General Question

Coloma's avatar

Help! My trash can is full of maggots!

Asked by Coloma (47055points) June 28th, 2011

A horrible surprise tonight, opened my big trash can in the garage to find it teeming with maggots, there is only one half a bag of trash in it, and I don’t know what happened! A massive maggot hatch. I don’t have any bug killer, so I sprayed the whole thing with Lysol, but, they will not die! It is horrible, they are trying to get out and when I lift the lid they are falling off. Can anyone suggest something to kill them? I can;t bear to reach in and remove the bag so I can hose it out. Help!

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39 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Can you tip the trash can on its side and then, using the highest pressure, spray the hose over everything? Perhaps you can drown the maggots? Is there a drain in the garage floor?

It does sound truly disgusting, I am sorry to say.

jca's avatar

Flood it and take it outside, far from your house, and continue to spray it, and then leave it there overnight. Maybe if you have bleach or some cleaner, put that in there, too.


Most bugs and other critters “suffocate” when you pour a solution of liquid detergent on them. Can you immerse the entire bag in a big container of hot water mixed with bubbly liquid detergent? Maybe use the trash can as the container (if it doesn’t leak that is). You only need to use about a quarter cup liquid detergent or laundry detergent (even better) mixed with a few gallons of HOT water.

jca's avatar

Maggots are so gross. Sometimes in the summer my cats’ food gets them, and I just take the bowl outside and hit it with the hose.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Saute them in butter with some mushrooms.

Seriously, either the laundry detergent or dish soap recommended by @MRSHINYSHOES or some bleach water dumped on them should take care of the problem.

Coloma's avatar

Going for the bleach water now! There is NO WAY I am putting my arm in the can to get the bag out…they MUST be dead first!

I am not a squeamish female, but, I draw the line at maggots.

Okay..I’ll report back, after I bleach them and bang on the lid to detach their hideous little oozing bodies. Gag! Literally!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

GACK! I’ve done the bleach in a spray bottle thing but they didn’t die. Wheel the bin outside and wait for the trash to be picked up then spray it out really well, scrub it up. If it’s been hotter than usual for you then that may have hatched the eggs on the trash scraps.
Too bad in most places you can’t have trash fires anymore

gondwanalon's avatar

Pull the trash can outside, take off the lid and expose the maggots to direct sun light and heat. That should kill them. Just to make sure splash them with concentrated bleach.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Well, no bug spray and you have to kill the maggots, sprinkle them with salt, spray them with WD40, Simply Green works very well. You can use break cleanig fluid just make sure it won’t eat through the bag. Start there and check back.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This is not environmentally correct but it will work. Pour a cup of gasoline on them and close the lid.
You definitely need to kill them. Each maggot is a fly waiting to lay an equivalent number of maggots in someone else’s trash – or even your own. Go git ‘em!

Coloma's avatar

Okay…did the bleach thing…Gah…I need a drink! haha

Yes, @jca I think it must be the cat food, I toss all my organic stuff into the woods. I have been putting the leftover cat food in baggies lately, but, obviously there was some draw. It has been pretty hot lately, but, right now it is pouring rain, from 95 to 62 degrees in 2 days!

It is dark now and pouring, sooo…I am not going to look again til morning, then, I will drag the can out, blindfolded with welding gloves on. haha

@WestRiverrat Oooh..sauteed maggots, what a delightful thought, thanks for that dude! ;-)

@Neizvestnaya “Gack” is right!


I knew I could count on you…but, I don’t have any gasoline around…I’ll pay you $500 and a plane ticket if you want to fly out to Ca. tonight! lol

Note: I just went out and looked again..OMG! Now they are all over the top of the lid..they are coming to get me!

Clearly the bleach is not making any difference!

Fire. I need to burn them out! Hmmm….what can I make a torch with?

Coloma's avatar

What about acetone..I am going to give those maggots a manicure! haha

kourkoubini's avatar

what about asking for a male to help with this situation?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Coloma Check the bag 1st, acetone in contact with quite a few plastices will eat right through it. Messed up a set of technical pens because I soaked them not long, in acetone trying to loosen the dried ink off of them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh you know I’d do it!
You don’t have gasoline?!?! What about for the mower, chain saw, weed wacker, motorcycle….
Kerosene would work, too.

Do you have a Bernozmatic torch? You can make a neat blow torch with hairspray or spray deodorant with an alcohol base and a candle. Hold the candle at least 6 inches from the front of the nozzle so you don’t blow yourself up. Wear gloves!

WestRiverrat's avatar

Add ammonia to the bleach water and seal the lid of the can tightly. Just do it outside and don’t breath the fumes yourself. Then open the can and let it air out so you don’t kill the trash collector.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Maggots can be dealt with!

Apparently, hydrogen peroxide’ll kill ‘em, too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oooo! @WestRiverrat Great idea! Chlorine gas! Nice!

Brian1946's avatar

For future reference, how about tossing your leftover cat food into the woods too?

Until then, good luck with the yuck!

Coloma's avatar

Okay..I covered the can lid in paper towels, diluted a bottle of acetone with a half cup of water and poured it all over the paper towels on the lid. That should contain them til morning.

Oh. Well…I don’t care if the lid gets a funky…it is a 30–40 gallon can with a hinged lid, I think it can take it.


