How do I prevent maggots and flies getting into the HotBin?

The quick answer is “Get your waste hot (>40C) as quickly as possible”

Flies and maggots in the HotBin are a real rarity. They can occur and it tends to be when the HotBin is in the ‘set up’ phase before the temperature has risen above 40C. Below we explain why and how to prevent this happening. House flies and fruit flies can lay eggs in the your composting waste anywhere from the kitchen, kitchen caddy / bags holding waste and possibly at any time when the lid is open or the door is not fastened tightly.

A hot (above 40C) HotBin will kill all fly eggs, maggots and flies.

In our customer surveys 99% state they are satisfied or very satisfied with how the HotBin reduces and prevents flies – but we do get the occasional issue with maggots and flies and it is a guaranteed sign that the waste inside has not risen above 40C.

We do not believe there is a 100% sure way to prevent flies laying eggs in your compost waste, but the following will reduce the chances of them laying eggs:

Ensure the lid is tightly closed at all times (unless filing!)

  • Ensure the door hatch is on tight and the cam belts have been used to pull the door on tight
  • Cover all waste at all times  (eg kitchen caddy, collection bags)
  • Clear up any waste dropped around the HotBin – it will be a fly magnet

It is often the case that your waste already has fly eggs in it. Accepting this is possible, the next step is to prevent the eggs hatching into larvae / maggots. You do this by getting your HotBin Hot (>40C) very quickly (within a few days). Heat prevents any fly eggs hatching.

The basic technique is to add lots (at least half full) of ‘easy to digest’ waste (eg grass, food waste, shredded office paper, corrugated paper).

Quick tips to help you do this:

1) Add a box of grass mowing and mix  into the waste already in the HotBin

2) If no grass, add 2-3 cups of either chicken pellets or chicken poo

3) Check excess water is not seeping from  the aeration mesh in base – if it is, add half a bucket of cardboard pieces and half a bucket of wood chip (from black bag supplied).

You can find more information on getting to 60C in the PDF ‘how do I get to 60C check list’

Please note: you might occasionally have flies hovering around the valve or crawling on the door hatch panel. We can’t stop this. There is always some residual odour around the valve, and often some old compost on the door. They normally give up and move on when they are unable to find the food source that generates the odour i.e. they cannot find the place to eat and lay eggs. If they bother you and you are not adverse to using chemicals, then any of the fly/crawling insect sprays can be spayed on the HOTBIN parts to keep them away – but outdoors this is a bit of a losing battle – it will wash off in the rain quickly. But do try to keep the area free of dropped food & compost.

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