There are a few things more disgusting and frightening than finding maggots in your garage or storage area. These wiggling bugs are usually a sign of a deeper issue, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t fix it. You can often get rid of maggots through simple preventative care.
Looking for quick and easy ways to get rid of maggots in your garage? Read on for some of our expert tips and tricks, as well as some frequently asked questions when it comes time to get rid of these pests. Grab your gloves too!
What are Maggots?
Maggots aren’t just bugs that appear out of nowhere. They are the larval stage of the common housefly, which means that you no doubt had fly eggs somewhere in your garage already.
While seeing a group of maggots isn’t on anybody’s list, you should take the time to deal with them before they reach their final stage of transformation. You don’t want flies swarming your garage!
Why Do I Have Maggots in my Garage?
There are several reasons why you might have maggots in your garage. Whether you are someone who cleans frequently or tends to leave things left alone, maggots can appear in any situation. Here are some of the most common reasons that homeowners end up with maggots.
Garbage in the Garage
Maggots are attracted to garbage bags, bins, green bins, and recycling bins or bags. If you keep any form of garbage in your garage, you are at risk of attracting flies. These flies will then lay eggs, leading to an outbreak of maggots in your garage.
It’s no secret that flies love anything stinky. Maggots will often be found in garbage situations, so it may be wise of you to relocate your trash bins. You should also consider rinsing out your recycling, such as cans and bottles, before placing them in an enclosed area.
Have you noticed a potentially unpleasant smell in your garage lately? This could be due to the fact that you have a small dead animal trapped somewhere in your home. And you no doubt know that with death comes maggots!
This is no reason to panic, but it may be why you are noticing more maggots and flies around. Flies are attracted to the scent of decay, no matter how large the animal was. You may have something as small as a dead mouse or lizard, but this is still enough to attract flies.
If your garage is used primarily for storage, it is very easy for mice, rats, lizards, and even squirrels to get trapped inside and perish. You may consider doing some spring cleaning, among many of our other treatment options below.
Garage Carpets and Mats
Maggot infestations can happen if you have carpet or door mats in your garage. These mats can get mold and mildew, attracting flies and eventually maggots.
As previously stated, flies love anything with a strong odor. If you have mold or mildew present in your garage, you may run the risk of attracting flies and maggots. A wet and moldy carpet is indeed a fly’s ideal breeding ground.
How Do You Get Rid of Maggots in the Garage?
Curious what you can do to get rid of maggots in your garage? Here are our expert opinions for handling your infestation without needing to call a pest control service.
1. Boiling Water (Bleach & Hydrogen Peroxide Optional)
One of the simplest ways to get rid of maggots is to simply pour boiling water on them. The heat from the water as well as the water itself is enough to both kill and drown whatever maggots are present.
You can combine this method with bleach or hydrogen peroxide to further disinfect and clean the area that the maggots have been in. Using either of these two chemicals is optional, but may help prevent odors that will attract flies again.
This method is ideal if you have a way to contain the boiling water, such as inside of a trash can or other garbage bin. You can use this method on your rugs oh, so long as you are fine with making a bit of a mess. Using boiling water and bleach is ideal for removing mold and mildew as well.
2. Permethrin Spray
There are many different types of bug repellent sprays, whether you are trying to repel mosquitoes, flies, or maggots. Wylie sprayers will not necessarily clean up the mess left behind by flies or maggots, it is great for preventing them in the future. This is an especially useful product if you need to spray anything that is potentially sensitive, such as tents or other soft goods.
This permethrin spray from Sawyer Products (available on Amazon by clicking here) is an awesome solution for preventing maggots or flies at any stage. It is available in a spray bottle or aerosol form for your convenience.
3. Remove Smelling Garbage, Foods, and Decay (Prevent Flies!)
Most people deal with maggots before they become maggots. One of the best ways you can deal with an infestation in your garage is to remove anything that is decaying or smelly in the first place.
By moving your garbage bins outside, going through any old items that could be hiding something decaying, and otherwise giving your garage a deep clean, you can prevent flies from gathering in the first place.
It is also important to avoid keeping food in your garage. While dry pantry goods can be stored in garages during milder times of the year, the goods are going to attract flies regularly. If you have the space to keep food items in doors, do so.
4. Boric Acid
Available in a convenient powder form, boric acid is a natural insecticide and repellent. You can sprinkle boric acid into your garage carpets, rugs, and any other locations that you have noticed maggots.
Once the boric acid has killed all the maggots in your garage, you can conveniently vacuum them up using a Shop-Vac or other type of vacuum with a disposable bag option. It is important to empty the bag and its contents immediately to avoid any maggots that potentially survived this process.
