Does Vinegar Kill Maggots?

Vinegar can kill maggots, but it depends on the type used. Some types of vinegar are weak, while others are strong. One of the best is white vinegar because it contains a good amount of acetic acid that can kill maggots faster. Below is a table that will guide you on the type of vinegar that works against maggots:

Type of VinegarMaggot Fatality %
White Vinegar95%
Apple Cider Vinegar75%
Balsamic Vinegar62%
Rice Vine Vinegar45%
Red Wine Vinegar35%
Malt Vinegar25%
White Wine Vinegar85%
Sherry Vinegar65%
Table of vinegar that can kill maggots

Apply vinegar directly or as a solution to the maggot-infested area. When using it as a solution, add one part of white vinegar with three parts of boiling water and pour it on the maggots to kill them. Afterward, wipe the affected area with warm soapy water to remove residues and air it to dry completely.

How to kill maggots using vinegar

Killing maggots using vinegar is pretty straightforward. An advantage of using vinegar as a natural remedy to get rid of maggots from your property is its ability to remove any foul odor in the infested area after use.

You can use apple cider vinegar and white vinegar for maggots. While both types of vinegar effectively kill maggots, white vinegar is usually more potent than apple cider vinegar since its more concentrated. White vinegar contains about 5-10 percent acetic acid, while apple cider vinegar has only 5-6 percent acetic acid.

White vinegar is a non-toxic, versatile, cheap, and readily available home ingredient that naturally eliminates larvae. Although used for cleaning, vinegar contains acetic acid that makes the maggot’s surroundings inhabitable, thus killing them.

How to kill maggots with a white vinegar solution

White vinegar usually kills larvae faster than apple cider vinegar. While white vinegar takes about 6 hours, apple cider vinegar takes up to 18 hours to get the larvae dead. But both types can do the job, especially when dealing with a small infestation. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Mix one part of vinegar with three parts of boiling water in a bowl. Stir the solution to mix them well.
  2. Pour the vinegar solution onto the maggots-infested area.
  3. Wait for some hours to let the vinegar kill the larvae.
  4. If you still see some live maggots, reapply the vinegar and wait again.
  5. Clean the affected area using warm soapy water and a sponge.
  6. Rinse the maggot-infested area with water and air dry it before use.
  7. You may want to reapply the vinegar solution weekly to control maggots infestation on the site.

Apple cider vinegar for maggots

If there are maggots inside a trash can, add a less concentrated bleach solution. A cup of bleach to one gallon of water would work perfectly. Bleach acts as a disinfectant and kills any remaining fly eggs or larvae.

Here’s how to kill maggots using apple cider vinegar solution;

  1. Add 1/6 part of apple cider vinegar to 5/6 parts of water in a bowl. Stir the two liquids to mix them nicely.
  2. Pour the solution over the maggot-infested area, ensuring you soak all the larvae with the liquids to kill them.
  3. Wait for about 18 hours to let the apple cider vinegar kill the maggots.
  4. Clean the maggot-infested area with a disinfectant. Warm soapy water can also do the trick.
  5. Let the affected area dry thoroughly before use.
  6. Reapply apple cider vinegar weekly to remove flies and maggots from your property.

White vinegar powder for maggots

An easy way to get rid of maggots gathered in an area is to use white vinegar powder. Here’s how to carry out the process:

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of white vinegar powder over the maggot-infested area. Be sure to cover all the larvae with vinegar crystals.
  2. Wait for about 6 hours to let the vinegar kill the larvae.
  3. If some live larvae are on the site, reapply the vinegar powder and wait for a few hours to let the powder kill them.
  4. Sweep the dead maggots using a brush or broom while collecting them in a plastic bag and sealing it. Dispose of the airtight plastic bag in a garbage can outside.
  5. Scrub the maggot-infested area with warm soapy water and a sponge or brush. Ensure you reach and wipe all the corners or surfaces infested with maggots.
  6. You might want to add a less concentrated bleach solution if you removed the maggots with vinegar in a trash can to kill any remaining fly eggs.
  7. Rinse the area with a hose to remove residues.
  8. Let the area dry thoroughly before use.
  9. You might want to reapply the vinegar powder weekly to completely control the larvae and keep them away from your space.


Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can be dangerous if misused when eliminating maggots. The following are precautions to keep yourself and your property free from acetic acid damage when using vinegar.

Wear protective clothes before using vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar can corrode the skin and irritate the eyes when it contacts them. Before using the vinegar, it’s vital to put on hand gloves and a facemask to prevent the acetic acid in the vinegar from contacting your eyes or skin, leading to corrosion.

Use small amounts of vinegar when killing maggots from hardwood floors or surfaces. When applied in excess amounts, the acetic acid in vinegar can be corrosive to surfaces, including hardwood floors,  which destroys them.

Using excessive vinegar over the recommended amounts doesn’t increase its effectiveness but destroys surfaces.

Therefore, using the correct measurements when killing maggots from your property with vinegar is vital. If using white vinegar, measure one part of white vinegar and add three parts of boiling water to form a solution with the right concentration.

Meanwhile, if using apple cider vinegar, mix 1/6 parts of apple cider vinegar with 5/6 parts of water to form a solution with a suitable concentration. It’s that simple.

Types to use

You can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to eliminate maggots from your house. The same concept can be used when using vinegar for termites.

Apple cider vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid and 95 percent water. It’s made from crushed, fermented apples. Since the acetic acid concentration in apple cider vinegar is lower, it takes longer to kill maggots than in white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar takes up to 18 hours to eliminate larvae when used.

Meanwhile, a better option is whiter vinegar, which is more concentrated than apple cider vinegar. White vinegar contains 6 percent acetic acid and takes less time to kill the larvae than apple cider vinegar.

However, both types of vinegar work perfectly. Use the type within your reach and depending on how fast you want to eliminate the larvae.

Can vinegar get rid of grubs instantly?

Vinegar doesn’t get rid of maggots instantly. It consists of acetic acid, which penetrates through the maggots’ bodies and surroundings, making it difficult for them to survive in the acidic environment, and they die as a result.

Vinegar takes approximately 6 hours to 18 hours to kill maggots. However, this depends on the type of vinegar you are using. While white vinegar is more concentrated and takes 6 hours to kill larvae, apple cider vinegar is less concentrated and takes longer, up to  18 hours, to eliminate the larvae.

Regardless of the type, reapplying the vinegar weekly is usually necessary to keep away the flies and remove any fly eggs remaining.

Can you mix vinegar and bleach to kill maggots?

While most people may think mixing bleach and vinegar can make a more robust solution to kill larvae more effectively, mixing the two is not good.

Bleach is a powerful alkaline solution with a pH of 11 and 13. Meanwhile, vinegar contains acetic acid, making it an acidic solution with a low pH. When mixed, a chemical reaction, rather called neutralization occurs.

Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, which reacts with vinegar to form hypochlorous acid. The reaction further intensifies to release invisible chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is very toxic and produces a choking, pungent smell even when mixing small amounts of bleach and vinegar.

The gas released can cause several respiratory problems, including shortness of breath, nausea, blurry vision, coughing, vomiting, skin injuries, and burning in the nose and eyes. Chlorine gas in large amounts can be fatal.

So you cannot mix bleach and vinegar to create a more robust solution when removing maggots or cleaning because of the dangerous effects of the chlorine gas produced. If you must use bleach for maggots, do it separately. Do not mix things at home since some of those reactions can be really toxic and dangerous.

References: PennState Extension: Advice about Vinegar and University of Missouri Extension: Household flies.


  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.