How to Prevent Maggots in the Garbage Can

If you have ever had the misfortune of discovering maggots wriggling in your garbage can and among your household waste, you know the dismay and disgust associated with maggots. When you discover maggots, you see fly larvae that result from flies laying eggs in your garbage can. The secret to preventing maggots in the garbage can lies in preventing flies from laying eggs in your garbage.

Container of kitchen
credit: -art-siberia-/iStock/Getty Images
garbage can
cleaning supplies
credit: matka_Wariatka/iStock/Getty Images
scrub brush

Step 1

Wash your garbage can each week with a solution of white vinegar and water. Combine one part white vinegar and two parts water, and apply this cleaning solution to all surfaces of the garbage can with the scrub brush. Rinse the garbage can well, and leave it sitting in the sun to dry completely. Do not put the garbage can away with moisture trapped inside.

Newspaper headlines
credit: Brian Jackson/iStock/Getty Images
newspaper

Step 2

Cover the bottom of the garbage can with old, wadded-up newspapers. The newspapers will absorb any liquids that leak from your garbage and minimize messes on the bottom of the garbage can that will attract flies.

trash can with a plastic bag inside
credit: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images
garbage can with bag and lid

Step 3

Line the garbage can with a garbage bag, folding the bag down over the rim of the garbage can. Always seal the garbage can tightly with the lid.

trash can
credit: beshoy_badry/iStock/Getty Images
garbage can

Step 4

Keep the garbage can in an area that has adequate ventilation to keep flies away from the can. Place the black tarp over the top of the garbage can during warm weather to keep flies from crawling into the garbage can.

Sandwich in Plastic Bag
credit: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images
sandwich in plastic bag

Step 5

Place food waste in a sealing plastic bag before placing it into the garbage can. Always seal bones, meats or other organic trash separately to prevent flies from accessing these items in the garbage can.

Balsamic vinegar bottle in a kitchen
credit: Daniel Täger/iStock/Getty Images
bottle of vinegar

Step 6

Coat the outside of the garbage can with vinegar to repel flies. Bay leaves or eucalyptus leaves might also repel flies if you crush the leaves slightly and hang small bunches around the outside of the garbage can.