Does Salt Kill Maggots? Here’s How to Use it

Common table salt that is readily available at home can be used to get rid of maggots. Maggots are the larvae stage in the life cycle of most insects and flies. They thrive in moist areas that are warm. Since maggots need to remain moist salt can easily kill them because it draws water from their bodies until they are dehydrated to death.

To kill maggots, sprinkle salt on them and let the particles sit on them for 4-8 hours. Salt does not kill maggots instantly because it needs time to dehydrate them to death. However, it can take 4-6 hours depending on their size and environment. Tiny maggots can die in 1 hour while it may take up to 8 hours to kill the bigger ones.

Maggots are common in places where flies thrive in. They feed on the dead decaying matter or stale food for about 3 to 4 days before developing into flies. Adult flies significantly spread contaminants to food, leading to poisoning. You may want to kill the larvae before they develop into adult flies.

Does Salt Kill Maggots?
Using salt to kill maggots

How to get rid of maggots with salt

Killing maggots with salt is very easy. All you need to do is to sprinkle salt on any visible maggot and ensure it is well covered in it. Flies primarily lay their eggs where there’s food to feed the hatched larvae. Salt can kill the larvae confined in areas like the trash can, a bowl with leftover food, or drains.

Maggots lack a hard shell that can prevent the salt from getting into their bodies. Therefore, salt will penetrate and draw water to kill them.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the maggot-infested area and thoroughly cover the larvae with the salt.
  2. Wait for about six hours to allow the salt to penetrate and kill the larvae
  3. Sweep maggots from a cabinet or corner into a plastic bag and dispose of them in a pit If they were in a bowl or trash can, empty the bowl or trash can content to a pit
  4. Clean the maggot-infested site using a disinfectant. Clean the trash can or bowl thoroughly and let it dry
  5. Pour white vinegar or baking soda over the affected area to absorb any awful smell left by the larvae

Using too much salt when killing maggots on metal surfaces can lead to corrosion. Metals, especially iron, combine with water, moisture, and salt to form a rusty brown or dark red coating.

Rust destroys surfaces’ appearance, and continual use of too much salt leads to corrosion. Don’t use too much salt on metal surfaces and thoroughly clean the area after killing them to remove any salt remaining.

What to mix with salt to kill maggots instantly

While salt cannot kill maggots instantly, it can be mixed with some basic home remedies to get rid of maggots instantly. Vinegar, boiled water, diatomaceous earth, and lime are some of the home remedies that kill maggots naturally fast.

1. Vinegar mixed with salt

Vinegar is one of the best alternatives for killing maggots from an area. It is cheap, readily available at home, and straightforward to use. It contains acetic acid, which makes the conditions around the area spread acidic and inhabitable for larvae to survive.

Vinegar exists in two different forms: white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, which effectively kill larvae. Both can be mixed with salt to increase their efficiency against maggots.

Besides killing the larvae (maggots), vinegar also absorbs terrible odor from the maggots, making the affected area free from bad smells after treatment.

White vinegar for maggots

White vinegar is more concentrated and thus more effective in getting rid of maggots from an area. It contains 7 percent of acetic acid and 93 percent water. White vinegar gets rid of maggots 6 hours after application.

Here’s how to use white vinegar to curb maggots infestation in an area:

  1. Mix one part of white vinegar, one part of salt, and 3 parts of boiling water in a bowl or container.
  2. Carefully pour the vinegar solution over the area inhabited by maggots.
  3. Wait for about 6 hours for the solution to kill the larvae.
  4. Clean the affected area by disposing of the dead larvae’ remains in a pit and mopping the place thoroughly with a disinfectant. If the larvae were in a trash can, empty its content, clean it thoroughly, and let it dry.
  5. Reapply the vinegar solution as often until you can no longer see the flies causing maggots infestation.

Salt and Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is also efficient in getting rid of maggots from an area, although it is less concentrated than white vinegar. Apple cider contains 5 percent acetic acid and 95 percent water. It takes about 18 hours to kill maggots from an area completely. However, mixing it with salt and hot water can speed up the process. 

Here’s how to use apple cider vinegar to remove maggots from your property:

  1. Add one part of apple cider to five parts of water in a bowl or container. Then add 1 part of salt and stir to mix them nicely.
  2. Carefully pour the mixture over the infested area and on the maggots. If treating maggots from a trash can, pour the mixture into the can and cover it with the lid.
  3. Wait for about 18 hours for the solution to act on the larvae.
  4. Empty the trash can, clean it, and let it dry.
  5. Clean the affected area thoroughly using a disinfectant and let it dry.
  6. Reapply the apple cider solution to the area multiple times until you no longer see houseflies on the site.

2. Lime powder + salt

Lime is also known as calcium hydroxide and works similarly to salt. They draw moisture from the maggots’ bodies, thus killing them. A mixture of salt and lime powder is a sure way of killing maggots instantly.

The agricultural lime is the best type of lime to kill larvae. This lime is nontoxic; therefore, you can safely use it around pets or kids at home. Agricultural lime is grey and absorbs a foul smell when sprayed on an area. So using it works as a double-action, killing the larvae and removing odor.

Here’s how to use lime to kill maggots from your property:

  1. Mix equal parts of lime and salt then sprinkle a generous amount of the mixture over the maggots and the surrounding.
  2. Wait for about 24 hours for the lime to kill the larvae
  3. Gently sweep the dead maggots and dispose of them in a pit
  4. Clean the affected area with a disinfectant
  5. You may want to reapply the lime to kill any remaining larvae

Alternatively, add salt to lime to create a more potent mixture. You only have to add one part of salt to one part of lime and generously sprinkle on the larvae. Clean the area with a disinfectant after the maggots die.

3. Salt and boiled water

Heated water is another simple natural remedy to kill maggots. Boiled water bombards the larvae’s bodies, destroying their internal structures and thus killing them. To Kill maggots instantly, simply mix salt with oiled water using the following steps:

  1. Boil 3 cups of pure distilled water then add half a cup of salt to it
  2. Stir the solution until it is properly mixed
  3. Carefully pour the solution onto the maggot-infested area. A metal trash can is a perfect spot to use boiled water.
  4. Wait for a few minutes for the water to kill the maggots
  5. Drain the water.
  6. Clean the area with a disinfectant

Caveat: Boiled water can be harmful and destructive when misused. Avoid using it when killing maggots in a car, walls at home, carpets, or other moisture-sensitive areas. The boiled water can easily damage those structures and encourage mold growth because of the moisture.


Diatomaceous earth is naturally occurring sedimentary rock commonly used for cleaning and as an insecticide. When used as an insecticide, it draws moisture from the pest’s body, leading to its death.

Get diatomaceous powder from garden shops or online stores. This can also be used to get rid of maggots on ceilings at home. Here’s how to kill maggots using diatomaceous powder:

  1. Sprinkle ample diatomaceous powder on the larvae and the surrounding area
  2. Wait for some time until the product kills the larvae
  3. Clean the affected area with a disinfectant


· University of Idaho Extension: Pantry Pest Guide.

· University of Florida: Housefly-Musca domestica Linnaeus.