How Do I Keep Bugs Out Of My Outdoor Trash Can?

How Do I Keep Bugs Out Of My Outdoor Trash Can

Last updated on July 1st, 2021

Particularly during the summer months, you may notice colonies of maggots and other bugs making your trash can their home. There are many steps you can take to keep bugs out of your trash can, all of which are very easy. 

The most important thing to consider when choosing a trash can is the closing mechanism. You should opt for a trash can with a tightly fitting lid, preferably one that you can seal shut. This will stop flies from entering the trash can and laying eggs there. These eggs then become larvae and these eventually turn into maggots. Ensure you close the lid properly every time you dispose of your garbage. 

Another great way to keep bugs out of your trash can is to clean it regularly. Bugs will thrive in moist and dirty conditions so a regular cleaning schedule will help to keep them away. Using a disinfectant spray will help to kill off any larvae inside the trash can and prevent bug populations from growing. 

We recommend investing in thick, heavy-duty trash bags, particularly during the summer months. These will be much stronger than standard trash bags and will not tear as easily. This will prevent bin juices from leaking into the trash can and help to mask the garbage odors. 

What can I spray on my garbage to keep flies away?

There are many odors that flies and other bugs do not like. You can use a spray made from diluted white vinegar and water. Spray this liberally over the interior of your trash can and allow it to air dry.

Maggots and flies will stay well away from this scent, helping to control the population. It is vital that you allow your trash can to dry completely before putting trash bags inside. This is because maggots thrive in the damp.

Wintergreen, or peppermint, are other smells that bugs and flies cannot stand. The minty aroma will hurt their delicate respiratory systems and so they will stay away from anything with this smell. This has the added bonus of neutralizing the odors coming from your garbage bags.

You can find a cleaning product scented with these, or alternatively, you can grab an essential oil. Add a few drops to the base of the trash can for the best results. 

Ammonia is another smell that all animals hate. The chemicals found in the gas are also toxic to cockroaches and will cause them to asphyxiate within minutes. It should not be used on your inside bins as the gases can irritate the respiratory systems of both you and your pets. It is wise to dilute the ammonia with water in a 1:1 ratio before spraying it over your trash can. 

There are also many insecticides that are commercially available. These will kill off any insects that come near, as well as deterring others from entering. 

If you prefer a more natural alternative to deter flies, consider adding a sprig of basil to your trash can. This has an aniseed-like smell which flies are known to detest. If you don’t have fresh basil to hand, dried basil or basil oil will also work.

It has been documented that lavender and oregano have similar properties. Clippings from evergreen trees will also have the same results. Use this sparingly though, as rotting leaves can bring a whole new set of problems. 

How do I keep animals out of my outdoor trash can? 

There are many ways that you can keep animals out of your trash can. The obvious suggestions include keeping the lid shut, only disposing of garbage contained within trash bags, and cleaning containers before disposing of them.

If you notice any holes or cracks in your bin, we strongly suggest you repair them or simply replace the entire trash can. Even the smallest of cracks can allow cockroaches and ants to enter, and then it’s only a matter of time before larger animals come to investigate. 

If larger animals are posing a threat to your trash cans, consider installing a motion-activated light. This will scare off most animals and dissuade them from exploring your trash can. This serves a double purpose as it is also likely to dissuade human intruders from approaching your home. 

Another way to keep animals away from your trash can is to build an enclosure. This is a really good idea if you live in the country, where wild animals are more of an issue. You may want to consider investing in a metal or plastic enclosure that completely surrounds your trash cans.

Another, easier alternative is to tie your trash cans to a tree or pole. This will stop raccoons from knocking them over and rummaging through the internal components. 

We recommend avoiding placing meat and dairy products in your outside bin for prolonged periods. Try to put it outside as close to the garbage pickup as possible to minimize the temptation to the local wildlife.

When you do have to dispose of organic matter like this, use heavy-duty trash bags that have been tightly sealed. This will help to hide the odor from flies and other local animals.

How can you remove maggots from your trash can?

If you notice any maggots in your bin, we would advise acting sooner rather than later. Once you have emptied all of the trash out of the can, rinse it well with boiling water. This will kill any maggots that are still situated within the trash can. 

You should then source some diatomaceous earth. This is a form of limestone that is made from thousands of micro-organisms that have been fossilized. This means that they all have sharp edges that will cause harm to the bodies of maggots. Sprinkle this into the trash can and agitate it to ensure all areas of the interior have been contacted. 

Add in a large quantity of salt to the can. This will dehydrate the maggots and kill them.