How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Your Trash Can

It can be a little unsettling when you get maggots in your trash! Don’t worry; it is widespread, especially during the hotter months of the year.

Flies will lay eggs inside a garbage can if they can get access. The idea is that flies lay their eggs in your trash because there is a food supply in it for the maggots.

Once hatched, the maggots will feast on the food until they progress to becoming a fly. Before you know it, you will have a maggot-infested garbage can!

Now you know why they are there; let’s look at getting rid of maggots in your trash can.

What you will learn in this post:

  • How to get rid of maggots in your trash can
  • How to prevent maggots from getting in your garbage
  • How to clean your garbage to remove the maggots

How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Your Trash Can

Why Do You Get Maggots In Your Trash Can?

First, you need to understand why you get maggots (larvae) in your trash can. Here are the 3 most common reasons.

Easy Access

If a fly can easily access your trash can, it will get in!

If your trash is attractive to a fly and gives them easy access, you will have an infestation in no time.


Food is probably the number 1 reason you have maggots in your garbage can!

I’ve mentioned flies lay eggs in the garbage because it contains food. This food will be consumed by the larvae once born.

When I say eggs, I mean tons of eggs! The female fly will lay thousands of eggs in one sitting.


Flies are not just attracted to food, and they also need water to survive.

Any water or liquid in your garbage can attract flies, especially if they have access. While the fly is drinking up the water, it may also hunt around for food and may even lay a few thousand eggs!

How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Your Trash Can

Most of us have to deal with maggots at least once! Unfortunately, it is far too common to avoid it.

Thankfully, and because it is so common, there are many things that you can do to help your situation. For example, if you want to know how to get rid of maggots in your trash can, these 5 tips will help.

How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Your Trash Can Infographic

1. Security

I am not talking about employing a security guard to protect your garbage can! I am talking about ensuring that the trash can will be completely closed from the outside world of trash pests like maggots.

If maggots and flies cannot get into your trash can, you will not get a maggot infestation!

2. Wait Or Action Now?

Once you see maggots in your trash, you have a decision on your hands! Do you resolve it now, or do you wait until your trash has been collected?

It is easier to clean out your trash once collected, but it depends entirely on how long you wait.

Before you decide, you should know that maggots will turn into flies within the next 48 hours. Potentially, this maggot infestation will turn into a fly infestation!

3. Bleach

There are 2 things that I would use immediately to clean out the trash, but it depends on whether or not the garbage has been emptied or not. Bleach is my go-to cleaning agent for maggots!

If you want to kill maggots in your trash can, bleach is the way to go.

4. Boiling Water

The second thing I would use to clean out the trash can is boiling water. This will kill maggots on impact, but it will also cover your trash with boiling water! It would help to consider whether this would be a problem before using it.

Also – be very careful when using boiling water. You will already know how dangerous it can be. Boiling water can cause permanent damage to your skin!

5. Diatomaceous Earth

I am a big fan of diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide! For trash invaders, diatomaceous earth is excellent for killing ants and maggots!

If you want to know one of the best and natural ways to get rid of maggots in your garbage can, I suggest sprinkling some diatomaceous earth in your trash. This is the best way of dealing with the problem if you have to wait too long for the collection day.

How To Clean Garbage Can With Maggots In

Do, you’ve got maggots in your trash can, and now you need to clean it!

The answer to this depends on how long you need to wait for the trash to be collected. If your trash is due to be collected within the next day or two, your best bet is to wait until that has happened. Then you should clean out your trash can with bleach and boiling water.

If you need to clean it before the trash is collected, I will first use diatomaceous earth to kill off all the maggots.

If you are desperate to clean out your trash, you need to find an open space to place all the garbage bags while you clean them out. Then you should use bleach and boiling water to give the garbage can a thorough clean.

Before placing the bags back in, you should triple bag them. Better still, triple bag them and take them to the local waste disposal organization. Then you can start afresh with a clean garbage can!

Once you have finished, you should ensure that no flies can get into the garbage can!

How To Prevent Maggots In Your Garbage Can

OK, so we now know how to get rid of maggots in the garbage can, but how do you keep them out?

The best way is to make sure they cannot get in. It would be best if you considered getting a garbage can lid that is fully secure on top of the garbage can. You should buy a cover that clips securely to the top of the garbage can if you can.

Also – it would be best if you considered double bagging all food before placing it into the can. The flies cannot get to it to lay their eggs.


If you want to know how to get rid of maggots in your trash can, then the tips on this page will help! We have also covered the process of cleaning your trash can.

When I got maggots in my trash can a few years back, I took it as a warning. The only way you can stop this is by storing your trash securely. That means making sure the lid sits flush on the can and flies cannot get in.

No flies mean no maggots!

Good luck.


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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