A dirty car that is never washed will eventually have a foul smell that attracts adult flies. White worms or maggots in your car are hatched from eggs laid by those flies. When food wraps and drink containers are dropped under the seats for long begging to rot, there will be maggots in car carpets and floorboards.
To get rid of maggots in a car, find what they are eating and remove it. Then vacuum the car and give it a detailed interior wash. Clean the carpets with soap and water and let them dry before returning them in. Avoid eating in the car, keep it fresh and clean to repel adult flies that can lay eggs in it.
It is possible for maggots in your ride to go away on their own because they are just a stage in a house fly’s life cycle. However, this can take up to 1 month depending on the temperatures and food source. Maggots are a sign of dirt and they should be removed immediately instead of waiting for them to disappear.
How long can maggots live in a car?
Maggots can live in your car for 5-8 days before they develop into the next stage (pupa) if the living conditions are favorable. They cannot survive if there is no food and they will die after 2 days if there is nothing to eat. If you get rid of what they are eating in a car, they will eventually disappear.
During the cold seasons, maggots will stay longer as compared to cold days. They take longer to pass into the next stage before they turn into adult flies if the temperatures are lower. In this case, they can even last for a month before they turn into pupae.
Maggots cannot survive in a hot car because they have a soft body that is sensitive to heat. They will die after 2-3 hours if you leave your car under the sun when it is 77-89F° hot. In order for them to survive, they need moisture and a cool environment.
When there is no food in your car, maggots can only live for 72hours after which they will die. After washing the car, do not worry about any that are hidden in tight joints. As long as there is nothing they can feed on, their life span is reduced drastically and the tiny ones may even die in less than 12 hours.
If there is a continuous food supply in your car, maggots will never go away. They keep reproducing since the adults will keep laying eggs. Those will hatch into new maggots which can be difficult to manage. Generally, any ride that is used regularly should never get to that stage.
How to get rid of maggots in car
Since maggots cannot live without food, you need to identify what they are eating in your car. Clean it up and ensure there are no stains left behind. The best way is to steam clean car mats, seats, and floorboards because vacuuming will not remove sticky stains from a rotting food source.
Note that maggots can cause serious bacterial infections and they should never be handled without gloves. Keep pets and kids away from an infested car until they are all gone.
After removing all of them, let the car doors and window open so that it is dry. If possible, Use the car after 1-2 days to ensure that there is none left behind. Here are some simple ways you can use to kill maggots in a vehicle:
Once you identify them, chop and blend 5 lemons with a cup of water to form a concentrated solution. Pour the solution on all the maggots you see in the car to kill them. Additionally, lemon will leave a good scent in your car that can also keep adult flies away. After that, sweep them away and wash the area.
The natural acidic nature of lemons is enough to dehydrate and burn maggots to death. You may also squeeze raw lemons on them. Make a lemon solution by crushing 4-6 pieces in a glass before pouring it on maggots. However, this is only efficient when dealing with mold infestation.
White vinegar can also help in getting rid of a serious maggot infestation in a vehicle. Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of hot water and sprinkle it on them. Vinegar can also be added to the final rinse when washing the car mats, seats, and carpets to repel flies and white worms (maggots) in your car.
3. Permethrin spray
There are several sprays that can eliminate maggots but Permethrin spray can be used to get rid of them in a vehicle. Permethrin spray can kill maggots on contact but be careful not to use it when you need the car. Only spray it when the car is not being used for a while since it may cause mild irritation.
It is a good idea not to use pesticides on car seats especially if the car is in use. If you have to, it should not be used for some time. However, using it on the mats and floorboards is okay but the car should not be used until it is well aerated and free from the fumes.
4. Air conditioning
When getting rid of maggots when it is cold, here is what to do. After removing the maggots and washing everything, close all the doors and windows. Then set your car air conditioning at 86F° and let it run for at least 1 hour.
Hot AC will help in drying all the interiors and the heat will also dehydrate and kill any remaining white worms or other bugs like fleas in the vehicle. Do not leave anyone or pets in the vehicle while running the AC for long.
Salt can also kill white worms in a car if it is well spread on them. It will suck water from their soft external layers. After about 1 hour, they will dry out and die from severe dehydration. Simply scoop table salt in your hands and sprinkle it generously on maggots. Wait for them to die before you sweep and clean.
Salt can dehydrate maggots to death on contact. Cover them well in it and let it settle for as long as possible. It takes time to dehydrate them since it absorbs water molecules from the maggots. Boric acid can kill insects and it can be used as an alternative if there is no salt.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.