My composting was going so well before, but this morning I went to dump in my kitchen scraps, and saw that the whole center of the pile is infested with BIG maggots. Ew ew ew. I am so grossed out. I immediately covered the whole pile with dry wood chips becauses I didn't know what else to do. WHAT DO I DO??? Do I have to kill them with poison and sacrafice my compost pile? Is there any hope of saving it??? Please help before I puke!!!
Don't poison your compost! Maggots are not going to hurt your compost, but they may be a sign that your balance of green materials/brown materials/ soil is off. Make sure that you are adding enough (but not too much) brown stuff like straw. Also it may be too moist; it should feel like a wrung out sponge. If it is too wet or has too much green material (food, grass, fresh leaves) in relation to brown, it can become slimy and rotten smelling and attract lots of maggots. If you really can't stand them you can get some lime (this is organic) and dust your compost with it. It will deal with the maggots and you will still have good compost, but it will increase the ph of the compost.
Interesting. So they don't harm the compost? But isn't it just bad in general to have maggots in your yard?? (Beyond it being disgusting)
I do think the pile got too moist. What happened was I had a big bag of old geraniums trimmings sitting next to the bin that I hadn't added yet because I was waiting for it to sort of break down more. Well it had been a long time so I decided to just dump it in. But then I saw that the old geranium stuff was infested with ants. Yuck yuck yuck. I knew I couldn't spray any poison on them since they are now in my compost, so I poured boiling water and that seemed to kill all the ants. But it did make for a very moist environment, plus it's been very damp and humid here lately. Yuck yuck yuck, those maggots are the size of caterpillars, it is an image I will not soon forget. I'll get some lime. They really do freak me out. I would love if I had earthworms in there, but maggots??? uke
Maggots don't bother me. I mean, I don't touch them or anything and they are really gross, but when they get in my compost I don't worry about it. They are natural little composters. Shovel some dirt/compost over them if they bother you.
: Forgive my density, but...so what do they turn into then?? Gigantic flies??
I do have nightmares that I'll look in my backyard and there are giant Clifford-the-big-red-dog-sized maggots roaming around.
Basically I have piled a huge amount of wood chips on top, and when it's time to dump my kitchen scraps I dig a hole in the wood chips and bury them in there. I'm scared to turn the pile and see more maggots! I gotta get some lime - will that kill them? Oooh they scare me.
Yeah, the lime should kill maggots; just dust them, and in the future watch the moisture content by adding the brown materials and if it is really rainy, cover your pile with a tarp. Also it would be a good idea to make sure not to put animal products (dairy, fats) in the compost for them to munch.
Georgia- Now get this...ants usually mean your pit is too dry! If so put more green in there and hose it down every so often so it is like a moist, wrung out sponge. Like maggots, ants shouldn't harm the pile but indicate that the balance may be off, if it was really cookin' it would be too hot for the ants.
Sometimes I see grubs in our compost. They kind of look like maggots, but are catterpillar-sized. Is that OK? Sorry if I'm hijacking the post. We also have ants and lizards in there, but we live in AZ, so it's a lot of work to keep it moist, even in a bin.
I'm not sure exactly what they are...but I think they can be bad to have around sometimes. For example, in your soil when you're trying to grow certain things. Not much help, I know. I just know that they're big, thick, white wormey-looking things. I thought they'd be ok in the compost, though. You know, help to break it down and stuff.