7 Ways to Kill Maggots Growing in Your 13 Gallon Trash Can

Are you freaking out seeing maggots crawling around in your 13 gallon trash can? Finding maggots in your garbage bin is a revolting sight you would like to avoid at all costs. If you fail to clean your waste container at regular intervals, this is a scene you will face. Luckily, you can take care of this problem.  Maggots are unwelcome critters that swarm food waste and other debris.

When your trash can is brimming with food waste, particularly meat, maggots thrive in it. This is more so in warm weather as the heat worsens the odor, luring flies and maggots. Yes, maggots are the eggs laid by the flies that buzz around the trash. Rotting food attracts flies like a magnet. This is why your trash can is the first place to have maggots. If you do not get rid of these maggots, they will multiply and make the situation worse. Want to know how to kill those pesky critters? Here are some useful ways to get rid of them and prevent them from infesting your bin again.

How Did The Maggots Get In Your 13 Gallon Trash Can?

Maggots tend to thrive in warm and humid climates. This is because garbage rots fast under high temperatures. The odor from the rotting food lures flies, which lay eggs on the waste. Once the eggs hatch and maggots emerge, the rotting waste proves a good food source for them. Of course, the flies are present during other months of the year. But, the menace is more during the warmer months.

Ways to Kill the Maggots

You can get rid of the critters once and for all with the methods listed below.  

Method #1

Use an Insecticide

Try an insecticide or insect repellant, such as pyrethrum that kills flies. Or, use dish soap, which is a handy product that acts as an insect repellant. It has borax as an active ingredient. This ingredient kills the eggs.

Dog shampoo contains permethrin, which kills lice and scabies. The permethrin is effective on the maggots also. Use the shampoo diluted by mixing one part of it with four parts of water.

Bug sprays found in grocery stores also work on the maggots. Spray the solution on areas where you find the maggots. Allow 30 minutes for the chemical to take effect. 

Method #2

Spray Bleach


For large-sized trash cans, like the TuffBoxx Kodiak 243 Gallon Trash Receptacle, spray a solution of bleach mixed with equal parts of water on the maggots.  Or, dump the solution into the garbage container and close it. This method is effective if you have a small plastic trash can with lid.

The fumes will suffocate and kill the maggots. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes. Open the container and wash it with another dose of bleach. This will prevent the return of the maggots.

Method #3

Carburetor Cleaner

The chemicals in a carburetor cleaner are powerful and kill the maggots. Since it is a strong cleaning agent and toxic, use protective clothing. Mix one cup of the cleaning agent in 2 gallons of water. Hot water is more effective.  For a small plastic trash can with lid, use a lesser amount of cleaning agent.

Fill your trash can with this solution after disposing of the trash. Allow the cleaner to sit for an hour. The fumes from the chemical will kill all the maggots. Remember to not mix the chemical with other cleaning agents.

Method #4

All-Purpose Cleaners

The household cleaner you use is also an effective insecticide. Mix one part of the cleaning solution with four parts of boiling water. Pour this solution on the maggots.

You can also use hairsprays or antiperspirants. Spray 4 or 5 times to kill the maggots.

The use of toilet cleaners also gets rid of maggots.

Method #5

Try Natural and Safe Remedies

Although chemicals work fast, they are toxic and can cause harm. You need to wear protective clothing when you use them. But, you can avoid using these chemicals. There are natural methods available that are effective. Here are some of them.

  • After removing garbage, pour boiling water inside your trash bin.  This method needs a large quantity of boiling water. Let the boiling water sit in the bin for about 30 minutes. Water at high temperatures kills the maggots and gets rid of the remaining eggs. Use good quality plastic rubbish bins, if you want to avoid damaging the container.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic material. You can use it for eliminating some kinds of bugs, including maggots. Fossilization of phytoplankton creates this dynamic material. It has insecticidal and cleaning properties. When used in the trash bin, it dries the maggots and kills them. The material is available in departmental stores, home hardware shops, and big-box stores.
  • Cinnamon powder mixed with water is another effective solution. Pouring the solution over the larvae kills them. But, the solution takes 6 hours to work. The maggots cannot tolerate the cinnamon smell. The pervading smell prevents infestations in the future too.
  • Vinegar added to hot water in a 1:2 ratio works as a powerful cleaning solution. This not only disinfects your trash container but also deodorizes it. Scrub the inner surface of the garbage bin with the solution. Let it rest for about 30 minutes. This will take care of the maggot infestation. Rinse the trash container and let it dry before lining it with a trash bag.

Method #6

Can Salt Kill Maggots?

Though this may surprise you, salt works on maggots. To make a more potent maggot-killer, use it with lime. A mixture of salt and lime is a natural remedy you can try. Salt and lime dry the maggots and kill them.

Make a mixture of equal parts of calcium hydroxide (lime) and salt (59 ml each). Sprinkle this mix on the areas where the maggots breed. Add more mixture if you find the initial amount is not effective. Hardware stores also have a premixed calcium-oxide lime that you can use.

Method #7

Freezing the Maggots

If you do not find scooping up maggots a revolting task, try this method. Scoop the smaller hordes of the critters into a resealable bag. Place it in the freezer for an hour or longer if the critters are not killed.

Preventive Tips

Once you get rid of the maggots, it’s time you used some preventive measures. Here are a few tips.

  • Don’t throw the trash straightaway into your garbage container. Use plastic trash bags instead. This is necessary for kitchen trash, which contains food waste. Bone scraps, meat, etc. attract flies. A sturdy metal trash can with a lid can also keep the flies away.
  • Clean your trash can with a solution of vinegar and water every week. This can prevent maggot infestations. Dry the container before you use it. Make sure you use a plastic trash can with lid to keep the flies and maggots out.
  • Coat the garbage container with essential oil. Use bay leaf oil, peppermint, and other such oils. This helps to repel the flies. Add a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spray the solution on the inner surface of the container. Or, wet a clean cloth with the diluted oil and wipe the trash receptacle.
  • Place some silica packets inside the garbage receptacle. Since silica is an absorbent material, it keeps the container moisture-free. Moisture lures the maggots. So, this method will prevent them from infesting your trash can. Also, make sure the trash bags you use are not leaky.
  • Mothballs also help to repel the maggots as they have insecticides in them. Place a few mothballs in the trash can to repel the critters. But, remember that these are toxic and carcinogenic, so use this method only if the others don’t work.

Final Takeaway

Coming upon maggots in your 13 gallon plastic trash can can gross you out. Use any of the seven methods mentioned above to get rid of them. The preventive tips help to avoid the maggots altogether. If you are still plagued by infestations, a replacement of your trash can may be due.

Low-quality bins worn-out containers can make it difficult to clean them. So, try replacing your old trash cans with better quality plastic trash bins. When you can clean your trash bin with ease, you can prevent the critters from growing in it.