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How do I Control a Maggot Infestation?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many people use boiling water, in combination with getting rid of things that attract flies, to control a maggot infestation. You may also feel tempted to try such products as bug spray or bleach when you need to kill maggots. Bleach does not usually work, and many types of bug sprays are ineffective, however — though some people experience results when they use bug sprays that contain a chemical called permethrin. It is important to note that killing maggots isn’t 100-percent necessary for getting rid of a maggot infestation; alternatively, you can wait for them to become flies and then kill them.

People often try chemicals such as bleach to kill maggots but find the chemicals are not reliable for getting rid of a maggot infestation. Instead, you are more likely to get satisfactory results if you pour boiling water on them. For example, if you have an infestation of maggots in your trashcan, pouring boiling water on them should kill them right away. Not only is this method reliable, but it is also toxin free. Your only risk of harm is if you accidentally spill the boiling water on your skin.

Most bug sprays are unlikely to be effective when you are trying to control a maggot infestation. If the bug sprays do manage to kill some of them, you are likely to find some that are still wriggling, even after a liberal application. Bugs sprays that contain an ingredient called permethrin may be more effective than other types of bug sprays, however. This type of bug spray may kill current maggots as well as those that hatch after it is applied.

Focusing on the issue that attracted the maggots may also help when you are trying to control a maggot infestation. For example, if your trashcans have been infested because of smelly garbage, you may kill the maggots and then hose the can clean before bleaching it to get rid of the smell. Then, you may make sure your trashcan lids fit properly or replace them with new cans that have tighter-fitting lids. Using stronger trash bags and ensuring that you tie them securely may help as well. Additionally, if you have a maggot infestation because of the presence of a dead animal or rotting food, removing it may help.

Keep in mind that if you get rid of whatever has attracted the maggots, you don’t necessarily have to kill them. You can wait for them to turn into flies. If they are outdoors and nothing remains to attract them, they are likely to fly away. If they are indoors, you can use fly spray and sticky fly strips to get rid of them.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a HomeQuestionsAnswered writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon284695 — On Aug 11, 2012

I have a problem with a nesting of flies in my window screen tracks every year. My large picture window in parlor I found was loaded the whole length of the track with a straw like nesting of maggots, and not little ones, they were large.

I know they were flies, because the window became loaded with flies when they hatched. I cleaned the track out and washed the windows and track. No food of any kind was located near windows. It happens in my bathroom window also. The nests get so thick the window screen won't close.

Is there a web site to show how flies are created? We installed $13,000 in windows in the year 2000 and it has been happening since then.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a HomeQuestionsAnswered writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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