Maggots in my vermicompost!

Saskatoon, SK(Zone 2b)

Hello all,
I am new to vermicomposting and composting in general. I originally started off with just a compost and had hay, bedding, and rabbit droppings in it with some soil and kitchen scraps that I was attempting to compost. I was reading about adding worms to the bin and so I bought some from this guy on Kijiji in my area that delivered the worms in a bunch of leaves and outdoor material and it had bugs all over in it. I separated the worms from that material and put the worms into my already starting compost bin. It is nice out so I decided I would keep the bin outside until it started getting to cold for the worms but I had to take the bin in for the night and the next day I put it back outside. When I opened the bin outside I noticed that it was getting hot so I left it out for the cold night to cool down. The next night was cold again so I brought the bin in and that when my problems started. I had maggots crawling to the top around the rim and on the top of the lid. I crushed them put them into a baggy and tossed them out. HOWEVER, today I go to look at the bin and there are tons of maggots all laying around the bin on the towel I put under the bin and have cleaned them up with waxing strips which works great since there was so many of them!

How do I get rid of these maggots though, do I not put the bin outside anymore and how do I prevent the ones in my bin already from hatching into flies...
I thought composting and vermicomposting was going to be fun...I am not having fun! lol

Thumbnail by raughr Thumbnail by raughr Thumbnail by raughr
Saskatoon, SK(Zone 2b)

After no luck on this forum I went in search on other forums and links and suggestions and the result was that I need to buy beneficial nematodes to apply to my bin. Does anyone have experience using beneficial nematodes in their vermicomposter bin? Suggestions or hints? Thanks

p.s I still have maggots and now adult flies coming out my bin daily but my worms seem completely fine by all this. I can not keep my bin inside at all as there are so many flies that swarm out each day when I open the lid. I have a few clusters of red mites on the top lid at times but nothing else seems wrong with my bin, no smell, not heating up, no other infestation bugs.

This message was edited Aug 12, 2013 3:20 PM

Saskatoon, SK(Zone 2b)

I did not want to buy the expensive large bottle of beneficial nematodes that would have been mostly wasted so I will be letting my bin settle down further and then separating out my worms as per normal harvesting. In the mean time my bin will stay outside and I have non toxic flat fly strips just laying on the top of the paper layer in the bin so the flies will be hopefully captured on the strip. As a side note I seen a potworm in my bin today hanging out with the worms. Time to research more about the potworm :D....
p.s. I figured since there are not many forums and solutions to house fly problems in the vermicompost I figured I would continue to add updates to what I am doing and what is working etc... Hope it helps someone else out in the future :D

Helena, MT

raughr...couldn't tell much from you pics, but I would suggest that your media is pretty wet and fly have access to the food source. Try soaking some Canadian peat moss in warm water over night and squeezing out as much water as possible in an aquarium net. The mix the peat moss with your media. The soaked and drained peat moss acts like a sponge and soak up excess moisture as well as closing up the gaps where house flys can't get into your food source. Be sure whenever you feed your worms you cover the food with dried media or more soaked and drained peat moss.

Also, moving you bin back and forth doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Leave it indoors with the lid off so heat can escape. Lids and holes in worm bins don't work for me. All I use are the inexpensive 30 gallon plastic rectangular tubs. Fancy flow through designs are great, but I prefer my simple method and get lots of worms as well as spent media for my gardening projects.

Another thing I use is lots of coffee ground from a local kious or whatever you call these little drive through coffee shops scattered the place. I get three or four 5-gallon buckets from a single source each week and add two scoops to a bin each time I feed which is about twice a week. The two scoops of coffee grounds along with an equivalent amount of soaked and drained peat moss is my makeup material for the dried material I take from the top of the bin before trenching and feeding my blended food materials. The coffee grounds compact the worm bin media and provide a food source as well. I think compaction is good as long as you stir your media when feeding. I use a chop stick stuck down in the corner of the bin to remind me which side to trench feed next and rotate from side to side.

Too much information raughr??? Well that's mu 2 pennies worth................


San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

what kind of "scraps" are you putting in there? it should all be bones, no meat. I have had worm bins for years and never had maggots. that is disgusting.

San Marcos, CA

also try soaking some bread in milk - not SOAKING wet - and put about 4 slices of this bread
in the bin - leave it 3-4 days, the "maggots", which might be black soldier fly larvae, might be
found on the underside of bread and you can take them out with the larvae in 3/4 days - IF you
are still having this problem.

Hallandale, FL

The answer to the fly and maggot problem is ...more flies and maggots! Specifically, the highly beneficial black soldier fly. The black soldier fly looks like a black wasp when mature. It lives 90% of its life as a maggot/grub and only a few days as a mouthless adult that is just a vector to mate, lay eggs and die. The BSF is never a pest to man and cannot spread disease. Once the female fines garbage, she lays her eggs above or near the garbage (never lands on it). The grubs hatch, drop into or crawl into the garbage and and they begin to eat away.

The reason they solve your pest fly problem is the BSF larvae produce chemicals that repel other flies and kill the bacteria that causes the fresh garbage to stink. They break down and quickly digest the fresh material that our worms ignore till it rots. They also eat all the stuff we are told never to put in compost: fat, oil, meat scraps etc. Check out this video (warning...scary):

The BSF is a tropical species but survives way outside the tropics and can be cultured almost anywhere. Their waste is highly preferred by compost worms.

Goshen, OH

Yea your bin is to wet

Bedford, VA(Zone 7a)

Plus, the BSF larvae are a great source of food for the chickens! I have the BSF in my outdoor compost bin, but not my indoor worm bin. I have had issues with fruit flies in the worm bin but now I make sure to cover the top with full sheets of damp newspaper and haven't seen any until this week but I suspect they were brought home on some ripe bananas that DH bought to make banana bread

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