A trash can has many benefits. It keeps odors at bay, it gives you a place to throw away unwanted food, and it prevents the spread of pests like flies. Unfortunately, a moist enclosed space with dirt is a breeding ground for maggots. Getting rid of these worm-like pests is always a nauseating experience.
However, there are several ways to remove maggots from your trash can, allowing you to continue using this essential household item without any further issues.
How to Get Rid of Maggots in Garbage Can
Here are five ways to get rid of maggots in your trash can:
1. Use Baking Soda
Maggots feed on decaying organic matter, so you can get rid of them by setting out a dish of baking soda. The baking soda will absorb their odor and kill them if they crawl over it. Make sure you use baking soda that’s completely clean as maggots eat through plastic.
You can also try putting a drop or two of peppermint oil on your baking soda, it repels flies, which are attracted to rotten food. If you don’t have any mint extract, just sprinkle some fresh ground pepper onto your baking soda.
If you want to make an easy-to-use trap from household items, put some vinegar into a small bowl with some olive oil and then add about one teaspoon of sugar for every cup of liquid.
Cover with plastic wrap and poke holes into it so that bugs can get inside without escaping. This mixture should attract flies (and only flies) into your trash can where they’ll drown in the liquid or be killed by other insects who consume them.
2. Add White Vinegar
White vinegar is one of nature’s best deodorizers, and it can also help keep your trash area fresher for a longer period of time. It’s even more potent than baking soda, so you can safely use it as a natural disinfectant.
Just pour some into a spray bottle and pour it inside your trash cans. Let it soak for about 15 minutes and then rinse with water (it may take several applications over time before you notice real results).
Vinegar is also an effective stain remover. Simply mix it with equal parts water and apply directly to stains on clothing or carpeting using a soft brush or cloth to lift debris from fabric and remove bloodstains from carpeting.
3. Freeze it For 24 Hours
If you’ve already got a bad infestation, freezing your trash can is a good way to kill off maggots. Just dump your trash bin into your freezer for 24 hours and you should be good. Disgusting but effective.
Once it’s thawed out, clean it thoroughly with hot water and soap. You might want to wear gloves while doing so, or even double bag some items. It’s best not to store food inside again if possible since you don’t know if any lingering eggs will hatch later on.
If there’s time before an upcoming trash pickup day, wrap any open bags tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil (this will block both light and air) then throw them away.
While you’re at it, consider getting a new trash can that doesn’t have holes around its lid. That makes it harder for flies to get in and lay their eggs in the first place.
4. Use Sticky Traps
The easiest way to clean up maggot-infested trash is with sticky traps. Put a few strips of tape down around your trash can and you’ll catch them before they make their way inside.
Sticky paper rolls also work well, but it’s important not to touch anything during cleanup because flies often deposit eggs on your hands when you handle them. Both kinds of traps are fairly easy for flies to avoid, so it may take a few days for them all to fall into your trap.
In addition, if there are still maggots inside after three or four days, you might have a full-blown infestation; consider hiring an exterminator immediately if that’s the case.
Be sure to empty your trash regularly as flies will look for food sources anywhere near where they lay their eggs.
5. Keep Flies Away From Your Garbage Cans
Store your trash cans on a flat surface, away from plants and other food sources. If you have a garbage disposal, avoid using it until you’ve removed all food items from your trash can.
And if you do have maggots, avoid attracting flies by composting: throw your scraps into a compost pile rather than keeping them in a trash can where flies will inevitably find them.
When it’s time to dispose of those maggot-infested foods that you can’t compost, place them in an airtight bag (you may also want to double bag), place them inside a black plastic bag and put that bag inside another black plastic bag before tossing it into your outside garbage bin.
We’ve put together many articles to help you get rid of unwanted household items. You may want to see How to Dispose of Propane Tanks and the 7 Ways to Dispose Of Cooking Oil.
Frequently Asked Questions for Getting Rid of Maggots
What Spray Kills Maggots?
The internet is filled with ideas on how you can get rid of maggots. Some people suggest spraying hairspray directly on a maggot-infested garbage bag; others recommend trying dish soap, while others advocate for deodorants.
Before you run out and try any of these home remedies, know that they are not likely to work. That’s because flies lay eggs on the decomposing matter and then other flies eat those eggs and live in your trash can. Even if you kill some of them, many more will keep breeding inside your trash can.
The best way to prevent them from multiplying is by keeping your trash bin as clean as possible at all times. Make sure there’s no food leftovers or rotting material inside it.
If you have an outdoor bin, make sure it has a lid so flies don’t have access to it. Flies also tend to breed around animal feces, so make sure pets aren’t leaving their waste around your house or yard.
You can also use commercial fly traps that attract and trap adult flies before they have a chance to lay eggs in your trash can or around your house.
Why Do I Keep Getting Maggots in My Bin?
Maggots are attracted to food scraps, so a small amount could indicate you have too much. You can get a separate bin for food waste, or an odor-reducing bin liner.
They’re also attracted by moisture, so make sure your bins aren’t kept outdoors if they can’t be covered. If you have a lot of maggots and it’s during warm weather, keep your garbage can as far away from your house as possible.
Is It Normal to Have Maggots in Garbage?
Maggots are actually a very common sight; they feed on decaying organic matter, and garbage provides them with an abundance of food. But maggot infestations in garbage cans can become a serious problem for homeowners.
Any organic waste (food scraps, paper, animal droppings) left uncovered is essentially a free buffet for maggots. In addition to being gross and smelly, these pests can spread disease and may even bite if handled by an unwary person.
Keep your trash containers covered and empty regularly if you want to prevent an infestation from taking hold in your household or business location.