Business Waste

How to Get Rid of Maggots in a Wheelie Bin

Getting rid of maggots in a wheelie bin is a common challenge for homeowners and businesses. Seeing these little white worm-like creatures isn’t fun when filling your bin or for those emptying it. It’s best to take steps to prevent maggots appearing in your wheelie bins but if they’ve already made it their home there are ways to get rid of them.

Maggots are fly larvae with the most common species those from houseflies or bluebottles. They’re small, white, cream, or light brown, and look like little worms. While maggots are harmless and there’s no evidence that they pose a health risk to humans, they can spread disease and it’s not pleasant to open a bin full of maggots wriggling around.

Find out why maggots might be in your bins, how to get rid of maggots in your wheelie bin, and ways to prevent them from coming back with our help.

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What causes maggots in bins?

Rotting food and waste is a beacon for flies. If just one fly gets into your bin, feasts on the waste, and lays its eggs, this can introduce many maggots into the bin once the eggs hatch. The average female fly lays around 1,000 eggs in its lifetime, so you can soon have an infestation in your bin.

Places that offer the best chances of survival for maggots attract flies as a good location to lay their eggs. Large clusters of food sources, like decomposing organic matter found in most general waste and food waste bins are ideal. Maggots feed on this for a few days before turning into flies and laying their own eggs.

It can be a repetitive cycle if you don’t take action to remove maggots from your wheelie bin – as each maggot feasts, pupates, lays eggs, and the cycle repeats. When it’s warmer waste rots faster in the heat, which attracts more flies as the conditions for survival and feasting are even better.

maggots inside a wheelie bin.

How long does it take for maggots 
to appear in a wheelie bin?

It doesn’t take long for maggots to appear in a wheelie bin, as the eggs can hatch within 24 hours and the maggots come out. The maggots then spend about five days eating (feasting on the waste in your bin), preparing to pupate. This is the process when they develop a hard shell and turn into a fly.

If you don’t check your bin regularly then an infestation of maggots can soon appear. Maggots start eating from the minute their eggs hatch. As flies can lay many eggs at the same time that’s why you often find huge numbers of maggots in the same place all feasting together.

How to kill maggots 
in a wheelie bin

Killing maggots in a bin is the most effective way to get rid of them and reduce the chance of more appearing. There are various options to kill maggots in a wheelie bin that don’t require special equipment. Some of the best ways to kill maggots in a bin include to:

  • Shake salt on your waste – covering their food source (the waste in your wheelie bin) with salt prevents their access to water. This leads to dehydration and death if the maggots can’t access another food source. Shaking salt directly on the maggots can also kill them.
  • Pour over boiling water – mixing a small amount of bleach with boiling water and pouring over the maggots in your wheelie bin should kill them. You can also use vinegar instead of bleach to avoid contaminating your waste if it’s still in the bin.
  • Empty your wheelie bins regularly – an easy way to get rid of maggots from your wheelie bin is to get them emptied. The maggots might not be killed but they should be removed with your waste, then you can kill any left behind with salt/boiling water and take preventative measures.
  • Use fly spray – fly spray and pesticides can kill flies to avoid any more eggs being laid in your bin and future generations of maggots hatching. Some pesticides are also available to directly kill maggots.
  • Freeze the maggots – a natural yet unpleasant option is to physically remove the maggots with a dustpan. Sweep them into a sealable plastic bag and freeze them (away from any food) for at least one hour. They don’t live for long in cold temperatures so should die. Then throw them away with general waste or leave them on a bird table for birds to eat.
blackbird with worms in its beak sat on a fence.

How to prevent maggots 
in your wheelie bin

After getting rid of maggots from a bin you won’t want them to return and have to go through the whole killing process again. Or if you’re lucky enough to never have had these little larvae visitors in your wheelie bin you’ll want to keep it that way. Preventative action can help.

These are a few ways how to keep maggots out of a bin:

  • Keep the bin lid shut – avoid letting any flies into your wheelie bin and they shouldn’t be able to lay eggs and hatch maggots. Keeping your wheelie bin lids closed as much as possible and ensuring there are no cracks, gaps, or other entrances minimises the opportunities for flies.
  • Double bag certain waste – any food scraps, nappies, and pet waste should be double bagged. These waste types are favoured by flies and maggots to feast on, so double bagging reduces their access to such organic waste.
  • Clean and dry recycling – wherever there’s food waste the risk of maggots is higher. Clean and dry all food packaging to remove all bits of leftover food before putting the likes of drinks cans, pizza boxes, polystyrene food containers, and other such waste in your recycling bins.
  • Separate food waste – businesses should have specific bins for food waste. Keeping food scraps and leftovers separate from general waste reduces the amount of rubbish in such bins that maggots favour. A secure lid on your food waste wheelie bin helps keep them out too.
  • Keep wheelie bins away from sunlight – it’s not always possible but keeping wheelie bins in cooler conditions reduces the chance of waste rotting fast and tempting flies. Store your wheelie bins undercover or in a storage shed where possible
  • Wash your wheelie bin – clean a wheelie bin after removing maggots to prevent them from coming back. Flies can be attracted to the bad smell a dirty wheelie bin produces, so cleaning it regularly helps remove such odours.
  • Use insect repellents – you can buy specific maggot repellents for bins or other insect repellents. Spray these inside and outside your wheelie bin to help ward off flies from visiting your bin to lay their eggs.
How to clean a wheelie bin

Get free clean wheelie bins for 
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Reduce the chance of maggots in your wheelie bins with Business Waste. We provide free wheelie bins to separate and store many waste types – from general waste and food waste to recyclables such as glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, and dry mixed recycling. There are no rental charges for the bins, you only pay for collection.

Wheelie bin collections are available anywhere in the UK on a daily, weekly, or fortnightly schedule. Various sizes are available and licensed waste carriers remove them to ensure responsible recycling and disposal, avoiding any waste going to landfill. We provide clean wheelie bins that should minimise the chance of maggots making them their home.

Get a free no obligation quote for wheelie bins and commercial waste collection in the UK today – contact us online or call 0800 211 8390.

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