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Maggots advice

Maggots are fly larvae, usually of the common housefly and also the bluebottle. Flies are attracted to food and other rubbish; they lay their eggs on the rubbish; later the eggs hatch into maggots. You will only have a problem with maggots if flies can get to your waste.

If flies settle on your rubbish they may lay eggs which can hatch out as maggots within 24 hours.

Householders are responsible for managing their own household waste and this includes maintaining their recycling and rubbish containers, details of wheelie bin cleaning companies can be found in your local business directories such as:

How can I reduce the risk of maggots?

  • The first step is to make sure that flies can’t get at your rubbish; so ensure your bin lid is always closed.
  • Fly spray can be effective at helping with flies, but these must be purchased by the householder.
  • Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for information about how to reduce food waste
  • Never leave food uncovered inside the home – this includes cat/dog food – remember flies may lay eggs on exposed food and in warm weather the eggs can hatch within 24 hours.
  • Rinse food trays and other food packaging before you put it in the bin, this will also reduce bad odours.
  • Squeeze out the air from bags and tie them tightly.
  • Any food scraps, pet waste, nappies should be double wrapped.
  • If possible leave the bin out of direct sunshine.
  • Hang insecticide strips inside your bin to help control flies.
  • Try using Citronella – a natural remedy used in gardens. This will discourage flies as they don’t like the smell.
  • Remember, flies will also be attracted to recycling material if they aren’t clean – so please make sure all food cans, bottles and jars are rinsed.
  • If disposable nappies are in your rubbish, empty ‘solids’ down the toilet.
  • Ensure your kitchen bin has a close fitting lid – ‘swing top’ lids can let flies in.

What can I do about maggots in my bin?

  • Try using fly-spray.
  • Pour over boiling water with a small amount of bleach.
  • Malt vinegar is also effective at killing off maggots and their larvae.
  • Many people also find that large quantities of salt kills maggots.
  • Most of the maggots will go when the bin is emptied. Once emptied the bin can be cleaned out with disinfectant or bleach and plenty of water. Use a cleaning product with a fragrance as this will help deter flies in the future, or you could contact a private bin cleaning company to clean the bin.

Can maggots cause health problems?

Maggots are unpleasant but there is no evidence to suggest that they cause health problems. Flies are all around no matter what type of collection service is in operation. The best approach is to be careful with your waste and ensure that flies can’t get to it by following the advice on this page.

Last updated: 15/08/2022 09:32

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