5 Quick and Effective Ways To Clean A Garbage Can With Maggots

Maggots are disgusting little pests. They can also be a sign of something much more dangerous.

If left unchecked, dealing with a maggot infestation can be challenging. Then, once you get rid of them, they somehow find a way to keep coming back!

The good news is that removing them once and for all can be done. All you need is a bit of elbow grease and some common ingredients.

Read below to learn how to clean a garbage can with maggots and eliminate them from your home for good.

What Are Maggots and Where Do They Come From?

Picture this: it’s summer. You throw out your garbage, and it stays in the garbage bin for several days.

Considering that waste rots much faster in warm weather, it’ll start decomposing within hours. Then, due to the decaying process, it’ll begin generating a repulsive odor that lures the flies over to the garbage site.

The flies will congregate around the rotting waste, where they’ll start laying their eggs. The eggs will hatch after a few hours, and maggots will begin to emerge.

Lucky for them, they emerge and find themselves surrounded by rotting waste. However, since they thrive in warm and humid areas, the garbage bin offers them everything they need in terms of nourishment and shelter.

It’s worth mentioning that maggots are around all year long. They just appear more in warm weather, so you might see them more often in the spring and summer months.

garbage can with maggots

How to Clean a Garbage Can with Maggots?

So, you found maggots in your garbage can. Now what?

The first step is to remove all the trash from the bin. Then, remove any loose debris at the bottom of the container before starting the elimination process.

Now, it’s time to start killing off maggots. Below are five different options to choose from.

Option 1: Pour Boiling Water

boiling water

This method is by far the quickest method to get rid of maggots. Yet, it’s considered inhumane by some people which is a little odd considering all methods involve killing the maggots!

Another drawback is that you need to work fast and make sure you cover all the spots where the maggots might be lurking. If they’re covering a massive area, boiling water might not be the most efficient solution.

Option 2: Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring material obtained from crushed sedimentary rocks. It’s tiny, but jagged, edges cause the critters to dry out by absorbing their oil content, thus effectively killing them off.

Nevertheless, it’s considered a safer solution than using boiling water. Moreover, even though it’s non-toxic, it’s excellent at killing off other pesky insects as well, not just the maggots.

All you have to do is sprinkle the powdery stuff over the entire area and wait anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Then, rinse everything with warm water, and dry the can thoroughly.

Option 3: Spray a Vinegar Solution

Mix one cup of distilled white vinegar and one cup of water, then place in a spray bottle. Spray the infected area several times to make sure you get them all.

You can also add some calcium hydroxide or salt or a combination of the two to the vinegar. They’re all acidic and will do a great job killing off any maggots from your garbage can.

Option 4: Pour a Bleach Mixture

Mix equal parts bleach and water. Place the solution in the garbage can and carefully swirl the liquid around to ensure maximum coverage.

Leave for about 20–30 minutes, and if the can comes with a lid, close it firmly to allow the fumes and chemicals to work on the maggots.

Next, rinse the can with cold water. Finally, dry the garbage can thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Option 5: Use an Insecticide

If all else fails, then it’s time to reach for a commercial product. Insecticides are made with chemicals proven to be highly effective at dealing with a maggot infestation.

You can choose from the many top-quality insecticide brands on the market. Maggots aren’t a tough species, which means any type will get the job done.

Simply aim and spray. Then, allow for about half an hour for the chemicals to work their magic.

How to Prevent Maggots From Making a Come-Back


Getting rid of maggots is one thing, but keeping them away is a whole other story. First, you have to be diligent about regularly cleaning up and maintaining the garbage can and the entire area around it.

If these creepy critters keep finding food sources, then there’s no way of stopping them from coming back.

Check out these ideas to help avoid a future infestation.

  • Clean the garbage can every week using warm water and soap
  • Sprinkle a layer of baking soda inside the can to eliminate odors and ward off maggots
  • Dispose of food waste as soon as you can
  • Rinse food containers before you throw them out
  • Wash dishes and food trays immediately after you’re done using them
  • Keep garbage can lids firmly closed, especially the ones you keep outside
  • Invest in a stainless steel garbage can

Wrap Up

What do you think of our guide on how to clean a garbage can with maggots? While the actual critters may be revolting, getting rid of them is pretty straightforward.

Just make sure you keep up the maintenance routine to prevent them from coming back. Also, replacing your old garbage cans with better, more functional cans can help eliminate odors, insects, and—best of all—maggots.

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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