Does Salt Kill Maggots? How To Use It

Maggots are the larvae of common houseflies. Larvae develop in all areas where food is found Maggots need to be killed as they can pupate into adult flies.

Natural ingredients you find at home are considered to kill maggots since spraying insecticide around the house isn’t always possible for its toxicity.

Salt kills maggots in about 2-6 hours. It dehydrates maggots slowly until it kills them completely. Maggots need to be covered in salt to die as they might survive when in contact with just a few grains of salt.

Natural table salt is one of the best natural remedies against maggots. Salt is one of the most recommended ingredients to deal with cockroaches and you might be surprised it works very well against maggots.

Does salt kill maggots?

There are many homemade solutions often recommended against maggots. Pouring boiling water on them is one of these solutions.

But boiling water can destroy the kitchen, the garbage can, or just about any surface maggots live on. This is why other low-impact solutions such as salt are a better alternative.

Salt dehydrates maggots, which are larval developments with elongated teeth used for moving and crawling.

Dehydration isn’t instant. It typically takes up to 6 hours for the salt to penetrate the soft body of maggots, essentially being absorbed by the outer skin and pulling out all water from the larvae.

How to kill maggots with salt

While salt works against maggots, there are various methods to use it, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Use plain salt

Plain salt sprinkled on maggots is one of the best solutions to kill these future flies within a few hours. Salt doesn’t have a smell and it’s cheap. This makes it ideal as a pest control ingredient.

Salt can also be later used to absorb the scent where maggots used to live, which is a considerable problem in homes, especially in the kitchen.

The drawback of this solution is that it takes a few hours for the salt to dehydrate maggots. As a result, you might need to come back 6 hours later to begin cleaning the area where dead maggots are now found.

Mix salt with vinegar

Mixing salt with an acidic liquid is often a better alternative in terms of saving time. You can mix salt with vinegar to kill maggots quicker, often on the spot.

Vinegar has a high acetic acid concentration which penetrates the body of maggots eating it on the spot. Salt dehydrates it and the combination is known to be lethal for maggots.

Does Salt Kill Maggots? How To Use It

4 steps to kill maggots with salt

Killing maggots with salt is a simple process. However, you need to ensure you clean up the space properly so that flies aren’t attracted by the smell of decaying maggots to lay eggs again.

1 – Sprinkle a generous amount of salt directly on maggots

You need to sprinkle a good amount of salt directly on maggots to kill them. You can apply a large amount of salt as it’s required to cover the maggots for it to dehydrate and kill them.

Since salt is inexpensive you can sprinkle it over each maggot to ensure it dies.

2 – Return after a few hours to check the maggots

It normally takes a few hours for maggots to die from here. Smaller maggots of about 10mm can die within a couple of hours. Large maggots that measure up to 20mm might take up to 6 hours to die.

You need to wait at least 6 hours for maggots to die as you risk vacuuming living maggots which might then survive in the vacuum cleaner.

3 – Vacuum the area of the maggots

After this waiting period is up you can proceed to clean the area of dead maggots. This is an important step if you want to avoid other flies coming and laying eggs in the same spot as the smell of decaying maggots attracts flies.

You can vacuum the area thoroughly. If vacuuming isn’t an option (often the case with trash can maggots), you need to use a sealed plastic bag to remove them completely.

Vacuuming remains the proven method by which all maggots are taken out. Some are found in drains, places normally difficult to reach without a vacuum cleaner.

4 – Pour salt again on the area to eliminate scents that attract flies

Once maggots are vacuumed you can proceed to clean the area completely. Any marks or eggs need to be vacuumed. You also need to eliminate odors in the area, as maggots have a specific smell that might attract other flies.

Odor-absorbing ingredients such as salt are ideal for this step. You can sprinkle salt in the area again and wait up to 24 hours for it to absorb the scent before vacuuming the area for the final time.

Baking soda or a mix of baking soda and vinegar or lime juice might also work for the odors that are too persistent and cannot be eliminated with salt.

Classic bagged vacuum cleaners are best for the entire maggot-killing operation as the dust bags can simply be added to a zipped bag and the trash can whenever the process is over.

Final words

Salt is used to kill maggots and to absorb all odors that linger in the areas where maggots grow. It absorbs all moisture of maggot to the point of total dehydration.

It takes between 2 and 6 hours for the salt to kill maggots. You need to vacuum clean or use other methods to physically remove maggots afterward.

One important overlooked step is also to ensure there are no lingering scents in the area. These scents are so powerful they can attract other flies to lay eggs.

A final tip is to exercise caution when it comes to applying salt on certain surfaces. Salt and water or salt and vinegar are a bad combination on metal. It leads to premature metal corrosion.

Salt should also not be applied on paved driveways and sidewalks. It’s known for eating concrete and asphalt in a matter of weeks or months.

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