A few questions about maggots

Where I live, we have these big garbage bins on wheels that we bring to the front of pickup day. I have 3 of them, and for some reason, there’s always one that has a maggot problem. You don’t see them when the weather is dry, but whenever it’s wet outside they’re crawling all over the outside of it, so that I need to wear workgloves to bring the thing to the front. A few questions:

[li]Where are they coming from and why to they tend to infest one particular bin at a time? (A few months ago, all three were replaced for unrelated reasons, but there’s still an issue with one of the new bins.)[/li][li]What can be done about it? We’ve tried pouring in bleach, ammonia, bleach and ammonia combined (recommended by my MIL), insecticides, cleaning it out. Nothing.[/li][li]Last night it was a bit wet and they were all over the bin, and this morning there were dead flies stuck to the outside of the bin. “Stuck” as in they had to be scraped off. I’d say about 15 of them. What might that be about?[/li][/ul]

Where are these garbage cans when they are not out front? Somewhere else outside? Is the garbage in bags?

Flies eat garbage and lay eggs on it, and it will become a maggot within 24 hours. It’s perfectly normal. I don’t know why they’re favoring a particular bin, but maybe that’s because they’res something particularly interesting in it at that point.

Do not do this. The combination causes a chemical reaction that releases a toxic gas.

Also inform your MIL about the dangers of mixing bleach with ammonia. Since she suggested it, she may be doing it herself. This is very dangerous, especially indoors.

My MIL is well aware of the dangers of mixing ammonia and bleach, which is why she recommended it. The idea was to pour some in, drop the cover closed and run for it.

Possibly I didn’t put in enough, or possibly it’s not as harmful to maggots as to humans.

The bins are kept behind the (attached) garage. Garbage is mostly in bags, but some inevitably spills out, as garbage will.

This. It doesn’t make any sense! The chloramine/chlorine produced will be highly toxic to humans, but is no more toxic to the flies/fly eggs/maggots than bleach by itself would be. This is a hazardous and counterproductive way of attempting to clean something - the benefit in insecticide is zero and the increased risk to people is large.
I recommend not doing this.


Down at the beach, we clean the trash cans out twice during the summer as they get nasty, it’s hot and humid, lotsa bugs…I take a high pressure washer and scour them, let them dry in the sun, that always works for us…

Eh. Maggots and garbage. It’s gonna happen. Control the fly population you’ll control the maggots.Goodluck with that.

I get the same problem in my wheelie bin in hot weather. After it’s been emptied, I pour a kettle full of boiling water in and swill it round before emptying it out. Then if there is still a fly problem I put a decent spray of Raid (fly killer) in the bin each time I drop a bag of rubbish in. That seems to keep the flies under control. No flies = no maggots.

Get yourself some Golden Malrin.

Is it the same bin that has the maggot problem each time or does it change? It’s probably that the flies are drawn more to some smell coming from either a particular bag of garbage or maybe something in the bin it’s self that you never quite cleaned properly… I don’t think most people will really get in there and scrub/clean their garbage cans to the same extent as their dishes or coolers.

Unless you want to get some good chemicals (and keep using them in perpetuity) I’d recommend keeping all the garbage in bags, tying them tight, and maybe even double bagging them. It’s the nasty smelling stuff in the bin the flies are going for, and they’re relentless little robots programmed to follow interesting smells to their source, eat some of it and lay eggs. It’ll be very hard to deter them from doing that, but if you can prevent them from actually being able to get to the garbage they can’t lay eggs on it and there should be no maggots. Also a tighter fitting lid might help.

I empty garbage cans from a café which sit outside during the summer. When the cans have tightly sealed bags with lids snapped down there are no maggots. When there’s a ripped open bag with open access it gets ugly, especially if it’s been wet which helps prevent the eggs and maggots from getting too hot and drying out.