The unpleasant odor of a can full of trash is something most of us simply tolerate. But if you’ve ever had the misfortune of opening up your outdoor trash can and discovering little crawling white maggots…well, that’s a different story. It takes the word “disgusting” to a whole new level…especially if you have to then transport that bag in your car to a dump.
Maggots are fly larvae. You know how common it is to see flies buzzing around trash? Well, in this case, a fly has gotten into your trash and managed to lay eggs. If you can prevent this from happening, you are likely to get rid of your maggot problem.
Moth balls are known to repel flies and prevent maggots from forming. However, moth balls are toxic and carcinogenic. Here are some simple, non-toxic steps you can take after discovering maggots in your garbage to reduce the likelihood of their coming back.
1. Once trash has been removed, wash your garbage can out with boiling water. This should kill any maggots still in the can. Alternatively, if you have a sealed dumpster, you can remove maggots to a sealed plastic bag then release them into the dumpster so they can do what they do best – decompose garbage.
2. After you’re sure that all maggots are out of your trash can, scrub the interior and exterior of the can well with a solution of one part vinegar, two parts water. This should be done on a weekly basis in order to keep cans clean and free of the odors that attract flies. After scrubbing, rinse well, then allow can to dry thoroughly in sun before putting any new trash in. Maggots love moisture, so maintaining a dry can is essential.
3. Use a trash bag in your garbage can, folding the edge of the bag over the can to allow the circulation of air when the can is opened. After depositing trash, be sure to close your garbage lid tightly.
4. Seal any food waste in smaller plastic bags before dumping into the larger bag to prevent flies from making contact with it.
5. Vinegar, mint oil, eucalyptus and bay leaves have all been noted to repel flies. Experiment with wiping down the exterior of your can with the vinegar or diluted mint oil, or crumble some of the leaves in and near the trash can.