam you dropped while eating your toast but you can be a fly will find it straight away! Clear up all spillages, as soon as you can then disinfect the area well.
- Don’t overfill your wheelie bin and kitchen bin, make sure the lid is tightly shut. If your bin is overflowing take your rubbish to the tip instead of cramming so much in that the lid won’t shut!
- Clear away any pet food flies will lay their eggs on pet food, so be sure to put any uneaten pet food away.
- Wipe grill pans and cooker tops stovetops and grill pans are other places flies like to land and lay eggs so make sure you clean up any spills after every use.
Getting rid of maggots elsewhere
How to get rid of maggots in a wheelie bin
Finding maggots in your bin can be quite common in the summertime. its a really easy job to get rid of them and stop them coming back, just follow the advice above to keep your bins maggot free!
How to get rid of maggots in a carpet
Finding maggots in your carpet is a terrifying experience. the most important thing is to find the exact source of the infestation.
There may be a few causes of maggots in your carpet:
- An unnoticed pet accident
- Food and drink spillages
- A dead animal or bird in the loft.
- Forgotten food under beds, in lunchboxes or rucksacks.
The best way to get rid of maggots in a carpet is to sprinkle Boric acid powder on the carpet, covering the area and going slightly over where you think they are. Then get a stiff brush and sweep the area thoroughly for several minutes. Vacuum immediately then empty your vacuum bag and seal the bin bag before putting it in your wheelie bin, you don’t want another maggot infestation in your bin! I would advise getting your carpets professionally cleaned straight afterwards, just to make sure the maggots have been removed and killed.
How to get rid of maggots on the floor.
If you have maggots on a solid floor such as concrete or hardwood, you can sweep them up then use a disinfectant or bleach solution to clean the area thoroughly. If you have maggots in your carpet follow the advice above.
How to get rid of maggots in the garage
Firstly find the source of the infestation, it could be:
- food waste
- a trash can
- a dirty drain
- a dead rodent or bird carcass
- a food or drink spillage
- Empty or forgotten about food packet.
Once you’ve located the source get rid of it, then pour boiling water over the maggots, I would then rinse the area with a bleach solution to make sure it’s nice and clean.
If it’s coming from a drain a problem make sure you bleach your drains well.
Do not keep rubbish or food waste in your garage.
How to get rid of maggots in an oven
Oh my god, when I first discovered that maggots could get inside an oven I was horrified, thankfully I have never had to deal with this situation, but I get asked about it all the time!
Flies can get into an oven via the tiny air vents and lay eggs on any food spillages or food left in the oven.
My advice would be to remove the maggots as best you can with a paper towel then use a bleach solution on the whole area. After that, I would book a professional oven cleaner to come and thoroughly clean it just in case the fly has laid any eggs in any nooks and crannies you can’t see.
How to get rid of maggots in compost
Try to remove the maggots using gloves if you can stomach it, then cover the top of your compost heap with either leaves or some plastic sheeting.
You could leave the area of compost exposed for a few hours and allow the local birds to have a feast on all your juicy maggots!
How to get rid of maggots naturally
It’s quite easy to kill maggots without using harsh chemicals because unlike other insects; they do not have a hard protective shell to protect them. Usually boiling water will do the trick or you could add some vinegar to be extra sure, and hopefully, the smell will deter other flies.
How to get rid of the smell of maggots
The smell maggots leave behind is quite revolting, so you might want to freshen up your bin with some sodium bicarbonate after you’ve got rid of them. After hosing down your bin, just sprinkle a liberal amount of the bicarbonate of soda inside your bin to freshen it up again.
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Frequently asked questions
If you cant find the source of the infestation of maggots, call pest control as you may have a dead bird or rodent inside the loft or somewhere. You need to act quickly before you have a house full of flies!
Flies are attracted to rotten food, cat litter, pet accidents or food spillages. Keep your doors and windows closed, wipe up any spills immediately and make sure bins are kept immaculately clean at all times.
Maggots do not lay eggs. However, maggots do hatch from the eggs of flies, they then turn into pupae, then hatch into flies ready to start the whole lifecycle again.
The most effective maggot killer is to pour boiling water over the infestation, this should be enough to kill a small number of maggots in your bin. However, if you have a large infestation elsewhere in the home, you may need to call pest control.
Maggots are usually cone-shaped, dirty white or slightly brown in colour. They are about the length of your thumbnail and about 1mm thick and they very wriggly. They have a dirty brown mark on their back end which is actually a breathing hole.
Maggots do not have teeth but crush up their food before eating it instead.
Maggots used on the skin is known as maggot therapy. Disinfected maggots are used in hospitals and veterinary practices and are attached to the non-healing skin and soft tissue of a deep wound on a human or animal. The larvae will then eat all the dead tissue within the wound without the risk of further infection. Dead tissue in a deep wound can cause infection so the larvae will effectively clean and disinfects the dead tissue. It is thought that a maggot will clean a deep wound on a leg ulcer five times quicker that without maggots you can read more about the study here.
Maggots form when a fly lays its eggs on some rotten food or animal waste, the eggs will then hatch into maggots.
Maggots can not fly as they do not have wings. But you may have seen a pupae hatch into a fly which then flies away.
Maggots usually live 5-8 days before turning into pupae. Without food and water, they can only live 2-3 days.
Now you’ve learnt how to get rid of maggots from your bin why not read how to power wash your stuff!
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Do you have a horrendous maggot story to tell us? How did you get rid of your infestation? We’d love to know! Drop us a line or two in the comments below!