Advice on maggots

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How hot was it yesterday?! Lovely (and surprising) weather for a Bank Holiday Monday.

We’ve had a few calls and Tweets this morning from residents that are struggling with maggots that have hatched during the heat in their non-recyclable bags and bins.

If a fly settles on your rubbish they may lay eggs – did you know that a female common fly can lay 500 eggs in three days, and during the warmer summer days these can hatch within 8 to 20 hours!

So it’s not surprising that maggots can easily appear in bins and bags.

My advice to residents is to use their food waste caddy for all of their left over food waste. This is what the flies are attracted to. This includes bones, peelings, raw and cooked fish and meat and any leftovers from meals.

Here are some helpful tips to reduce the risk of seeing any maggots:

  • make sure you keep the lid closed on any bins and containers, this will prevent flies from getting at the contents;
  • store bags and bins out of direct sun light;
  • if you have a wheelie bin, put your non-recycling rubbish in a bag before putting it in your black bin (it does not need to be a black bag);
  • make sure you never leave any food, including pet food, uncovered
    –   If you have a kerbside food waste recycling collection use your food caddy for all cooked and uncooked food waste (not pet food)                                                                    – If you are part of a communal rubbish scheme, tie up any bags of food waste tightly before placing in bin, it may help to double-wrap it;
  • put nappies/sanitary items in bags before putting them in a bin;
  • insecticidal spray can be used as a preventative measure too – spraying the inside of your containers or bin will leave a residue that can help to kill flies before they lay eggs.

In the unlikely event that maggots do get into your bin, most will go when your bin is collected. If some are left behind:

  • maggots and fly eggs can be killed using boiling water;
  • large quantities of salt kill maggots;
  • clean/wash your bin/containers after they have been emptied;
  • try using a cleaning product with a fragrance, this will help deter flies from your bin;
  • use an insecticidal spray which can be purchased from a supermarket or DIY store that kills crawling insects.

Maggots are unpleasant. The best approach is to be careful with your waste and ensure that flies can’t get to it by following the advice above.

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