How to Keep Maggots Out Of Your Wheelie Bin
How to Keep Maggots Out Of Your Wheelie Bin
Maggots are quite harmless, but let’s face it, they’re not the most attractive of creatures and you definitely don’t want them in your wheelie bin. But because maggots feed on rotting rubbish, they can sometimes appear in your wheelie despite your best efforts to keep them at bay. Here’s our guide on how to get rid of maggots in your wheelie bin.
What are maggots?
In case you’ve only ever seen maggots on a Bushtucker trial on I’m a Celeb, here’s how to identify them if you see them in your wheelie bin. Maggots are housefly larvae, and they are very small, white in colour, and look like pale worms.
What causes maggots in your wheelie bin?
Maggots appear when flies get into your wheelie bin, feast on your rubbish, then lay their eggs on it. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the waste, then they develop a hard shell and emerge as flies. The eggs look like tiny grains of rice, and a female fly can lay about 1000 eggs in its lifetime so you have to act fast and get rid of them before you have a full-scale maggot infestation on your hands.
How to stop maggots getting into your wheelie bin
Keep the lid closed
This might sound obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. If your wheelie bin is overflowing and you can’t close the lid, flies can get in and lay their eggs. Reducing the amount of waste you produce at home by recycling more, composting, and only buying what you need can help you avoid overfilling your bin.
Keep your bin clean
Rubbish and the associated unpleasant smells attract flies, so it’s important to keep your bin clean and smelling fresh. Not the easiest of tasks, we admit, but the fact is, whatever you throw in the bin will rot and start to smell, especially if it’s food waste. This happens faster in warmer weather too.
The best way to keep your wheelie clean is to either pay a professional wheelie bin cleaning company to do it for you or do it yourself.
To clean your bin, lay it on its side and rinse it out with a garden hose or a pressure washer if you have one. This will make light work of any stubborn or sticky bits of waste that can get stuck in the bottom corners. If you use water only, you can let it run off into a drain.
After you’ve given it a blast with water, you need to either use diluted bleach or disinfectant to give it a good clean and tackle any germs and smells. If you’d rather not use chemicals, using a mixture of water and vinegar works well, and lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda can be used to banish any nasty whiffs.
Don’t throw meat and fish in your wheelie
Flies love to breed in rotting meat and fish, so it stands to reason that if you regularly put these in your wheelie, you’ll increase the chances of a maggot infestation. Here’s what to do instead:
Use leftover meat and bones to make a stock. It’s nice and simple to make a tasty stock, all you have to do is boil the bones in a large pot along with some spices, and leave them to simmer for about an hour.
If you have to throw meat or fish away, wrap it up so that insects can’t get access to it. This goes for other types of food waste too.
Tie your rubbish bags securely
If your rubbish bags contain food waste, make sure the bags are tied up securely so that flies and other pests can’t get in. If in doubt, double-bag the rubbish.
Rinse food packaging well
Always rinse items like ready meal trays, tins, and yoghurt pots because if food and drinks debris is left inside of the packaging, it will start to decay and smell once it’s in the bin.
Keep your wheelie out of the sun
If your bin is in direct sunlight, it will get warm and so will the rubbish inside. The rubbish will rot faster and start to smell, and this will attract flies.
Use natural prevention
If you want to stop maggots getting into your wheelie bin, you could do worse than to use some natural methods to repel flies so they can’t get into your bin and lay their eggs. Many fly repellents contain chemicals that you might not want to use around children or pets, so natural remedies are a great alternative.
Flies hate aromas like peppermint, eucalyptus, and bay leaf, so if you use these strategically, they’re less likely to breed and lay eggs in your bin. Investing in peppermint, eucalyptus, and bay leaf essential oils is a great way to keep flies at bay.
Dilute 4 to 5 drops of any one of these essential oils in a spray bottle with water and spray your bin. You can also try putting some bay leaves inside your rubbish bags and spraying the outside of your bin with mint oil.
The best ways to get rid of maggots in your wheelie bin
Do you already have maggots in your wheelie bin? If you want to stop the situation from getting out of control, here’s what you need to do:
- Putting mothballs in your bin or using a chemical poison can work, but they can contain toxic chemicals that you might not want to use if there are kids or pets around.
- If you don’t like the idea of using chemicals, a good first step if you want to kill maggots in your wheelie bin is to pour boiling hot water on them. To make sure the infestation has been fully dealt with, and any remaining fly eggs have been destroyed, it’s a good idea to give the bin a clean too. Mix some water with vinegar and either spray the inside of your bin or dip a cloth in the mixture and give the bin a good scrub. Leave the bin to air dry before you put another rubbish bag in. To keep your bin smelling fresh, think about adding a few drops of essential oil or some lemon juice to the mixture when you’re cleaning your bin.
- Try to clean your wheelie bin at least once per week, and try lining the bottom with newspaper or plastic bags to stop food and other debris from settling in the bottom corners
- Salt can also be an effective maggot killer. Sprinkle a layer of salt (normal table salt will do) over the maggots, and once it has worked, remove them from your bin, seal them in a bag and dispose of them. Clean your bin thoroughly afterwards, following the directions above.
Maggots aren’t harmful, but they’re unhygienic and frankly unwelcome anywhere near your home. By following our tips on how to get rid of maggots in your wheelie bin, your wheelie will hopefully remain a clean, fresh-smelling, and maggot-free zone