How to Prevent Maggots in the Garbage Can


If you have ever had the misfortune of discovering maggots wriggling in your garbage can and among your household waste, you know the dismay and disgust associated with maggots. When you discover maggots, you see fly larvae that result from flies laying eggs in your garbage can. The secret to preventing maggots in the garbage can lies in preventing flies from laying eggs in your garbage.

garbage can
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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Scrub brush
  • Old newspapers
  • Garbage bag
  • Black plastic tarp
  • Large sealing plastic bags
  • Bay leaves or eucalyptus leaves
Step 1

Wash your garbage can each week with a solution of white vinegar and water. Combine one part white vinegar and two parts water, and apply this cleaning solution to all surfaces of the garbage can with the scrub brush. Rinse the garbage can well, and leave it sitting in the sun to dry completely. Do not put the garbage can away with moisture trapped inside.

scrub brush
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Step 2

Cover the bottom of the garbage can with old, wadded-up newspapers. The newspapers will absorb any liquids that leak from your garbage and minimize messes on the bottom of the garbage can that will attract flies.

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Step 3

Line the garbage can with a garbage bag, folding the bag down over the rim of the garbage can. Always seal the garbage can tightly with the lid.

garbage can with bag and lid
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Step 4

Keep the garbage can in an area that has adequate ventilation to keep flies away from the can. Place the black tarp over the top of the garbage can during warm weather to keep flies from crawling into the garbage can.

garbage can
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Step 5

Place food waste in a sealing plastic bag before placing it into the garbage can. Always seal bones, meats or other organic trash separately to prevent flies from accessing these items in the garbage can.

sandwich in plastic bag
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Step 6

Coat the outside of the garbage can with vinegar to repel flies. Bay leaves or eucalyptus leaves might also repel flies if you crush the leaves slightly and hang small bunches around the outside of the garbage can.

bottle of vinegar
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Tips & Warnings

  • Keep organic wastes and meats out of the trash until immediately before you take the trash to the curb for pick-up. If possible, store these trash items in the freezer until just before trash pick-up.


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