Maggot Control: How To Get Rid of Maggots?

Written by Paul Hayes

Have you started noticing maggots in the home? These bugs are attracted to old food and garbage, so you will want to deal with them quickly and efficiently. Luckily, they are easy to remove.

How to get rid of maggots? To get rid of maggots, keep your trash secure by making sure that flies can’t reach it. Maggots are larvae from flies which means if you control flies, you will prevent maggots as well. Try using insecticides, salt, or boiling water to kill maggots once they appear. Also, using a sealed trash bin will help immensely with maggot control.

Maggots are mainly easy to deal with, as long as you are familiar with all the steps to remove them. This post has all the information you need about what these insects are and how to remove them from various places. 

What Are Maggots?

What Are Maggots

What Do Maggots Look Like?

Maggots are larvae from the flies. They look like tiny white worms and resemble grains of rice. Maggots can either be wholly white or can sometimes have darker heads. They tend to appear in groups near garbage or pieces of spoiled food.

Where Do Maggots Come From?

Maggots come from the eggs of flies. Several types of flies hatch these larvae, including the common housefly, bluebottle, or fruit flies. Some flies will affect some geographical locations and not others, while some species come at different times during the year. 

How Are Maggots Formed?

The cycle starts when an adult fly lays eggs. When they hatch, the larvae spend the next three to four days eating. Once they have enough energy stored, they can enter the pupa stage. The maggot stays in the pupa for a few weeks before turning into an adult fly.

Do Maggots Turn Into Flies?

Maggots are flies in their pre-metamorphosis, worm-like form. The female fly lives about a month and will lay anywhere between 500 and 2,000 eggs during that time. It takes about 14 to 36 days for the eggs to become adult flies.

Since maggots are exposed and can’t defend themselves, the fly lays its eggs near hidden food sources. That way, the larvae can survive long enough to turn into flies.

How Long Do Maggots Live?

Maggots can only live two or three days without any food or water sources. However, they can live between five and eight days when they have something to eat and drink. When that length of time has passed, the insects enter a pupa stage and become adult flies.

What Do Maggots Eat?

Maggots love to eat old, spoiled food. They snack on overripe fruit, veggies, rotten meat, leftovers, decaying food, and other garbage. That is why you are most likely to find these bugs crawling in your kitchen. They also can eat left-out pet food and dead animals.

Types of Maggots

Maggots are the larvae of several different types of flies. Some prefer to eat meat; others enjoy fruits and rotting vegetables. However, some types of larvae will eat anything they can get their claws on. The most common types are:

No matter what type of larvae you have at home, they can all be removed in similar ways.

Are Maggots Dangerous?

In general, maggots themselves aren’t dangerous, unless you eat them. And you should never eat food they have infested. Eating maggots or the food they’re on can cause bacterial poisoning because maggots carry tons of bacteria, especially if they have been in contact with fecal matter, which is often the case, as many house fly species will choose feces as breeding sites. 

Maggots from common house flies are harmless; however, other species can bite you, and some are attracted to wounds.

Maggot Infestation

Maggot Infestation

What Causes Maggots in the House?

Maggots can appear in a home for many different reasons. If you notice them, there is something around that flies are finding to lay their eggs on. Flies tend to choose garbage and pet feces for their breeding sites.

What Attracts Maggots?

Larvae are attached to rotting and spoiled foods or fecal matter. They also enjoy rotten meat and aren’t picky about what they consume. Taking some more time to clean the kitchen and remove bad food will benefit you greatly.

Why Are There Maggots Outside of My House?

If there are maggots outside, there may also be a decomposing body of an animal. The larvae will eat the body. You may want to remove it from your property if you can do so in a safe and sanitary manner.

Feces may also attract maggots. Make sure that you are cleaning up after your pet when they go to the bathroom. 

How To Kill Maggots?

The easiest way to kill maggots is by boiling water and pouring it over them. Doing so kills them instantly, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them suffering. 

Another option is to create a maggot-killing solution by mixing a cup of bleach, one and a half cups of hydrogen peroxide, and a gallon of boiling water. You might also want to add some dish soap to the mixture. Pour this over the maggots while it’s still hot. It kills them while also sanitizing the area. That way, you can safely remove the larvae. 

