The Unexpected Ingredient To Keep On Hand If You Have A Maggot Problem

Discovering maggots in your trash bin is a grotesque experience, and sometimes these pesky, white insects can be difficult to get rid of. Maggots are the larvae of flies, and they are often found in our trash because flies are attracted to decaying organic material. Flies are able to easily locate your trash because the rotting food gives off methane gas, which makes them aware of the potential food source. If you have trouble with maggots, use basil to deter flies from hanging out in your trash.

When you throw away meat scraps, old fruit, or pet waste, this gives flies a perfect place to lay their eggs, as it will provide food for the larvae once they hatch. The humidity of garbage bins not only provides a warm shelter for the insects, but it can also make your trash even smellier. Once the maggots mature into flies they will mate and may lay more eggs in your trash, continuing the infestation — but with a little basil the flies will likely leave.

How to use basil to prevent maggots

By deterring flies from visiting your trash can, you'll prevent them from laying eggs there, and your garbage will be on the way to being maggot-free. Flies don't like the smell of basil, so using it in your trash is a great way to keep these pesky insects away. If you grow basil in your herb garden, try dropping a few leaves into the trash bag. This may also help your trash smell better, so you're not holding your breath every time you open the lid. Dried basil or basil oil is effective as well if you don't have access to the fresh herb.

If there are maggots already in your trash can, you may need to get rid of them first for this trick to work. Since the basil repels flies, it can prevent maggots from appearing in your trash, but it won't kill them if they're already there.

Why basil is an effective fly deterrent

Basil works as a fly repellent because of its natural oil content, which tends to repel insects. Such oils can also conceal other scents, like those attractive to flies. Having this herb in your trash can make it difficult for the flies to identify if a food source is present and make them move on in search of other potential sources. It's a cheap and simple way to keep your bin safe from the development of squirming maggots.

Having a basil plant in your home can also help prevent flies from coming inside. Sweet basil, as well as lemon basil and holy basil, are great varieties for deterring insects. Besides houseflies, basil is also known to repel potato bugs, mosquitos, thrips, aphids, and tomato hornworms, so planting it around your house can help protect you and your plants from annoying pests of all kinds.