Dealing with Maggots in the Compost Pile

Dan This Land of Ours

compost pile

If you get maggots in your compost, something is wrong. Cathy Isom has tips about how to deal with a nasty critter in your compost pile. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Dealing with Maggots in the Compost Pile

While some people think that a few squiggly little worm-like creatures are no big deal, others say it’s a sign that something is wrong with your compost pile. When you have maggots in your compost, the end result is often a horrible smelling, slow-to-develop material.

Good, healthy compost should smell earthy and fresh, and shouldn’t take forever to turn from waste to rich, black compost.

If you see maggots, they’re likely from the Black Soldier Fly. Often when you end up with maggots in your compost, you’ve put the wrong things in. Compost heaps are a delicate balance of ingredients and layers.

Things to add to your compost should include:

  • Vegetable and fruit peelings, and scraps
  • Thin plant prunings
  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Leaves
  • Cardboard egg containers
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Manure from cows, horses, goats, and chickens

What Not to Put In:

  • Dairy or meat
  • Diseased plants
  • Noxious weeds

The discovery of maggots in compost isn’t the end of your pile, and there are things you can do to get rid of them. Such as adding layers of brown, well-dried things like leaves, straw, and egg cartons. This will dry the compost out and reduce the amount of food available to the fly. Also, adding lime or other citrus waste – because maggots don’t like it. Add dried pine needles. They take a little longer to break down, but maggots despise them. Also, don’t overwater. Compost should be moist, not saturated. When compost is too wet, you create an anaerobic environment, which smells foul. That smell will attract flies.

I’m Cathy Isom…