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Some Specific Places?

We’ve got tips below on how to rid maggots from specific places, but for some general info on maggot control, check out this video:

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Trash Can?

Start the process on garbage day, as the flies won’t return to lay more eggs if there’s no trash. Next, pour boiling water over the maggots in the bottom of the can. Then, use a brush and hot, soapy water to clean the inside.

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Carpet?

When maggots are in the carpet, you will need to do more than pour boiling water over them. First, find the source, which could be dropped food or the site of an injury, and remove what was attracting them.

Kill the grubs using boric acid, then vacuum them up. Add more boric acid, then vacuum again. Finally, throw out the maggots after pouring bleach on them and take them outside right away.

How To Get Rid of Maggots on Patio?

To get rid of maggots on your patio, use the boric acid method as noted above if it doesn’t adversely interact with your deck materials. You can also use the hot water method, which will work to simultaneously kill and wash the bodies away and off your patio.

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Car?

To remove maggots from your car, start by sprinkling boric acid over the carpeting, seats, under the seats, and in your trunk. Allow the boric acid to sit, so it has time to kill the maggots, then vacuum everything up.

How To Get Rid of Maggots Outside?

When you find maggots outside, you can kill them with lime or lemon juice. It would be best if you sprayed the entire area, so you get the bugs that haven’t hatched yet too. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the ground also helps.

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Fridge?

First, remove all the food and throw out anything infested with maggots. Then, mix equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle. Douse the inside of your fridge and wipe it down thoroughly. Take out the shelves and seals and clean them in bleach separately.

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Clothes?

To get maggots out of your clothes, launder items as you usually do, but use the hottest water settings to ensure the creatures are killed. It is also recommended that you clean your laundry basket afterward.

How To Get Rid of Maggots in Wall?

A chemical pesticide is the best for grubs in the wall. Spray your baseboards and other cracks or holes.

You can also try making a beer trap: Place beer near the crack where maggots get in the wall and put a lamp above it. The light draws the bugs to the beer, where they drown.

How To Kill Maggots in Sink?

How To Kill Maggots in Sink

To kill maggots in your sink, close the drain and pour boiling water over them. Once you are sure they have died, you can then remove the maggots from the sink and dispose of them in the trash can or bury the bodies to decompose outside. 

How To Tell if Your Dog Has Maggots?

If your dog has maggots, you will be able to see them moving in an open wound on your dog. They usually appear on the head, under the tail, and between the toes on dogs. Keep an eye out for these creatures, or take your dog in for regular vet checkups. 

What Kills Maggots on a Dog?

If your dog has maggots, you will want to take them to the veterinarian, as they are likely dealing with infections. The doctor can remove the maggots one at a time and clean the wound to help prevent further infections.

What Kills Maggots?

Maggot pesticides will kill them and prevent them from returning. However, DIY methods also work well. If you want more powerful products, consider the following options for maggots in the garbage:

  • Maggot killer spray
  • Maggot insecticide
  • Bug bomb for maggots
  • Maggot killer powder

How To Keep Maggots Out of Trash Can?

Try buying larger trash bags. If all your week’s garbage can fit in one bag, flies will lay their eggs in the bag, causing the larvae to go out with the trash. Never throw garbage away unless you have a bag in the can! We recommend using the Terro T800 Garbage Guard.

TERRO T800 Garbage Guard Trash Can Insect Killer - Kills Flies, Maggots, Roaches, Beetles, and Other Insects
  • Eliminate & Prevent - The deeply penetrating vapor fills enclosed...
  • No More Maggots – Garbage Guard is effective against a variety...
  • Lasts up to 4 Months – Controlled release technology slowly...
  • Easy to Use – Simply remove the adhesive backing, attach the...
  • For Outdoors / Garages – These pods are designed for use in...


Overall, controlling maggots and getting rid of them is simple. You want to kill them as soon as you notice them, so they don’t become flies and continue the maggot life cycle, leading to even more bugs in the future.

List of Sources

Apple maggots. University of Minnesota Extension.

Controlling Houseflies. Texas Extension Disaster Education Network.

Ogg, B., Cochran, S. Flies in the Home. Facts.

Paul Hayes
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