Maggots are gross and usually an indicator that you have undesirable conditions inside your garage, which can lead to health issues and other problems. While these pests are mostly harmless, they will become flies which can be more dangerous and annoying.
A garage is a common entryway that flies use to get into the home. Insects are attracted to garbage, food, water, and decay, all of which can be found in the average garage. Unless your garage is used exclusively for parking cars, there is a good chance you will have some maggot-breeding conditions. If that’s the case, you will need to remove them.
How to Remove Maggots?
A maggot infestation is usually caused by old food, stagnant water, dead animals, dirty trash cans, or pet food. The first step to removing maggots in the garage is removing food sources and fly attractants. A messy, untidy, and disorganized garage can be hard to clean, and it will be nearly impossible to find all the sources of maggot infestation without cleaning the area thoroughly.
Garbage cans and tight spaces like drains can be sprayed with insecticide to kill maggots in hard-to-reach places. Straw applicators make it easier to reach these hidden pests no matter where they are hiding. Cleaning trash cans used for composting and yard waste will help, and bins can be treated with lemon juice between uses to prevent maggot infestations.
Once you have your garage clean, you can remove all garbage bags and particles of garbage from the trash bins. Clean the garbage bins with dish soap, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide, then place them outside the garage in direct white UV light. Look for any wet places or areas with food items and rotten food, like shelves or behind the refrigerator.
Wet spots with maggots can be treated with salt, and diatomaceous earth to both absorb the liquid and kill the maggots. Once the wet spots have dried up and the maggots have stopped moving, you can sweep up the sources of food and dead larvae of flies and discard them in the garbage. Clean the stained areas with bleach or vinegar to prevent future maggot infestations.
You’ll also need to remove the other stages of the common housefly, or you will get maggots again on a regular basis. Cleaning the messes and garbage bins will remove the larval stage, but you will need electric insect killers and fly repellent to remove any possibility of fly infestation. An electronic fly trap and yellow sticky traps can be used to prevent future maggot infestations throughout your garage.
What Attracts Maggots to the Garage?
Control of maggots is easiest when you create a hostile environment for maggots to survive. Things like dirty dishes, foul smells, dark corners, food substances, and a dead mouse can all lead to increased maggot activity, and these things are common in our garages. Flys will enter your garage and lay hundreds of eggs on spoiled food or any other hardy food source for maggots to start the next generation of pests.
If you can figure out all the sources of maggots in your garage and reduce or eliminate them entirely, you can take care of maggot infestations in the future. Flies and insects are attracted to many different things, and knowing what they are is a great way to get rid of all pests at any life cycle in your garage.
|Fly Attractant||Life Cycle Encountered||How to Remove|
|Food||Larval, Adult||Spray or salt and discard contaminated food|
|Water||Adult||Clean spilled water and change water dishes daily|
|Dead tissue||Larval, Adult||Remove all dead substances and clean the area with bleach|
|Smell of Bacteria||Larval, Adult||Remove any contaminated substances and spray them with bleach|
|Moderate Temperature||Larval, Adult||Increase or decrease temperatures to drive out pests|
|Shelter||Larval, Adult||Close all gaps, doors, and windows to prevent pests from coming in|
|Reproduction||Adult||Remove other fly attractants to prevent adult flies from finding your garage an ideal mating ground|
Flies can smell food much more strongly than we can, and anything we eat and leave in our garage will attract pests. If there is a smell of food, whether raw, cooked or food waste, chances are it will attract flies. Keeping track of food sources in your garage is very important.
Garages often act as additional food storage, especially in temperate climates. A refrigerator and some food and beverages on the shelves are not uncommon in most garages. Any of these can smell like food and invite pests like flies into your garage. Make sure all stored food is well-sealed and not attracting pests.
Many times our kitchen waste or compost is put into a bin in the garage. To keep the garage clean of pests, all bins should have tight-fitting lids that keep maggots out. Flies will still be attracted to the smell and may breed nearby, so also double bag garbage that will be in there for longer than a few days and thoroughly clean the bins regularly.
Some garages are used for workshops and other stations, and these can introduce plumbing and additional water needs. Water in the garage needs to be handled carefully, as any stagnant pools of it will attract flies. Flies need to drink water, and damp conditions often breed the bacteria and smell that flies like.
Garages full of storage and other items can often have water damage or external leaks that go undetected. If left untreated, many pests can nest in wet and moldy areas. When you discover any standing water or leaks, you will need to fix the damage and stop the leaks before trying to clean or deal with the mess.
Once new leaks are prevented, you will want to clean all the water-logged areas with bleach to kill eggs and prevent mold and fungus spores from spreading. Keep an eye on any new water sources causing problems in your garage.
Lots of animals and pests can get trapped in our garage and die. When this happens, even when we are unaware, the flies will find it. Flies love to lay their eggs in dead flesh to ensure that their maggots will have plenty of food when they hatch. Dead critters in our garages are a common breeding ground for flies.
