There’s nothing worse than coming out onto your patio to relax, only to see it crawling with disgusting white maggots. Where do maggots come from? And how do you get rid of these bugs from your patio?
In order to get rid of maggots on your patio, you first need to remove the source of the infestation. You will also need to destroy the maggots, either by using a pesticide, natural remedy, or calling an exterminator. Finally, you will need to keep your patio clean to avoid a repeat infestation.
Discovering maggots on your patio is not only revolting but a cause for concern. Maggots are a sign of poor yard hygiene as they are attracted to garbage, dog poop, or dead animals. They can also cause disease in your pets and your family.
It is thus essential that you get rid of both the source of the maggots, as well as the maggots and unhatched eggs, either using insecticide or other methods.
Step 1: Get Rid of the Source of the Maggots
Maggots don’t just appear out of nowhere – there is a reason they are there. To get rid of any maggots you see on your patio, you need to tackle the source of the maggots first, or else the infestation will continue and spread. Understanding where the maggots come from and why they are there will help you get rid of them.
Why Are There Maggots on the Patio?
There will be maggots on your patio if a female fly has laid eggs nearby and they have hatched. Maggots are the newly hatched larvae or babies of flies, including cheese flies, blowflies, bluebottles, fruit flies, and house flies. When they hatch, they look like small, wriggly white worms, about ¾ inch long (2 cm).
Flies lay their eggs near or in a food source for the maggots, for example, a dead animal, a garbage bin, rotting wood, or even a compost heap. Within a day or so, the maggots hatch, burrow in and start to eat the food.
After a few days or weeks, the maggots create a cocoon or shell around themselves in which they will change into adult flies, ready to develop more maggots.
In nature, maggots play a role in breaking down rotting material and killing bacteria, so they have their ecological place. However, they are a dangerous pest in our homes and yards and can cause you and your pets to get sick.
Where Do Maggots Come From?
The maggots on your patio are either at their food source or moving towards a new source of food nearby. The presence of maggots tells you that there is something rotten, decaying, or dirty near or on your patio that is attracting flies and maggots.
If you only get rid of the maggots and not the food source, eggs that flies have laid in the food source will hatch, and you will have a new batch of pests.
Ignoring the maggots will mean they will continue to feed. They develop into flies within two to four weeks and lay their eggs, producing more larvae.
Flies can lay over a thousand eggs at a time, which hatch within a day. Ignoring a maggot problem can lead to a fly infestation.
What Is Attracting Maggots to Your Patio?
Check your patio and yard for anything that could serve as maggot food. Unless you’ve got a dead body buried in your garden, it’s probably some form of garbage, old food, or decaying material, such as an old carpet or even the rotting foundations of your home. Here are some possibilities:
- If the maggots come up from cracks in your patio, especially if it is a cement slab, something is probably stuck underneath. It may be nothing more than damp or rotting plant materials, mold, or algae, a food source for some kinds of maggots.
- A common culprit of maggots on your patio is garbage. If your garbage cans are near the patio, move them. Also, make sure your wash out your garbage cans regularly with bleach so that no decaying food is left in them to attract flies. Buy a garbage can with a lid that closes tightly.
- Another source of maggot infestation is pet food, which attracts flies and serves as a breeding ground. If you feed your pets on the patio, ensure that the bowls are regularly emptied and scrubbed out. Even old bird food or fruit you have put out for them can attract maggots, so clear out those bird feeders. Also, rather store pet food indoors so that it doesn’t become a cause of maggots.
- Excess dog feces or poop are a further maggot haven. Clean up after your dog regularly and dispose of the poop.
- Compost heaps also attract flies, including fruit flies and vinegar gnats. Ensure that your compost heap is a reasonable distance from your patio and is adequately contained.
- A wounded or dying animal (especially one trapped under your house) can attract flies and spread maggots. Dispose of any animal carcasses. These are usually dead rats, which have been killed with rat poison.
Once you have identified the maggot breeding ground, you can get rid of it and the maggots.
Step 2: Destroy the Maggots and Their Eggs
There are various ways of and approaches to getting rid of maggots, both chemically and naturally. Whichever method you choose to get rid of the invaders, make sure that you apply the remedy to the visible larvae and the entire patio area to kill any tiny maggots and eggs.
However, remember that unless you destroy the source of the maggots, you will not eliminate the problem and prevent a repeat infestation.
Natural Remedies for Getting Rid of Maggots
Organic remedies are the quickest, cheapest, and simplest ways to get rid of maggots as these creatures have no hard shell or skin to protect them. You can then avoid using chemicals or toxic pesticides.
Use Boiling Water
Using boiling water is the most effective way of clearing your patio of maggots instantly.
- Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil for about five minutes.
- Carefully carry the boiling water in a safe container.
- Gently pour the water over the maggots, taking care not to splash yourself.
- If maggots are coming out of cracks, pour the boiling water down the cracks.
- The boiling water will kill the larvae instantly, and you can sweep or mop them away.
Avoid using boiling water to get rid of maggots if:
- The bugs are on your garden furniture. Boiling water can damage wooden and wicker furniture and leave it damp and vulnerable to mold and rot.
- Your patio flooring is delicate or easily damaged by hot water.
Use Lime Juice or Vinegar
The acidity in lime or lemon juice and vinegar will kill maggots as well. Put the liquid in a spray bottle and squirt it generously over the bugs. They should die instantly.
You could also add one part lime juice or vinegar to three parts boiling water when you are using the boiling water remedy to get rid of maggots.
