Killing Maggots With Salt: Is It Effective?

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Salt is obviously something you will find in all households. Maggots, while not in all households, are still more common than you might think.

But is killing maggots with salt an effective solution to your maggot infestation? Well, I’ll be telling you about the causes of maggots in your trash can to begin with, and then a little more about killing maggots with salt! So, dive in!

Killing maggots with salt: How can you do it effectively?

killing maggots with salt

Salt, in essence, is a dehydrating substance. If you ever eat a bag of chips that contains a lot of salt, you will find yourself craving some water right after.

Therefore, killing maggots with salt is certainly effective, and it works by dehydrating their bodies entirely. Here are two ways you can use salt to kill maggots!

Sprinkle plain salt directly on the maggots.

Maggots can be killed by the use of salt. Simply sprinkle plain salt directly onto any maggots that you can spot in your trash can.

It is an effective way to eradicate them from a trash can or any other area where they are present. In order to clean up after using this method, it is important to dispose of any dead maggots and then thoroughly clean the area. This will help prevent any future infestation.

Mix salt with lime and sprinkle it into your trash can infested with maggots.

Mix salt with lime and sprinkle it into your trash can. This will kill the maggots and stop them from breeding. Another option is to use calcium-oxide lime, which will also kill the maggots and stop them from breeding.

What is causing maggots in your trash can at home?

maggots in trash can

Maggots are the larvae of houseflies that emerge from the eggs that these flies lay in your trash can or on any rotting organic item such as old garbage. The fact is that houseflies lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Therefore, even one fly laying eggs can prove to be a hazard for you!

Maggots in your trash can are typically caused by one or more of the following: improper storage of food waste, overloading the garbage can with too much waste, not emptying the garbage can often enough, and leaving pet food out overnight. But, let’s look at the causes in detail.

The heat of the summer

Summertime means increased outdoor activities, picnics, and barbecues. Unfortunately, it also means an increase in maggot infestations.

Maggots are fly larvae that can cause considerable damage to both food and animals. In the summer heat, they can grow exponentially and become a serious problem.

The main reason is that the heat causes perishable items to decompose quickly. Therefore, the garbage that would not stink before two days of sitting in your trash can in the winter is likely to throw a stench on the first day itself.

This attracts flies in hordes. And these flies ultimately lay eggs that give birth to maggots! Maggots thrive in the heat of the summer and can often be found in kitchens and basements.

Rotting garbage in your trash can

Maggots thrive in rotting garbage and can quickly infest your trash can if it is not cleaned on a regular basis.

They can only survive in areas where the larvae can feed and rot food waste, so unhygienic areas inside your home are perfect for maggot infestation.

The presence of animal carcasses in your trash can

The presence of animal carcasses in your trash can is a health hazard. Dead animals provide food for flies, which can then spread disease to humans.

Maggots are known to be attracted to the stench and odor of rotting flesh, and their larvae can contaminate food and surfaces.

How can you prevent maggots in your trash can in the first place?

There are some actions you can take to prevent maggots in your trash can. One is to not throw food waste directly into the garbage can but instead put it in a smaller plastic bag.

You should also make sure not to overfill the trash can, as the smell of old garbage will attract flies.

In order to get rid of maggots and deter flies, you should also frequently wipe your trash cans with a vinegar and water solution.

To deter flies, you can also mist the trash can with a few drops of essential oils like lavender, bay leaf, or peppermint.

What are your alternatives to killing maggots with salt?

There are a variety of ways to kill maggots, and using salt is just one of them. Boiling water is an excellent maggot killer, as is lime or vinegar.

You can also use diatomaceous earth, which is a naturally occurring soft sedimentary rock that kills insects by absorbing their oils and moisture. I’ve explained a little about these alternatives in the following sections!

Water and vinegar solution

One popular solution is to use a vinegar and water mixture. Mix water and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and shake it thoroughly.

Now, you can pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it either directly on the maggots or in your trash can, where you can find maggots and flies.

This will kill the maggots and also remove the smell that attracts flies. The solution will keep flies away for at least a few days.

Pour boiling water into your trash can to kill maggots.

boiling water kills maggots

Pouring boiling water into your garbage can is a simple and easy way to kill maggots. If you just want to target maggots in your trash can, simply pour boiling water into your trash can and rinse it a couple of times after that.

If the infestation is in multiple places or over a large area, boil enough water to cover all of them.

Insecticidal sprays

Insecticidal sprays are a common way to control maggots. The most effective spray is pyrethrum-based, which is also harmful to flies.

Other insecticides that contain permethrin can be used as well and are helpful in controlling maggots.

To kill the maggots, a large amount of spray must be applied for 30-40 minutes, and cleaning of the area afterward is necessary.


Killing maggots with salt is a highly effective method to get rid of them. However, my word of warning to you would be to first tackle the source of the house fly infestation. Unless you can get rid of the fly infestation itself, you will have to deal with maggots that will become a recurring issue.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.