So much of getting rid of maggots has to do with preventing flies in the first place. You can always start from the beginning, by using fly traps to trap and kill any flies that may be present in your garage.
There are different types of fly traps that you can use. Here’s an electric option and here’s a standard trap. Preventing flies from laying eggs in the first place is just another way of preventing maggots in your garage.
6. Sprinkle a Large Amount of Salt Over Them
Many insects dislike salt because of its natural dehydrating properties. Maggots are the same, and most small maggots can’t survive being sprinkled with a generous amount of table or sea salt.
You can also use salt as a protective barrier around your trash bin or carpeting. While flies may still lay eggs, the salts will alter the maggot’s ability to hatch and you may end up with less maggots overall.
7. Lemon or Lime Juice
The powerful citric acid found in lemon or lime juice can also be used to kill maggots. While you will still need to clean them up and disinfect the surface that the maggots were on, lemon or lime juice can help you in the process of killing them.
How Do You Prevent Getting Maggots in Your Garage?
One of the best methods of taking care of maggot infestations is simply preventing maggots in the first place. How do you prevent getting maggots in your garage? Check out some of these helpful tips.
1. Keep Your Garage Clean
If you use your garage for more than just your car, you may notice maggots or flies gathering due to a lack of cleanliness. Simply keeping your garage clean and well cared for can help prevent both flies and maggots in the future.
You should try to keep your garage clean during warmer months of the year especially. This is due to the fact that things just tend to smell worse in warm weather, and this will attract flies, which leads to maggots.
2. Properly Sealing Your Garbage (Or Storing it Outside Properly)
If you have no choice but to keep your garbage inside of your garage, you should take the time to properly seal it and otherwise prevent it from smelling. While keeping your garbage and recycling bins outside of your garage is the best solution, this isn’t always an option.
Use scented can liners, double bag your garbage, and use trash cans with sturdy and sealable lids. If flies can’t get at your trash, you won’t have maggots at all!
3. Installing Garage Door Screens
During warmer months, if you enjoy keeping your garage door open, you may consider installing a garage door screen that prevents flies. You can install these on either your large garage door or side door, should you have one.
These screens are useful for preventing flies from entering your garage. While some may still sneak through, the chances of maggots developing when using these are slim.
4. Keep Your BBQ Outside
No matter how thoroughly you clean your barbecue grill, flies will no doubt still be attracted to the smell. It is recommended that you store your barbecue outside of your garage to avoid attracting flies.
If you need to bring your barbecue grill inside for the winter, take the time to thoroughly clean and scrub it, inside and out. Any leftover grease, sauce, or used charcoal can attract flies, which may lead to maggots.
5. Don’t Let Your Pets “Go” in the Garage
If you have dogs or cats, be sure to train them to go outside to do their business. If you have pee pads or litter boxes in your garage, these can attract flies. While the garage may seem like a convenient place for your pets to go, especially in inclement weather, it is not recommended if you are having trouble with maggots.
Do I Even Have Maggots?
It is possible you don’t even have typical fly maggots. Often people confuse typical maggots with other fly larvae. One of the most common confusions is with crane fly larvae, which often isn’t attracted by the same things, such as garbage and decay.
Crane flies are attracted to unhealthy lawns, dirt patches, and dead grass or plants. They often come out after a heavy rain. Their larvae will be found under outdoor garbage cans, rocks, garage doors, lumber, and much more.
No matter what, having maggots in your garage isn’t ideal. Paying attention to the overall health of your outdoor landscaping can prevent crane fly larvae, and maintaining a clean and nice smelling garage will help prevent regular house fly maggots.
Why Are There Maggots Under My Garage Door? (Under Weather Strip)
You may have noticed maggots under your weather stripping as you opened your garage door. This is actually a common place to find maggots or larvae as the weather gets colder and winter arrives. They don’t like the cold either!
Remove the maggots and clean the weather stripping with boiling water and bleach. You can also sprinkle salt and add some lemon juice under the weather stripping and it should keep them from returning.
You should also take your time investigating the overall cleanliness of your garage. If there are other spots that seem dark and mildewy, take the time to clean these areas with bleach. Many animals will also seek shelter during winter, and they may get trapped in your garage, leading to a maggot infestation whether you are aware of it or not.
Getting rid of maggots in your garage isn’t impossible. Many infestations can be solved without the need of a pest control company, though you may want to call one if the infestation is more than you can handle. Nobody likes dealing with maggots!
However, with these home remedies and a dedication to your garage’s overall cleanliness, you can prevent both flies and maggots at any stage. Have other home remedies that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.