In a cluttered garage, many small insects like cockroaches and moths will die and may attract maggots and ants. Larger lizards and mice may also die and could go unknown to a human, for many dies. During this time, maggots will hatch and eat the corpses.
Keeping a garage clean so there are no hidden areas for pests to perish can prevent this. Sealing as many entry points and reducing food sources and other pest attractants can also prevent dead animals from attracting flies into your garage.
Smell of Bacteria
Lots of things break down, and any type of decomposition relies on an abundance of bacteria. Since flies and maggots both feed by secreting enzymes that break down bacteria, the smell of a microscopic buffet will certainly attract flies.
Compost bins and the refuse at the bottom of trash cans are common places where stinky bacteria love to populate. Dark, damp corners and places where sawdust and other organic matter can rot will also breed bacteria.
Cleaning the floors of garages with bleach and other household items can keep bacteria levels down. Make sure to remove all food waste that will rot and keep bins clean. Don’t leave uneaten food or spoiled food anywhere in the garage, as they will attract bacteria over time.
Garages are not as sensitive to temperature extremes as the outdoors, and flies and other insects may seek refuge inside. During hot summers or freezing winters, flies will try to survive inside your garage. Any gaps will be exploited, and the heat or cool will call out to these comfort-seeking insects.
Once inside, flies and other bugs will likely try to find a food source like pet food or rubbish, then mate and reproduce. By the time spring rolls around and there is more access to organic matter, your fly population could take off, and you may have swarms in your garage.
Keeping your garage open to the elements for certain times during the day can discourage pests from taking refuge. Remove all easy food and water sources, and the pests will likely fly right back out into the heat or cold and try their luck elsewhere.
Rain, snow, wind, and other inclement weather can drive flies and pests indoors. If your windows or garage door have openings, pest-seeking safety will come inside and set up camp. If your garage is unkempt, they will have plenty of places to hide and wait out the weather.
If, while waiting, these pests find food, water, or mates, they will be more likely to set up in your garage forever. It is a good idea to try to seal your garage before bad weather conditions. Flies that can’t find an easy way in will go elsewhere.
During these conditions is also a good time to activate electric bug zappers and hang sticky traps. The pests that do come in will easily be killed or trapped, and no long-term maggot infestations should occur. Keep an eye out for beneficial insects escaping the weather and try not to harm them.
If flies enter your garage and see other flies of the opposite sex, they will probably stick around. We have all witnessed the mating flight of flies through our homes and garages and know that they will not leave until it is finished. Trying to stop flies that are mating is harder than shooing the occasional exploratory insect.
If you have bacterial odors or food and water sources, flies will enter and want to mate. The mating will lead to eggs being laid in the decomposing material, and so many flies will try to stake their claim. Trash cans and expired animals are common causes of fly reproduction zones.
The best thing to do when flies are breeding is to use a knockdown spray. There are plenty of natural child and animal-safe sprays as well as more toxic ones. Electric fly zappers and sticky traps can help, as can fly bait and other trapping methods. Try to remove the conditions that flies enjoy preventing reproduction in your garage.
Harm That Maggots Can Cause
There isn’t a lot of harm in having a few maggots in your garage; in fact, some countries serve them as a delicacy. Obviously, maggots in material like feces and rotten, moldy food can cause health issues, but the general maggots in compost or at the bottom of spoiled food containers won’t hurt you.
Adult flies can carry diseases and lead to bacterial poisoning when they land on contaminated refuse and then the food we consume. Usually, our immune systems can handle it, but if your pest problem is bad and conditions are unsanitary serious illness can occur. Keeping adult flies out of our food-preparation areas and away from our food and drinks can help reduce pest-related health issues.
The conditions that attract maggot infestations are the largest concern when it comes to maggots and our health. Maggots have been used in medical practice to eat gangrenous tissue, but those same white wriggly worms can lead to infection in the wrong conditions. If there are pathogens present where the maggots live, then they can be passed into our systems and lead to serious sicknesses.
Likewise, animals can consume maggots in their food and water or while they are out eating refuse. Intestinal animal sickness and some forms of heart disease are caused by our pets accidentally eating infected maggots. Changing pet food, cleaning water basins, and removing spoiled food can all help keep your pets safe.
Maggots will lead to more decomposition and attract more pests to try and eat the maggots. If an area of infestation is left uncleaned, it can become a mess of corruption and lead to serious odor, health, and structural issues. As soon as a maggot infestation is located, begin the process of cleaning and sterilizing the area.
If you do not keep maggots and other pests out of your garage, they will begin to make their way into your home. As they move into drains, onto food sources, and around your house, flies and maggots can lead to increased health issues. Always keep maggot-prone areas clean and maintained, and pay attention to where adult flies are hanging out to find maggot problems before they start