No. That’s my gardeners gig, I only have Lysol, bleach and nail polish remover..I do have some…HEY…shower cleaner…scrubbing maggot bubbles! lol

@kourkoubini The nearest male is someones husband 10 acres away. No..I am clever and industrious, I shall prevail. haha

I’m going for the oxy power now..the escaped maggots are dying under the acetone soaked paper, I am going to do a quick under the lid assault with the foam bomb!

Die maggot scum!


They are foaming away now.
At least I can’t see them under the foam.

Next….oven cleaner or Orange furniture polish! haha

This is kinda fun-, must be my shadow side coming out

jca's avatar

that old hot cat food must really stink.

Coloma's avatar


Gag! :-P

Jeez…I got home from work at 7 and it is now (:47 in the maggot zone..Coloma is trying to eat something, feebley. All I can see are maggots! lol

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Coloma may I suggest a nice rice pudding?

Megan64's avatar

That is so cool. I can’t believe you didn’t provide photos. Put the can out on the curb and let the trash collector take it away. They won’t leave the can and infest the neighborhood or anything. They sound pretty happy where they are.

Coloma's avatar


You just HAD to say that didn’t you? :-/

@Megan…haha Yes, they were very happy until I infiltrated their trashy little paradise…aaah…I;m going to have bad fly karma now, it’s a fly holocost

Alrighty…I shall not look until the sunrise….thanks gang, I will report if the war is won and the maggot troops have been defeated. :-D Thank God I have a good sense of humor

Plucky's avatar

You can boil a bunch of water (mixing in some bleach helps too) and pour it in the garbage can and bag. It should boil them to death.

To prevent maggots in the future, frequently sprinkling some diatomaceous earth in your garbage bag (and garbage can) will dry up any moisture. The dust will help keep the fly eggs from hatching into maggots. You can get this from garden centres and nurseries. You can keep it in an old coffee tin beside the garbage.

Hope you get rid of the little buggers. :)

MissAusten's avatar

@Coloma Do what @MRSHINYSHOES suggested with the soapy water! Mix up a bucket of water and dish soap and pour liberally over the maggots. I use soapy water to kill caterpillars on my tomato plants—in fact, in late summer I keep a bucket of soapy water next to my garden just for that purpose.

Or, you can haul the whole thing outside, wait until the maggots pupate, turn into flies, and fly away. :)

cazzie's avatar

Lye water would really kill them too, if you can manage it. A 20% solution should do, as long as your container isn’t aluminium. But anything thing that would suffocate them by coating them. So taking a large bottle of dishsoap and just pouring that over them. I wouldn’t even dilute it.

If your container is metal, I’d throw kerosine (or that fluid used to start BBQs is that kerosine?) over them and toss in a match.

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: RED ALERT: Keep your cell phone charged and on your person, hang a whistle around your neck and teach Marwyn how to dial 911 in case the maggots develop a collective consciousness and see you as easy prey.

So, please send regular updates so that we may know not only the dénoument but also that you are not in harm’s way.

Coloma's avatar

8:10 am PST and I am pleased to report the war has been one. Carnage on the maggot battlefield. A few brave soldiers still squirm but….the fumigation of the scrubbing bubbles seems to have worked. If the chemicals didn’t kill them by absorbtion, the fumes did.

The ones that were were given the acetone bath are mere shriveled dots under the paper towels, apparently the acetone shrinks maggots. Bonus feature!

Soon I will drag the can out and remove the bag and then go for the power wash.

Whew…what a valiant battle I’ve fought! lol


Your imagination is as vivid as mine!
This is where a few chickens would have come in handy, a feast to beat all feasts!

I guess you could say that maggots would be experts in lipo-suction,..the final weight loss plan! haha

I remember seeing a documentary once on forensic science and they used a pig carcass to simulate how long it would take under certain conditions for a body to be skeletonized by maggots. Something like a 200 lb. pig was rendered to bones in 24 hours by a gazillion maggots. Gah!

Everyone else, great suggestions of the soapy water and diatomaceous earth idea!

I know what happened now, the new trash bag I put in I let hang out of the edge of the can so it would not fall inside, because the can holds two extra large bags. THAT is what happened, a breach in trash can security that will not happen again this summer!

I can do just about anything except maggots!

I would rather have 100 lizards in my house or fling dead gophers into the abyss of my ravine rather that an encore of maggot playhouse. lol

A hearty Thank You to the fluther troops that rallied and a happy return of my appetite, although rice will not be on the menu for awhile yet. :-)

mazingerz88's avatar

Next time, you could just insult them by yelling, You maggots!! I tried it, it worked. But then I was drunk. : )

Another drunk neighbor also used a magnifying glass to look at them closely. He found out they all look like Justin Bieber. So cute!

Coloma's avatar


Haha..the only thing worse than a billion maggots would be one huge maggot. Gah!
There’s a horror movie idea, night of the giant maggot. :-/

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Maggot with or without the Bieber hairdo?

Glad you won the “Maggot Wars”!

Coloma's avatar

I just noticed I wrote ” the war has been “ONE”.
OMG! Maybe one did get in my brain and take a bite. lol

jca's avatar

My cat food just had small ones in it. I just saw them today. I had some water in the tea kettle that was almost boiling and I took the cat bowl outside and put the hot water in it. I’ll leave it out there for a few days. In the summer, that happens sometimes. Gross.

Coloma's avatar


Aaaah, yes it is, so gross!
I have been on major trash monitoring the last few days now, washing out every can, etc.
Tying up anything smelly in plastic bags.
It only takes one fly to create a population the size of L.A. in about 3 days. Gah!

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