Maggots in compost are common and harmless. In fact, they are useful because they speed up the compost making process. Maggots break down the food waste at a faster rate and you get ready to use compost in a short time.
Their negative effect is they eat some of the nutrients to live. This is the reason having few maggots in compost is ok. But if they are present in huge numbers then killing them or removing them is the wise decision.
If you see maggots in your compost pile or in compost tumbler. And don’t want them to be in the compost at any cost. Then read this post till the end find out the solution.
What are maggots?
Maggots are the larvae of BSF (Black Soldier Fly). They are not harmful to the compost and to the garden. In their initial life stage, they are about 1 inch long. They are white in color but some of them are a little yellowish or grey. Their color depends on the food they eat.
Maggots have a fat body with a tiny round head.
An adult soldier fly can be anywhere 5 to 8 inches long with wide wings. They mate with each other and produce more larvae. To feed this larvae, mother BSF look for a high source of Nitrogen. Because the larvae eat green food waste rich in nitrogen.
When it finds the compost, which is a good source of nitrogen. It lay their eggs and let them eat the nitrogen and grow big.
The good news is black soldier flies do not bite and they do not spread diseases. They do not carry harmful bacteria and viruses. So do not fear these adult flies.
Maggots in compost come out from BSF eggs and eat dead food particles. They break down the food waste to produce nitrogen. It is their favorite food.
There is a video on YouTube in which you will see a colony of maggots decomposes the Pizza in a couple of hours. This clearly shows their decomposing power. This action of maggots speeds up the decomposing of food waste in your compost tumblers.
If your compost is away from your house then let them there in compost. But if your compost tumbler is in your garden and they fly around your doors. Then you need to take action to get rid of them.
What attracts Maggots in Compost?
Do you know why you see houseflies near your garbage bin or in waste management places? The simple reason is food waste. All types of flies are attracted to waste food particles. Because they eat the food waste and live their life.
In the case of maggots, they need a warm humid environment to live in and a huge amount of food to grow adults. Compost pile and compost bin is the perfect humid place for them to lay eggs and to eat food particles.
Generally, black solider flies are attracted to the compost that contains green in huge amounts as compared to brown. Green food particles are rich in nitrogen that is fuel for the Larvae.
Another reason for having maggots in compost is not turning the compost pile or tumbler. High humid conditions encourage the birth of many flies and different larvae.
Solutions to Maggots
In my opinion, you don’t have to do anything if there are few maggots in your compost. But if you don’t like them and want to get rid of them. Then do the following things.
Add Brown Particles
By adding more brown into your compost you can get rid of them. Maggots like to live in humid places. Brown material reduces the moisture and decreases the humidity. It also reduces the available food for the maggots.
When they don’t have enough food to eat, they die in a few days. Low humidity in compost pile decomposes their bodies. And you will have no more maggots.
Add Lime in Compost
For a quick solution add lime to your compost. But there is one danger of adding lime. We add lime where our plants want a little acidic environment. Adding lime will disturb the pH of the final material.
In the end, you will have acidic compost that is only useful to grow plants that like to live a little acidic environment.
But you add citrus food waste in the pile. 1 cup of citrus food per 26 cu ft. of compost.
Don’t allow flies: Maggots in compost are only possible when the adult mother black solider fly lay eggs. Make sure you don’t allow them to enter into the compost pile. Cover the pile with the mesh screen to cover the air holes. Also do not make big holes for the air in the pile.
Compost tumblers faceless maggot problems then the open piles of compost.
Don’t worry about maggots
As I said, maggots are good for the compost. They give you the fine granular compost in a short period of time. The finished product will also contain larvae when you spread compost in your garden. But this larva will die in a few hours due to the fresh air and low humidity.
And those adult flies are good for your chicken and pets. They like to hunt them and eat them. If you don’t have chicken or other pets in your garden. Then still don’t worry because the flies will die when the temperature drops at night.
In cold weather, you will see adult black soldier flies are disappearing day by day.
I hope now it is clear that having few maggots in compost is not a problem. And how you can avoid this problem from day one. What are the steps that you can take to kill them and prevent them from laying eggs in your compost?
For more information on the maggot or on the compost. Feel free to write us. We will reply ASAP.
Stick to the traditional way of making compost and help us to save our land and environment.