how to get rid of maggots
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Cleaning the Trash Can: How to Get Rid of Maggots

A smelly trash can is a breeding ground for maggots & other pests – read our guide to getting your trash can clean, odour-free & vermin-free!

If you have a smelly trash can, or have ever found maggots crawling around between the bin and the bag, it’s a good idea to start cleaning your trash can on a more regular basis.

Of course, it’s difficult to keep pests away from areas that are naturally going to be full of old food, bacteria, and all the things that are perfect breeding grounds for vermin! However, from knowing how to keep the trash can from smelling to cleaning the trash can more thoroughly – here’s a guide to keep your stinky trash can odor and maggot-free!

What are Maggots?

Maggots actually larvae that hatch from eggs laid by flies. They are part of the food chain and help to breakdown decomposing organic matter, like food scraps. In fact, they are pretty harmless to humans, but can reproduce incredibly quickly – a fly’s eggs can hatch and become adult flies within 24 hours of being laid. Their favourite food is meat and fish, but they like any environment that’s warm and moist and they seek these out using their sense of smell.

Getting Rid of Maggots: Cleaning the Trash Can

Getting rid of maggots is actually pretty simple with these four easy steps:

  1. Dispose of the plastic trash can liner as quickly as possible.
  2. Pour hot water over any remaining maggots to kill them.
  3. Disinfect your bin thoroughly, using a good quality bleach like Domex to destroy any remaining eggs. Always follow the directions on the label, and test any product in a small area first.
  4. Ensure the lid is firmly closed and follow the prevention advice below.
how to get rid of maggots

How to Keep Trash Can from Smelling

Flies are naturally attracted to rubbish, but there are a number of ways you can minimize the maggots finding their way into your trash.

  • Use trash cans that close firmly – avoid swing bins and overloading wheelie bins, so that the lid does not shut properly.
  • Cover all food left out on your kitchen counter and use fly spray or fly papers in your home to keep it fly-free.
  • Rinse food packaging – including recyclable containers – before putting them into the trash.
  • Make sure food scraps are kept in a sealed container in the kitchen, or even the freezer, until they can be disposed of on rubbish collection day.
  • Wrap disposable diapers, the contents of litter trays or other pet waste, and meat or fish scraps before putting them in the bin.
  • Empty your trash with greater frequency and store it in a cool place.

Top Tip


Try to prevent maggots from finding their way into your trash can by double wrapping any food or diaper waste – and if possible, move it out of direct sunlight!

Key Steps:

  • Make sure your kitchen is as clean as possible – don’t leave out any uncovered food.
  • Use a cleaning product, like Domex, on both the inside and outside of your trash can.
  • Don’t leave your rubbish to linger – take the trash can out as soon as it’s full.

Safety Warning


Use biocides carefully! Read the instructions on the label before use, always wear protective gloves, and ensure the area is well ventilated.