Another natural remedy for destroying maggots is using salted water and spraying or pouring it over the larvae. This is not an instant method, as the maggots first absorb the salt and then dehydrate and die.
You may need to repeat applications of salted water to destroy all the maggots. Increase the levels of salt if necessary.
You can also just sprinkle salt liberally over the bugs and sweep them up later. Wait for a couple of hours.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Suppose you find that the maggots are also in the soil around your patio. In that case, using diatomaceous earth is a natural and effective solution that works quickly and has lasting effects.
Diatomaceous earth is a rock often used in insecticides but is a natural pesticide. It functions in the same way as salt or vinegar does, dehydrating the maggots.
You can buy diatomaceous earth at most hardware stores and garden centers.
To get rid of a maggot infestation, spread diatomaceous earth over the affected area and around your patio to kill existing maggots and eggs, and prevent future infestation.
Chemical Remedies for Getting Rid of Maggots
If natural remedies are ineffective or you want to use a chemical pesticide, you have many options. Ensure that you spray or clean both the patio and the surrounding area to destroy all larvae and eggs.
Use Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide
Boiling water usually does the trick with maggots, but you can also add a cup of bleach and a cup and a half of hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of boiling water to use as a homemade insect repellent. This mixture both kills the maggots and disinfects your patio.
Use Dish Soap
Most ordinary dishwashing liquid or soap contains borax (boric acid), which acts as an insecticide. You can add a good squirt of dish soap to your boiling water before washing down the patio to get rid of the maggots.
If you have seen maggots on any of your plants, dish soap is a good option for destroying them, as it won’t harm your plants.
Use a Commercial Pesticide or Insecticide
Several brands of insecticides will get rid of maggots and eggs, including sprays, bug bombs, and powders.
However, remember that insecticides are toxic to the maggots, but possibly also to you and your pets, especially if they touch your skin or eyes.
Here are some guidelines when using insecticides to eradicate maggots:
- Follow the pesticide’s packaging instructions to keep yourself safe and make sure the maggots are destroyed.
- Wear protective gear (including goggles, a mask and gloves) when you spray or sprinkle the pesticide, especially if you use an aerosol or pump spray.
- Wash your hands thoroughly when using any pesticide.
- Keep your pets indoors while using an outdoor insecticide. Some pesticides may take time to work, so keep your pets away until the poison has done its job.
- Once the maggots are dead, wash the entire patio area.
Use Dog Shampoo
One pesticide ingredient that will not harm your pets is permethrin. This chemical occurs in dog shampoo and common insect repellents and kills all kinds of bugs, including flies and maggots.
If you don’t want to use a possibly toxic pesticide, you can pour one part dog shampoo mixed with four parts hot water on the maggots as it will kill them.
Get an Exterminator
If you have treated your patio for maggots and cleared the area surrounding it, and maggots still appear, you may need additional help. You should immediately call a professional exterminator if the maggots have spread into your home or appear on your pets.
A professional exterminator will help you find the source of the maggots and destroy it and treat your home and yard to prevent repeated infestations.
Step 3: Keep Your Patio and Surrounds Clean
Once you have got rid of the source of the larvae and cleaned the patio, it is vital to keep the area clean to avoid a repeat maggot infestation. Prevention is the best approach when it comes to maggots.
Here are some suggestions:
- Keep the patio dry so that algae and moss don’t develop and attract flies. Maggots like moist areas, so make the area unattractive to them.
- Seal any cracks or crevices in the patio.
- Regularly wash the patio with warm water and bleach to disinfect it.
- Plant fly-repelling plants around your patio – these include marigolds, lavender, chrysanthemums, and herbs like tansy, basil, lemongrass, citronella, and bay. These plants smell lovely and keep flies away.
- Make a fly trap to destroy the flies before they lay eggs. A simple homemade fly trap consists of a container filled with a few inches of water, some dish soap, and something smelly to attract the flies. The dish soap will kill them.
- Use a commercially available fly-zapper or UV-light fly trap.
What Kills Maggots Instantly?
Boiling water is the quickest, most effective solution to killing maggots instantly. Simply pour boiling water over the maggots, and they will die.
What Are Natural Remedies for Maggots?
If you are uncomfortable with chemical pesticides or insecticides in your home, there are many natural ways of getting rid of maggots. You can use boiling water on its own or mixed with vinegar, lemon or lime juice, salt, or dish soap.
An organic remedy for getting rid of these bugs is to use diatomaceous earth.
Why Are There Maggots on My Patio?
Maggots are baby flies – they have hatched out of eggs that a female fly has laid in a food source for the larvae.
If you see maggots on your patio, it means that there is a food source nearby for the larvae to eat. This food source is usually garbage, rotting food, dog poop, or even a dead animal.
Will Maggots Just Go Away?
Maggots will go away in that they will feed for a while, then pupate and transform into adult flies. However, your maggot problem will not just go away unless you destroy the source of the larvae, get rid of the existing maggots and fly eggs, and keep your patio clean.
If you ignore a maggot problem, it will develop into a horrible fly infestation.
It is very unpleasant to discover maggots on your patio. However, it is pretty simple to get rid of them.
First, destroy the maggots’ food source, which attracts the flies to lay their eggs. This source is usually rotting food, garbage, or feces.
Secondly, clean the patio thoroughly using a natural remedy, like boiling water, or a chemical, like borax or bleach. If you have a severe maggot infestation, it is best to call in a professional exterminator to eliminate the problem.
To prevent a repeat infestation, keep your patio area clean and dry.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.