The life cycle of the fly

The major external factor affecting the life cycle of a fly is temperature.  Maggots develop slower at lower temperatures and more rapidly at higher temperatures.  In hot weather they can hatch within 8 to 20 hours.  The maggots emerge from the eggs and they immediately feed on, and grow in, the material where the eggs were laid.  These larvae are 3 to 9mm long and creamy white in colour.

When the maggots are full-grown, they crawl away to a dry, cool place near breeding material, and transform into the pupae stage.  They emerge as adult flies and the cycle restarts.  Six or more generations of fly eggs may hatch in a single summer, resulting in a large number of flies.

How to avoid flies

There are many things that we can do to help prevent flies being attracted to and breeding in our bins.

  • All meat, fish and dairy waste should be wrapped and effectively secured to stop flies laying their eggs before rubbish is placed in the bin.
  • Wrapping waste in newspaper and then a supermarket carrier bag provides a very effective barrier.  This is only one example of wrapping, use whichever method is best for you.
  • Don’t leave food out in the kitchen. Eat, cook and store food properly, or place it wrapped in the bin as soon as possible.
  • To control flies further you could hang up an insecticidal strip in the kitchen.

What if I still get maggots?

If you do get maggots you could pour a bleach solution over the contents of your bin, after it has been emptied to try and prevent maggots in the future. Clean and disinfect your bin well.

Looking after your rubbish bin

It is important to keep your bin clean and ensure that the lid is always properly closed.

Keep your bin in the shade, out of full sun. Higher temperatures will cause waste to rot quicker and the smell will attract flies.

Use a bin deodoriser to keep your bin smelling fresh, if the flies can’t smell your waste, they won’t be attracted to your bin.

The kitchen bin

The easiest way to sort your rubbish from your recyclables is to separate as you go.  Many people find it convenient to have two kitchen bins, one for recyclables and one for rubbish.

A kitchen bin with a sealable lid and liner is ideal for the temporary storage of rubbish.  It is important though, not to allow food waste to remain in this bin too long.  Tie all kitchen bin liners of non-recyclable waste with a knot before placing them in your black wheeled bin.

Your kitchen recycling bin should not need a plastic liner as everything in this bin should be clean for your own safety.

It is recommended to clean and disinfect both bins at regular intervals.