How to Keep Maggots Out Of a Bin

Responsible people recycle, others never will. So if you’re into recycling how do you keep maggots out of a bin? It’s a problem that people across the world often have to deal with but it’s very easy to combat as long as you follow some basic rules.


What are Maggots?

Maggot is the common name of the larva of various flies including the housefly. The fly lays eggs which hatch into maggots and then for pupae and hatch into flies. It can take just a few days for the process to complete in warm conditions where there is a good source of food but may take around 4 weeks in colder weather.


Why are Maggots Attracted to Bins?

A fly will chose a site to lay its eggs where there is a good supply of food for the larva to grow, which is usually rotting leftovers (particularly meat) and faeces. It’s therefore no surprise that bins are a breading ground for maggots. They are often warm and sheltered, which all helps the maggots to grow quickly and exponentially.  Rotting food placed in a bin is an excellent course of food for maggots, as are dirty nappies and soiled tissue. Discarded animal fats such as lard and butter are also attractive to flies.


How Can I Keep Maggots Out Of a Bin?

The only way to be certain to keep maggots out of a bin is to remove any sources of food (including excrement). You can try the following:

  • tie any waste bags very tightly – consider using tie draw black bags which can help seal bags more easily
  • wrap food in clingfilm to seal it from flies so that they can’t get to the food to lay eggs
  • never leave any food uncovered (including pet food)
  • freeze food waste until the day you put your rubbish out for collection; flies aren’t attracted to frozen food
  • wrap nappies in nappy bags tightly so that the nappy is sealed from the environment
  • if your Local Authority supports it, use a separate food waste caddy with a lockable lid to prevent flies accessing the food waste
  • if you’re using a good caddy, use biodegradable food waste bags available in shops or newspaper to carefully wrap the waste in
  • consider a garden composter for some types of food waste such as peeling and eggshells
  • rinse any items to be recycled such as yoghurt pots and tins
  • don’t store any of your bins in direct sunlight as the warm environment accelerates the process of maggots growing (you can buy bin stores in many places)
  • consider adding bin freshening devices or spraying natural oils to the area as flies will be put off by the fresh smell
  • sprinkle salt around the tops of bins – flies don’t like it


How do I get Rid of Maggots for good?

Once maggots have arrived the larva has already been laid so it’s vital to ensure that you remove any larva which may still be present:

  • pouring boiling water over the area will kill larva and any maggots
  • some people have had good results using large amounts of salt, which quickly absorbs water from the maggots and kills them
  • clean all bins regularly with a bleach solution or Jeyes Outdoor Disinfectant
  • find a local company that offers a bin cleaning service (many towns and cities have a local company who will do this for a few pound per week)


I’ve tried all the above but I still have maggots!

If you’ve followed all the advice above but you still have maggots, you need to look more closely at what you’re throwing away. Even the smallest amount of discarded food can attract maggots. Are you sure that you’re not throwing something away which contains food, perhaps kitchen towel with food on it or small items of food still in packets? Are you throwing lard, oils or butter in the bin? How about milk or cheese which has turned bad? If you’re still struggling to keep maggots out of a bin you’re very likely missing something which is encouraging flies to lay eggs in the bin, so you’ll need to look more carefully at what you’re doing wrong.

You should also make sure that you thoroughly clean all bins after an infestation.

My recycling setup
My recycling setup has separate bin for plastic, cardboard, food, garden and food waste.



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