A maggot infestation is almost everyone’s worst nightmare. The filth and slime they produce are something you wouldn’t want to come across in your kitchen, or any other area of your home, for that matter.
If you’ve been searching the internet for the solution to a maggot infestation, you might just find our comprehensive guide is what you need! Below, we will explain what maggots are, how to deal with them properly, and how you can prevent them from coming back.
Table of Contents
What are maggots?
All fly larvae are called maggots in general. There are many species of maggots, just as there are flies. Conical in shape, they are typically cream or light brown and have a dark mark-like breathing hole on their posterior. A maggot doesn’t have teeth; instead, it has mandibles that help it grasp its food.
Food and waste attract flies. They lay their eggs on the rubbish, which later hatch into maggots, sometimes within 24 hours! The only way to prevent maggots from growing in your waste is to prevent flies from getting to it in the first place.
Check also: How to Get Rid of Flies
How long do maggots live?
Maggots transform into pupae before hatching into flies. The whole life cycle is approximately ten days in the summer and thirty days during the cooler winter months.
Where do maggots come from?
You might find maggots in or near your home if you store your rubbish improperly, leave your dog’s droppings on your lawn for too long, or if there’s a dead animal somewhere on your property. Flies find these to be great egg-laying spots. Upon hatching, the maggots burrow into the material and eat until they reach their next metamorphic stage.
Despite invading quietly, maggots must be dealt with quickly. This is especially true if you have pets, as a maggot infestation can cause them to get sick. Any food that contains maggots and the accompanying bacteria may cause food poisoning if consumed by humans, too.
Do maggots pose a health risk?
The presence of maggots is unpleasant, and they can indeed cause some sickness, but there is no evidence that they pose any significant health risks. Following the advice here will ensure that your household waste won’t attract flies and leaves you with a clean environment.
How can I reduce the risk of maggots?
Now, if you’re not too fond of having a bunch of maggots as roommates, you might want to know how to prevent an infestation. Here are some things you can do:
- An excellent way to eliminate flies from your rubbish is by using wheelie bins. These are better than black bin bags for preventing flies from getting into your trash. Also, avoid placing the bin directly in the sun, if possible.
- You can buy fly spray to help combat flies in your home.
- Make an effort to reduce food waste in your home – this way, the maggots will have fewer things to feast on.
- You should never leave food uncovered inside the home, including cat/dog food, because flies might lay eggs there.
- You can also reduce odours by rinsing polystyrene food trays and other food packaging that can’t be recycled before you throw them out.
- Bin lids should be securely closed to prevent flies from getting in.
- Consider using Citronella as a natural remedy. This will deter flies since they do not like the smell.
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Natural ways to get rid of maggots
There are a few options you can try to get rid of maggots naturally if the issue is contained.
Citrus juices, such as lime and lemon, will kill maggots. A large amount of salt can also be sprinkled over them. Both vinegar and boiling water are effective in killing them, too. In most cases, these natural remedies are most effective if you’re dealing with a small infestation. Therefore, it’s best to consult a professional pest controller if the problem persists.
Determine what the maggots are feeding on. Clean/clear everything up (including the maggots themselves) and discard it in a closed, external waste bin. The removal of the food source will prevent any remaining larvae from growing or surviving. Control and prevention can be achieved with regular cleaning, good hygiene, and vacuuming.
How to get rid of maggots
When you have a maggot infestation, you need to remove them entirely before they spread to other areas in your home. Remember that every household is responsible for its waste and the hygiene of its home.
You can find maggots in many different places in a home, yard, or – at worst – on your beloved pet. To get rid of the pesky invaders for good, each scenario requires a different approach. The following guides will help you get rid of these unwanted houseguests.
Inside your home
Locate all infested areas – Find all areas where maggots have been feeding or living. Check out food products that are in particularly dirty parts of the house. Your home may also have maggots in different rooms if any part of the foundation is rotting.
Remove and kill maggots and eggs – To kill maggots instantly, pour boiling water over them. To clean the area, you can also add a cup of bleach. It is also possible to thoroughly sprinkle them with salt or spray them with insecticide. It will usually be necessary to spray them if you find them under carpeting or baseboards in your home. If the infection is minor, you can use a spot treatment, but use a broader spray if it is more extensive.
Deep clean – Remove any maggots in your rubbish bin or the surrounding areas by washing them. Fly repellent can be used to keep future infestations at bay. You should always double-bag your food waste and clean your bin every time you empty it.
Check for maggots – As described above, you want to confirm your pets do indeed have maggots before choosing any treatment. Observe recent wounds as well as between toe joints for any hard lumps or movement under the skin.
A veterinarian visit is necessary – Taking your pet to the vet is the best way to ensure their safety. Veterinarians can completely eradicate maggots without harming the animal.
Keeping them clean is essential – You can keep your pets clean and repel further infestations by washing them with pet shampoo during the peak fly-laying season.
In the yard/garden
Determine the location of the infestation – Regardless of whether you are aware you have a maggot infestation in your yard, you should determine how severe it is. Dig up the ground around possibly affected plants to look for holes dug into their roots.
Clear the area by spraying or dusting – To get rid of the infestation, use a fruit and vegetable spray on all the soil in the area. Alternatively, if you are concerned a spray could drift, dust the area with a similar solution.
Bonus tip: Get creative with your own mix – Among the best maggot killers is permethrin, which can be purchased in the form of a spray or made at home. Mix four parts boiling water with one part permethrin dog shampoo. After you have slowly poured the mixture over the maggots, wash your hands with soap and water. When using permethrin, you should wear gloves as it can irritate your eyes and nose.
Warning: Permethrin can also harm cats and fish, so if you have pets, it’s best to choose another method.
When to hire a professional exterminator to treat maggots
Eventually, the infestation might become impossible to control, or you might not have the strength to cope with it any longer. If the infestation has taken over multiple rooms of the house, or if you have tried to clean an area out numerous times, but the pests still returned, it might be time to turn to the experts.
Professionals have the technical knowledge, as well as access to the specialised products and equipment needed to treat a maggot infestation safely and effectively.