Cleaning & Organizing

How to Get Rid of Maggots for Good: Step by Step Guide

Maggots are always an unwelcome guest in your home! There are several common reasons you might have them, especially if you have pets. Fortunately, they are pretty easy to get rid of once you know how.

So what are they, exactly? Maggots are fly larvae that often resemble small white worms. They usually come from houseflies around your home that lay eggs but may also be from other types of flies. You’ll often see them in your trashcans and other spots where you have waste, especially natural waste such as rotten food. 

Once the larvae go through the pupil stage, they become adult eggs. Those who have pets may find maggots wriggling in their pet’s litter box. Though dealing with maggots is frustrating, you can get rid of them for good by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Eliminate Food Waste

The most common reason for maggots is some type of food source in your home. This might include leftovers that you leave sitting out on the counter or old vegetables that you forgot to put away. Removing their food source will keep the maggots from thriving. 

You should put away your groceries as soon as you come home from the store and used sealed containers to store leftovers. Once the food cools down, place it in those containers, and immediately put them in the fridge.

Step 2: Use Boiling Water

You’ll often find maggots wriggling around in your outdoor trash bins because of the waste that you throw away every week. Even if you keep the lid on tight, flies can still get inside and lay eggs that become maggots. Boiling water is an easy and convenient way to kill the maggots in your trashcans. 

You can either boil water in a coffee pot or bring a pot of water on the stove to a boil. Once it gets hot, pour it directly onto the maggots to kill them. This will also kill maggots living in old pots or containers around your home. As maggots live for only eight to 10 days, you have a short window to get rid of them before they become adult flies.

Step 3: Apply Spot Spray Treatment

Spot spray treatment is a chemical product designed to kill both houseflies and maggots. It comes in different sizes that are suitable for large and small homes. This tip works well if you have a small infestation. 

You just need to shake the can and then aim it directly at the maggots. A quick spray will kill any that it touches. Keep a bottle on hand to ensure that you can kill adult flies before they lay eggs.

Step 4: Clear Out the Fridge

You’d probably assume that you would see any flies that get inside your refrigerator. This isn’t necessarily true, though, as everyone in your family opens and closes the door so often. If your refrigerator is set to a warmer temperature, it creates the perfect breeding ground for maggots. 

Those maggots will eventually become flies and spread through your home. When you clear out your fridge, place the items that you want to keep to the side and toss everything else in a garbage bag. As soon as you finish, take the bag outside. You’ll also want to clean and wipe down the interior of the refrigerator.

Step 5: Check Hidden Spots

Now is the time to check hidden spots around your house and areas where you don’t expect maggots. Does anyone in your family like eating outside of the kitchen or dining room? Both kids and adults can take dishes into their bedrooms and leave them under their beds or on the side. Even the smallest of scraps left on those dishes can attract houseflies.

You should make sure that you check all hidden spots for plates and other dishes. If you see maggots or flies in those rooms, use a spot treatment on them.

Step 6: Give Pets Baths

Though you might not think that your pets can cause maggots, they can. If your dog or cat has an open wound, the smell of the blood will attract flies that can lay their eggs in the open wound. That is why you should thoroughly clean the wound yourself or make an appointment with your vet if you don’t feel comfortable. 

You’ll also want to bathe your pets often with a shampoo designed for flies and other insects. These shampoos are safe to use on pets and come in formulas designed for dogs or cats. A clean pet is less likely to develop an issue with maggots.

Step 7: Apply Diatomaceous Earth

A popular natural bug killer is a substance called diatomaceous earth, which is made from fossilized shells and other materials. It has sharp edges that cut through the stomachs of insects to dehydrate and kill them. You can use it to get rid of fleas as well as other bugs. 

The easiest way to apply it is with a thin and even coating across your floors. Make sure that you apply some of the powder in places where you saw maggots or flies before. It comes in a food-grade version that is safe to use around pets.

Step 8: Steam Clean

Both vacuuming and steam cleaning can help you get rid of maggots for good. These machines remove the fly eggs before they hatch and become maggots.

When using a vacuum, always empty the canister outside as soon as you finish in one room. Steam cleaning is a better option because it uses both heat and steam, killing both maggots and the eggs that the flies lay. Not only can you use a steam cleaner on carpets, but it’s also suitable for use on furniture and other surfaces.

How to Prevent Maggots From Coming Back

A single female housefly can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a month. As long as you have flies, you have an increased risk of maggots. Using fly strips is one of the best ways to prevent maggots from coming back. 

Depending on the size of your home, you may need two or more strips per room. The strips have a substance that attracts the flies but is sticky, which causes the flies to stick to the surface. You’ll also want to keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible to prevent flies from getting inside. 

Most home improvement stores have bug sprays that kill flies too. If you can get away from the house for a few hours, you can use foggers and bombs. The only way that you can prevent maggots from coming back is to keep your home free of flies.


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