Why do I have maggots in my carpet? This is a question someone asked in my Facebook group the other day, and I thought it needed investigating! There may be a couple of reasons that you’ve got a maggot infestation indoors, as flies lay eggs on:
- Spilled food or drink.
- Food left in waste bins and trash cans.
- Pet feces or urine.
- Plates and cups left in rooms.
- Dead rodents or birds.
While some of these reasons seem pretty simple to detect, like unemptied wastepaper bins that attract flies, some may be more difficult to source, like a dead rodent in the loft. The initial size of the infestation will be determined by how long the food source has been available to the flies.
How maggots get in carpets.
Maggots will hatch from the eggs that the fly has laid on the food source and will hatch into maggots which will, in turn, continue to feed on the original food source before turning into flies.
Can maggots survive in carpets?
Maggots can survive untreated in carpets as long as there is a food source for them to feast upon.
Can maggots breed in carpets?
Maggots don’t breed in the carpet, but they may turn into flies which then lay more eggs on the food source that turn into larvae and maggots to start the whole cycle again.
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Finding the source of the maggot infestation.
- The first step in removing maggots in carpets is to look at the maggot infestation. Decide if the maggots have traveled a distance from an overflowing bin. Or could they have fallen from somewhere, such as a loft opening or an open window?
How to get rid of maggots step-by-step
Before you start.
- Always test on an inconspicuous place on the carpet.
- Remove as many live maggots as you can.
- Try not to oversoak the carpet as it may not dry, and mold will form in the fibers.
- Try these methods at your own risk.
- After treating the infestation, always empty the contents of your vacuum cleaner into a plastic bag, seal it, and put it straight into the bin. Get rid of anything that has been in contact with the maggots or larvae. Disinfect your vacuum cleaner to prevent recontamination.
- Follow by steam cleaning using a steam cleaner to clean your carpet and remove all remaining maggots and larvae. Steam cleaning sanitizes your carpet and removes any residue that may be harmful to pets.
- You could also have your carpet professionally cleaned after treating the infestation.
- It usually takes about 6 hours to kill the larvae, so you must be patient if using the more natural methods.
Salt and lime
Salt will kill the maggots by dehydrating them. Lime or lemon juice should be enough to kill maggots on their own. However, when mixed with salt, it becomes much more effective against eggs and flies larvae.
- Sprinkle salt onto the infested area.
- Spray some lime (or lemon) juice over the top.
- Leave to dry.
- Vacuum the area thoroughly.
Diatomaceous Earth Powder
Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder and an excellent method to remove maggots from the carpet.
- Sprinkle the diatomaceous powder over the maggots and the affected area.
- The diatomaceous powder will stick to the maggot’s bodies and dehydrate them similarly to salt.
- Vacuum up the powder once all the maggots are dead.
Boric acid powder
Boric acid powder is a natural insecticide. Boric acid should kill maggots almost immediately. You can buy Boric acid at hardware stores and department stores. However, it is more difficult to source in the UK.
- Sprinkle some Boric Acid Powder onto and around the infested area.
- Work the Boric Acid Powder into the carpet fibers to reach the maggots and any unhatched eggs.
- Leave the powder to work for about 10 minutes.
- Check for any living maggots.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Vacuum up all the powder, empty it, and clean your vacuum immediately to prevent recontamination.
- Follow by steam or professional carpet clean.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach, so care must be taken when using it on the carpet, even in a diluted solution.
- Dilute 1 1/2 cups hydrogen peroxide into half a bucket of hot water.
- Pour the solution over the affected area of the carpet to kill both the maggots and the larvae.
- After a few minutes, remove the dead maggots.
- Clean with soapy water.
- Rinse the area with fresh water.
- Follow by steam or a professional carpet clean.
White vinegar is a cheap and easy way to eliminate maggots in carpets.
- Use one part vinegar to three parts boiling water.
- Pour on top of your maggot-covered carpet, taking care not to oversoak the carpet.
- Leave the solution for a few minutes to work.
- Remove as many of the maggots as possible.
- Clean the area with a soapy water solution.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Follow by steam or professional carpet cleaning.
You can use an insecticide like Permethrin, but I would steer clear as it is poisonous to pets.
How to remove maggots under a carpet
Sometimes the maggots may have found their way underneath your carpet. The removal method remains the same, but you must find the maggots, then clean the carpet and the floor.
- Turn the carpet upside down to expose the maggots and the larvae.
- Sprinkle Boric Acid on the infestation and the floor where the carpet has been.
- Allow the Boric Acid to work for a few minutes.
- Vacuum the underside side of the carpet and the floor.
- Dispose of the vacuum bag or canister in the outside bin.
- Steam the floor and underneath the carpet.
How to keep maggots out of your home and away from your carpets.
- Keep your home clean.
- Keep food out of the bedrooms, especially kids and teens’ rooms.
- Wipe up food spills immediately and thoroughly.
- Empty and clean bins daily. Sprinkle them with baking soda to deodorize.
- Cover all food, including pet food.
- Clean up food and drinks spilled on the carpet immediately.
- Sweep and vacuum floors regularly.
- Steam clean the carpet regularly.
- Keep a check on chimneys, lofts, and guttering for dead animals and birds.
- Chimneys and gutters are often places animals and birds go to die, and the maggots can transfer through open windows or down chimneys.
- Lofts are often home to bats, squirrels, mice, wasps, birds, and even rats. Check your loft for any bird or animal carcasses.
Eliminating Maggots from Car Carpets.
The method used on a car carpet is the same as for household carpets.
- Take care not to overwet the carpet, as it may be more difficult to dry, especially in cold, damp weather.
- Use a hand-held steamer to eliminate all the maggots and larvae in the car carpet.
- Do not eat in the car as it is difficult to contain spillages and food waste.
- Wipe up any spillages immediately, especially sugary and milky drinks.
- Keep windows up when you are not using the car.
When to call a professional exterminator to treat maggots
If you doubt the size of the infestation or the safety of your children and pets, please call pest control.
Read more about pest control around the home!
Salt kills the maggots by slowly drawing out the moisture from the maggot and dehydrating it.
You can vacuum maggots, but you must thoroughly clean everything that comes into contact with the maggot or larvae, including your vacuum, attachments, rollers, and hoses.
It sounds like carpet beetles or carpet maggots. You can find out how to get rid of them in this post.
Flies do not necessarily lay eggs in a clean carpet. Still, they will lay eggs on spillages, food, urine, etc., left unattended on the carpet. They hatch into fly larvae in the carpet and eventually turn into maggots.
There may be many reasons you have maggots in your house. Just check the list above for possible reasons you may have an infestation.
Please do not use bleach to kill maggots, as it will remove the color from your carpet.
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