How to Deal with a Maggot Infestation
Maggots are not only disgusting, but an infestation can be difficult to deal with, and often they can keep coming back. Handling these disgusting pests doesn’t require a PhD in anything other than good old elbow grease, and we’ll give you the tools you need in this article . We’ll talk about what maggots are, where they come from, how you can eliminate them from your life, and what you need to do to keep them from coming back.
What are maggots?
Contrary to what people believe about flies, they do in fact lay eggs. In fact, they lay lots of eggs. Flies of all kinds do this. Ready for some gross information?
In their lifespan, female flies can lay up to 500 eggs. Usually, your standard house fly can live for around 15 to 30 days, so that’s plenty of opportunities for them to lay those eggs. Flies lay eggs in decaying organic matter, like trash cans, feces, roadkill, etc. It’s disgusting, but that’s nature for you.
Those eggs become larvae, which are better known as maggots. If you’ve seen these white squirmy things hanging out on a pile of trash, then you know exactly what they are. These maggots will spend about 14 to 36 days eating before they enter what is called the pupal stage, where they’ll begin their transition into the flies we know and love (NOT).
Where do they come from
Maggots need a source of protein, usually meat. But, flies can lay eggs almost anywhere there’s a significant amount of trash. That means that a prime environment for maggots is places where messes and any other kind of garbage accumulates.
If you’ve got many flies in your living space or area already, it’s very likely that you’ll see more. They will congregate and lay eggs wherever there’s a consistent mess or where food is left out.
So, watch out for flies, and try your best to keep their population to a minimum in whatever area you’re in. Invest in a fly swatter or fly paper.
How to take them out
Once you have maggots, there’s several options available for removing them.
- Boiling water - Here is another option that’s sufficiently medieval. Pouring boiling water over maggots will instantly kill them. The only problem with this method is that you need to make sure you’re getting all the spots where the maggots might be. The more places they are, the less effective boiling water is.
- Freezing - If you’re inclined this way feels the most humane, or easy if you live in the Northeast during our winters. With smaller infestations, collect the container or maggots and place them in an airtight container. Placing them in the freezer overnight is a more peaceful way to end the issue.
- Bleach - Dilute one cup of bleach with one cup of water, and delicately swirl the liquid around the can to sanitize the surface. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
- Lime, salt, water, or vinegar - Any of these three ingredients are effective killers of maggots. Just make sure to hit the infested area a few time to make sure that you’ve gotten all of the pests.
- Insecticide - Insecticide is always an effective option for handling a maggot infestation. There are many different options available on the market, and for maggots, which are not particularly resilient, almost any form of insecticide will work wonders.
- Diatomaceous earth - This is a natural healthier solution to removing maggots. You just sprinkle this stuff over any area where there’s an insect problem, and wait. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally sharp and jagged material that is like throwing bag of razor blades over the insects. Intense, but effective.
How to prevent them from coming back
Killing the maggots is one thing, but this is the really difficult part. You have to make sure that every area is cleaned and maintained well to prevent their return. If there’s a consistent food source for the maggots, they’ll keep on coming back. So, that means deep cleaning.
If the maggots are showing up in your trash can, clean it out! Scour with warm water and soup, and then coat the interior of the can with baking soda. That will eliminate odors and also keep the maggots from returning.
Clean all of the surfaces in the area, and make sure any potential moist and damp areas are free of organic material. If you have pets, make sure that their food is kept in sealed containers that are cleaned regularly.
Here are a few more guidelines:
- Wrap your food waste, and don’t wait longer than 7 days to dispose of it.
- Don’t leave food and unrinsed containers sitting out in your kitchen.
- Rinsing polystyrene food trays and yogurt containers out before throwing them away.
- Keep your trash can lids closed, especially outdoor ones.
- Keep your trash cans out of direct sunlight as well.
On top of that, it might be time for some new garbage cans. Luckily, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. Trashcans Unlimited has a huge inventory of different types of cans to meet any need, be they cans for the kitchen or outdoor bins. Get in touch with us or browse our huge inventory right now. And, if you need more information about maggot removal, we have another article on that as well.