Are Maggots In Compost Ok?

Yes, really. It’s all right. Some claim that having these maggots is preferable to not having them because they help break down your compost bin to the degree that will best suit your yard. 

Others claim that they can consume so many nutrients. Both are right, and neither is vital to your garden’s progress. Both are valid, and getting more would speed up the decomposition of the waste you’re processing. It’ll never be ready for the next season without a little support from bacteria and our insect allies.

However, if you have too much maggot in your compost, you’ll end up with sludge that doesn’t provide much nutrition for your garden. Sure, some of them will die, returning some value to your soil conditioner, but this will not benefit you.

Are maggots bad?

The maggots you find in your compost are usually the larvae of the black soldier fly (BSF). They’re easy to see because they’re fatter than the houseflies you’d hope to see in your backyard garbage can. Maggots have a worm-like appearance due to their soft bodies and lack of legs. Maggots also have a retractable head that is usually smaller than their body. Maggots are larvae that feed on the rotting flesh and tissue waste of animals and plants. Female black soldier flies prefer to lay their eggs in compost or manure and other decaying or rotting organic matter. Each female black soldier fly can lay from 200 to 650 eggs in a go. Within four days, the eggs will hatch, producing maggots around 0.04 inches long. By the 20th day, they will reach a length of 1 inch before entering the pupal stage and becoming adults.

Not everybody considers maggots to be beneficial to composts. Although some gardeners, such as me, see maggots as a friendly friend who helps to speed up the composting process, others argue that the bugs are terrible for compost because they consume many essential nutrients along the way.

All parties are right. Maggots hasten the decomposition process at the risk of obtaining nutrients for themselves.

Bacterial poisoning can be caused by eating maggots or maggot-infested food. Most maggot-infested foods are unsafe to consume, particularly if the larvae have come into contact with feces. In most cases, accidentally ingesting maggots does not result in long-term damages. However, if a human consumes maggots from spoiled food, they can become ill with food poisoning. Food poisoning symptoms can range from moderate to severe, and they can last for many days. 

Animal and human feces are used as breeding sites by certain housefliesTrusted Source. Garbage or decaying organic matter is also a good source of food for them.

If you want a maggot and flies free home, it is best to follow the points listed below.

  • Keep your house and kitchen as clean as possible.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on all of your fruits, vegetables, and meats and make sure they’re not breeding grounds for pests.
  • If you are in the summer or it is hot, always protect your fruits and vegetables with a net or keep them in the refrigerator.
  • Keep your trash-can closed and empty it as much as possible.

Are maggots in compost good or bad?

Maggots won’t harm your compost, but they could indicate a problem with the ratio of green to brown materials in your compost. Make sure you have ample brown stuff like straw, but not too many. It may also be too wet; it could wring out like a sponge. It will get slimy and rotten looking and draw many maggots whether it is too moist or has too much green content such as animal waste, turf, or new leaves compared to brown.

If you just can’t bear them, grab some lime (organic) and sprinkle it on your compost. It will get rid of the maggots while leaving you with healthy compost, but it will boost the pH of the compost.

What we’ve discovered is that maggots in your manure are usually perfect. It can, however, be beneficial or detrimental. If you accept a large infestation, your compost would be less nutritious, but the harm would be small. And if your compost isn’t ideal, it’ll be better than no compost at all for your plant.

How do I get rid of maggots in my compost?

Consider adding more browns to your compost:

When there is a lot of food content to feed on, and the air is relatively wet, these maggots thrive. All you have to do is reduce the amount of organic matter the maggots can feed on by simply adding more brown materials to your compost to make it drier.

Make sure flies don’t get into your compost bin or tumbler:

You can’t get maggots in your compost if an adult BSF doesn’t lay eggs in it. Although compost requires adequate ventilation, this does not necessitate creating large holes from which flies can enter and leave. You won’t get maggots if flies can’t lay larvae eggs in your compost. Cover air gaps with a mesh shield to ensure they stay out permanently. Covering the air holes on your compost bin or tumbler with a mesh should help prevent further BSF from entering it to lay eggs.

Adding lime to the compost:

You usually don’t need to apply lime to your compost because it decomposes on its own. The risk of applying lime is that your compost’s pH will be too high by the time it’s over. However, if you want to battle maggots, you can do so by:

  • 1 cup lime for every 25 cubic feet of compost, or
  • pine needles, or
  • or citrus fruit waste

Any of these methods can help to reduce the number of maggots in your compost.

Conclusion

When they see maggots in their compost bin or compost pile, most people cringe. You don’t have to be scared; maggots won’t harm you. In particular, larvae of black soldier fly help break down and recycle nutrients back into the soil. If you’re cautious, maggots in compost can be beneficial. You can get the most out of the maggots in your compost bin if you check it daily. They can help in composting and can even provide a healthy meal for your birds or pets.

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