Many people probably don’t know that maggots are baby flies. When adult flies lay eggs, they transform into maggots, and later to pupa, and to adults. It’s a lifecycle, the same way we humans go through stages through to adulthood.
Well, maggots are not entirely bad, as they play an important role in the ecosystem of removing carcasses. They also make excellent fishing baits and have medical uses such as hastening the healing process of stubborn wounds. Forensic scientists also use them to estimate the time of death.
However, no one wants them in their bins. Maggots are a significant eyesore and sources of diseases when they transform into flies.
Where do Flies and Maggots come from?
It may seem to many people that maggots appear from nowhere – one moment you have a clean trash can, and the next you have a bunch of maggot visitors. It’s not entirely illogical since no one sees flies hunched laying eggs or their eggs transforming into larvae, but it’s a fact they are fly babies.
The lifespan of a fly is one month during which time they can lay up to 2000 eggs, yes, 2000 maggots. They lay these eggs in batches of around 150 and only take a day to become larvae. That’s why it’s so easy to have a maggot infestation.
Maggots are between 3 and 4mm long and whitish. But they can grow up to 20mm – there are always a few in every species that outgrow the rest, it’s just nature.
The larvae need a constant supply of food, and that’s why the flies lay their eggs in rotting food or decomposing animals. They will feed for about five days and take between 15 and 36 days to transform into flies.
The maggots’ favorite food includes pet food leftovers, dead animals, meat discards, and rotting organic foods.
How to Prevent Maggots
Proper sanitation and hygiene are crucial to maggot prevention. Keep all food leftovers covered and discard food waste in the right way. You should tie the garbage bags securely so that no flies sneak inside to start another generation of flies.
The flies are indiscriminate about where they lay their eggs, and will also do it on your pets’ food as long as there are moisture and some food. To prevent this from happening, change the food frequently and clean the container. Don’t top the food up.
Thoroughly clean all the garbage cans using breach and try as much as possible to keep them dry. If you are the type of person that loves to compost, maybe to get some organic manure for the garden, then keep it inside a container. Open composting pits are a haven for maggots and other unwelcomed guests such as crows and various scavengers.
If you have pets, make sure to clean their poop outside in the shortest time possible.
How to Get Rid of Maggots
- Removing Food Sources
Removing all traces of food as much as you can is the easiest way of getting rid of grubs. Flies must locate someplace with a good supply of food for the maggots to survive and perpetuate the species. If they can’t find food on your property, they will move on and look for it elsewhere.
- Hot Water and Bleach
If you have a group of these wriggly pests under your trash can or any other place, then you can kill them with hot water. Adding breach or a cup of hydrogen peroxide to the steaming hot water will enhance its effectiveness and remove the larvae from the container.
- Fly Traps
Making fly traps is as easy as it gets, and you can quickly catch them before they can make the babies – yes maggots. Put some water in a container together with some dish soap. Then add some smelly bait in the form of meat or food remains and wait for the intruding rascals to get caught.Alternatively, you can use a more straightforward method of buying fly zappers or electric fly traps. Plugging this device in produces a white UV-light as an attractant and kills insects including flies, on contact. However, be careful when using them as they kill insects indiscriminately, even the helpful ones. Only switch on when you spot a bunch of flies in the property.
- The Natural Repellents
To keep the flies at a safe distance from your home and compound, employ the services of natural repellents such as lavender, vodka, citronella smoke, apple cider, witch hazel, cloves, and lemongrass. Others include marigold and bay leaf.
- Using Dish Soap and Other Natural Methods
The standard dish detergent can be quite useful in repelling the flies and the maggots from the containers. It can, as well kill them – surprised? Well, the main ingredient in most dish soaps is borax, and as you probably know borax is an effective insecticide and repellent. Typically, washing the trash can with dish soap regularly may do the trick to remove and prevent the flies together with their offsprings making the containers their breeding spots.Diatomaceous earth is another adequate remedy that will kill the grubs. Sprinkle some of it on the wriggly pests to dry and kill them out. You can as well use a blend of dog shampoo and water to sprinkle on the larvae. Essentially, dog shampoo contains permethrin which is an effective maggot killer.
Essential oils will effectively keep the maggots off your bins. Sprinkle some of it from time to time. Alternatively, washing the containers with vinegar will keep maggots from coming back. The flies will view these bins as inhospitable for their offsprings and will have to look elsewhere, safe and with sufficient maggot food.
- Plant Repellents
Some of the useful plant repellents you can add to your vegetable garden and around the compound include tansy, lavender, and chrysanthemum. You can also add the spectacular Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant that enjoys catching flies and having them for food.
- Using Chemicals
If you believe that chemicals are more effective than other natural control methods, then make sure to use those with permethrin as the main ingredient. A good example is Raid, which will kill the adult flies and their larvae.