How to Use Ammonia to Kill Maggots

Faith McGee

Maggots are the larval stage for flies and can infest the bottom of trash cans and bins, attracted to the rotting food that falls through holes in trash bags or to garbage left in the container for weeks. Once a fly lays eggs in the trash can, maggots can appear in eight to 20 hours, feeding off the waste in the can.

It is important to kill the maggots and clean the inside of the trash container to avoid spreading disease.


Prevent maggots by sprinkling diatomaceous earth into the bottom of the garbage container after cleaning. The diatomaceous earth will dry out the fly's eggs and prevent maggots from forming.


Avoid using bleach and ammonia at the same time. Mixing bleach and ammonia together creates toxic fumes.

  1. Examine the trash container. If you have a large container, you may need to use a flash light for detecting the maggots. Take all trash and debris out of the container to get a better look.

  2. Calculate how much ammonia you will need to fill the bottom of the trash container with 1 inch of the liquid. Take the trash container outside before pouring in the ammonia.

  3. Pour the ammonia into the trash container. Allow the ammonia to sit in the container for thirty minutes, then pour water into the trash container. You will want the container to be filled with one-part ammonia and three-parts water.

  4. Carry the trash container to an outside drainage hole, and dump the ammonia and water mixture into it. If the drainage hole has a grate, sweep up the dead maggots and throw them away.

  5. Wash out the inside of the trash container with water from a garden hose, then towel dry the inside.