There Are Maggots in My Compost — Is That Good?

Compost appeals to all types of small critters, like worms, mites, snails, and far more. You may well be stunned to go look at your compost and uncover that it has maggots crawling around in it. Whilst maggots are usually a indication that something’s mistaken, they’re in fact good for compost! In moderation, that is.

Alongside with other creepy crawlies, maggots support split down foodstuff waste and other organic and natural substance into compost. By processing the make a difference in the compost, maggots help aerate the compost and more decompose it. Let us check out out how maggots are advantageous for compost, when they are not advantageous, and how to properly use them.

What Maggots Typically Appear in Compost?

The maggots that frequently inhabit compost piles are the larval form of black soldier flies1, a big fly related in visual appeal to mud dauber wasps. This makes them much more substantial and fatter than the maggots that come from fruit flies and house flies.

Black soldier flies lay amongst 200–650 eggs in decaying subject, in which they hatch into maggots. These maggots are so great at composting that total niche industries, this kind of as grub and maggot farming, have taken off. They wriggle around and solely try to eat decaying issue, that means they really don't chunk.

Some of the critters will die off in the compost, serving as meals for the other folks to further increase the compost. As we pointed out, they’ll consume anything as extended as it’s decaying.

You will not see these maggots alongside other varieties of maggots simply because black soldier flies will get rid of or repel other flies from their breeding grounds. In addition, compost has normal pesticidal homes.

Black soldier fly larvae
Image Credit: Faizal Afnan, Shutterstock

Why Do Maggots Appear in Compost?

Black soldier flies are captivated to the considerable decaying natural and organic matter in your compost, generating it an perfect spot for them to lay eggs and reproduce. They also like heat temperatures, and compost generates a reasonable sum of warmth. Combined with satisfactory humidity, it is the best location for maggots as well as tons of other bugs.

There are many causes that maggots show up in compost.

These include:

  • Not aerating your compost well enough. If you don’t periodically aerate your compost with a pitchfork, the moisture within will skyrocket, creating an attractive environment for maggots.
  • Not enough brown material. Brown material dries out your compost and makes it less likely to attract black soldier flies.
  • Too much green material, especially near the top of your compost pile. Less green material gives maggots less food and means fewer survive to reproduce.
compost bin with food scraps and grass cuttings
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Can Maggots Hurt Your Compost?

We already explained that maggots are valuable for compost, so what presents? Nicely, it turns out that as well numerous maggots can be harmful to the sensitive biological and chemical make-up of your compost pile. They can also point out an upset in the ratio of inexperienced materials and brown substance in your compost.

With too numerous maggots and not adequate material in your compost, they’ll suck up all the healthy organic and natural make a difference and transform it to a slimy sludge that has no price to your compost at all. Given the rate that they feed and reproduce, it is straightforward for your compost pile to get overrun by maggots.

maggots in soil
Image Credit: Andrea Geiss, Shutterstock

How to Get Rid of Maggots in Compost

If you dislike the idea of maggots in your compost for what ever purpose, there are many approaches you can make your compost inhospitable or normally unattractive to black soldier flies. Making use of these suggestions will support avoid maggots from wriggling about in your compost.

How To Get Rid Of Maggots In Compost:
  • Add lime to your compost. Adding a small amount of lime to your compost and mixing it up will raise the pH levels of the compost, causing ammonium nitrogen to turn into ammonia gas. This gas is fatally toxic to maggots.
  • Add a screen to your compost bin. This is a simple yet effective way to prevent black soldier flies from getting into your compost in the first place.
compost in mans hand
Image Credit: Pixabay


Maggots are a gross, but not always dangerous, addition to compost piles. Also many can have adverse effects on it, however, so you require to preserve an eye on your compost to make sure they aren’t sludging it up. Or you can just take measures to repel and avoid black soldier flies from laying eggs in the compost.

Featured Graphic Credit score: Faizal Afnan, Shutterstock