Maggots

HELP, I’VE GOT MAGGOTS! WHAT CAN I DO TO GET RID OF THEM? HOW CAN I AVOID GETTING THEM?

Maggots come from fly eggs. Flies lay their eggs hundreds at a time and the eggs can begin to hatch after just eight hours. The maggots eat non-stop so flies lay the eggs where there is a sufficient amount of food. This is why it’s common to see them in old or rotting food.

Prevention

Preventing maggots is much easier than getting rid of them. The most effective way to avoid getting maggots is to prevent flies from accessing your food waste, in particular meat scraps and plate scrapings. This can be achieved by one or more of the following:

  • Storing meat scraps in the freezer until collection day;
  • Tightly wrapping meat scraps and plate scrapings in newspaper before placing in the tote, and then covering with yard waste in the tote;
  • Using weather stripping around the lip of the tote to tighten the seal and prevent flies from accessing the tote. Note that the lack of air flow may increase odor issues when the tote is opened.

 Additional measures that can help:

  • Rinse your tote out regularly and keep it clean. Pay particular attention to the lip and underside of the tote where flies may land and lay their eggs;
  • Store the tote away from direct sunlight whenever possible;
  • Keep the tote lid closed (and locked). If broken, please email GFL Environmental  to arrange for a repair;
  • Don’t leave food waste on your countertops or out in the open for too long. The smell will attract flies, and the flies may lay their eggs;
  • Transfer waste food into your kitchen catcher as soon as you can and keep the lid tightly closed when not in use;
  • Clean out your kitchen catcher regularly with a mild detergent or vinegar/water solution.

Getting rid of maggots

  • Maggots can sometimes be killed by putting salt, vinegar or lime directly on them;
  • After pick-up day, maggots can also be killed in your tote with boiling water;
  • Please do not apply chemicals to totes that contain organic material for collection.