If you’ve ever encountered maggots in the home, then you should understand why they can’t be tolerated in a residential environment. If you want to know how to kill maggots, you have come to the right place. After discovering your new guests, you can get rid of them safely and easily, but unlike other insects, there are a number of common techniques that just plain don’t work. Here, you will get a full understanding of what a maggot is, what techniques and methods successfully get rid of maggots, and what you should avoid attempting since it is often ineffective in regards to your new swarm of creepy crawlies.
What is a Maggot?
A maggot is the larva stage of flies, and almost all species of flies create a maggot. As far as the fly life cycle goes, a female fly lays between 600 and 900 eggs, normally in something rotting or something that’s about to rot. These eggs, once hatched, become the larvae, or the maggot, and to gain strength and move onto the next stage, they feed on their rotting home. Almost any kind of organic material can be used as the maggots home, ranging from a dead and decaying animal, rotten lunch meat, feces, and other similar organic materials. Maggots are normally a white or yellowish-white coloration and are between 3 and 9 mm long, and they will normally only be in this stage of growth for around a week before moving onto the pupae stage of development.
There will normally be enough maggots in a given area to encompass the entirety of the organic material, meaning once you find your infestation, you will likely have a large number of maggots to deal with. And dealt with they should be. Having these insects in close proximity to people and animals can lead to a medical condition known as myiasis, a condition where the maggots begin living off of the living or dead tissue of a host organism, namely any people or animals who come into contact with them.
There are often three ways you can find a maggot infestation, visually, auditory, and by smell. If you smell rotting meat or organic matter, it is very likely you either have maggots or will have them soon. Also, organic matter infested with maggots emits an especially putrid smell. Maggots are often easy to see and find, so visual inspections are very common. You can also hear maggots, depending on their location. Larger infestations will actually lead to an audible sound of them crawling, squirming, and interacting with their environment.
What Doesn’t Work to Kill Maggots
Eliminating maggots should be your first priority when they are discovered, but several methods commonly used to eliminate other insects, like their fly parents, are often ineffective. Most common insecticides do not work to kill maggots, so don’t bother using a chemical insecticide. Commonly communicated old wives’ tales say that things like salt, juice, glass cleaner, oil soap, and even hydrochloric acid are effective methods of killing maggots, but these are normally false claims. In other words, don’t waste your time and try these techniques.
Ways to Get Rid of Maggots
Now, there are several ways you can get rid of maggots, whether they are in your garbage can or anywhere else in or around your home. These methods for killing maggots have worked for many people, and if you follow the instructions, you too will be maggot-free in no time.
- Reusing them is actually quite popular. Maggots can be swept up and kept for various purposes, including chicken feed and fish bait. For most of us, this isn’t really and option since we won’t be going fishing in 7 days and many people don’t have chickens.
- Pouring boiling water on them is a very effective method of maggot elimination. Many people will claim that a combination of boiling water and a cup of bleach (1 gallon of water to a cup of bleach), adding in pine cleaner, or adding in other substances will make this method more effective. Only water is needed, but it must be boiling. Once the water is boiling, you simply pour it over the maggots. All maggot the come into contact with the boiling water will be killed. Once the water is added to the environment, they will begin to scatter. Many recommend cordoning off their area with two side tape to help stop their escape. Be very careful when pouring the water as it can burn you or other animals. This method if perfect for garbage cans but can be hazardous on flat surfaces since the water will go everywhere. You may need more than one pot of boiling water depending on the size of your pot and the number of maggots you are dealing with.
- A steam cleaner held close to them then turned on full blast is an effective way to kill maggots.
- While boiling them alive is a perfect method of maggot elimination, you can also freeze them, though this method doesn’t sit well with everyone. You can sweep them into a plastic bag or container then place them in your freezer. Give it a day or two and they’ll be dead. The drawback; you will have maggots in your freezer.
- Squishing them is effective, but can also be dangerous since their home will likely be filled with bacteria and germs. Avoid a simple squishing if they are in or near their home.
- Some say an open container filled with beer, one that sits low to the ground, is great for killing maggots. They will crawl in after the beer and drown. This method is not as effective as it sound due to the sheer volume of maggots there typically are in an infestation. Still, for a small number of them, this works well.
- Any insecticide or chemical compound that contains permethrin is believed to kill maggots. Certain household sprays will contain this chemical, but it is highly toxic to fish and cats as well as insects. You should only use this chemical if you don’t have these animals in or around your home.
- Carburetor cleaner or brake cleaner have been reported to kill maggots. These chemicals are designed to strip build-up off of engine and car parts, to they eat through their exoskeletons, killing them.
- Fire kills just about anything, but safety is commonly a concern when it comes to burning things, along with local laws and regulations. If you are legally allowed to have a fire in your area, simply light them on fire and watch them go up in smoke. Please use proper fire safety when using this method and never start a fire near or in a home of structure. Also, fire in a garbage can or anything plastic is normally a really bad idea.
These methods have been proven to kill maggots, so if you’re wondering how to kill maggots, you now have a slew of new choices. One of the best ways to kill maggots is to not have flies lay eggs in anything in or around your home. This means keeping your home clean, never leaving garbage cans overflowing, using flypaper to catch flies that do make it into the home, and use seal-tight garbage bags. Clean your garbage cans with bleach once per month, pour bleach down your drains at least once a month, and keep a screen in all windows in your home to help keep flies out.