While fairly harmless to humans, the mere sight of maggots can leave some people feeling nauseous because of how they look and move. Maggots don’t plague all bins but unfortunately there is a higher risk of maggots in wheelie bins containing food, bins that aren’t frequently emptied, or bins sat outside in prolonged hot weather. However, fear not — they are easy to prevent and remove once you know how. Follow our tips for maggot-free wheelie bins.
What are maggots?
Maggots are the larvae of flies. The flies lay their eggs, which then hatch into maggots, before turning into flies — which then lay more eggs quite rapidly. Flies reproduce incredibly quickly, and an egg can hatch and become a fly within just 24 hours! This is why if you do find maggots in your wheelie bin, you need to act fast to break the cycle.
Why do maggots end up in wheelie bins?
Flies are attracted to the contents of bins — particularly if there’s food in there — and then, once in the bin, they lay their eggs on the rubbish. The eggs are hard to spot, but they then hatch into maggots, which are much more noticeable.
How to prevent maggots
Here are our top tips for prevention:
- Maggots can only appear in your wheelie bin if flies have been allowed access, so the most important point is to always keep your bin lid closed. Don’t be tempted to overfill your bin, as this will leave a gap between the top of the bin and the lid.
- Make sure to get your bin emptied regularly — especially if it’s a food waste bin — as the longer the contents are sat there, the more tempting they are to flies.
- If you need to place food waste in your wheelie bin, you could consider storing it indoors in a sealed container or even in your freezer until collection day. Make sure you wrap meat and fish up before placing it in the bin, as these are favourite foods of flies.
- If your bin is used to dispose of food packaging, make sure it is washed and dried before being placed in the bin.
- Clean your bin regularly, inside and out, with a strong-smelling disinfectant to deter flies.
- In summer, consider moving your wheelie bin to store it in a cooler spot or at least out of direct sunlight.
How to remove maggots
Once your wheelie bin has been emptied of rubbish, you can remove maggots using the following steps:
- Pour boiling water over the maggots, which kills them instantly.
- Disinfect your bin using a good quality bleach to destroy any remaining eggs. Check beforehand that this is safe to use on your specific bin type.
- Follow the advice in the prevention section above to avoid future problems.
Do you have any other tips for getting rid of maggots? Let us know in the comments.