Related: Compost has larva or maggots?

We have a compost vessel (around 300L) which we use as a supplement to our garbage can. We don't usually throw meat in it and we don't intend to ever do it again. However, somewhere around two weeks ago somebody asked if he could throw half a kilogram of spoiled minced meat in it. I didn't know any better, so I gave him the go ahead.

The resulting stench has been growing for the past couple of days and maggots have infested the vessel.

I'm looking for:

  • A quick, one-time fix which if at all possible will not destroy the rest of the eco-system (or what's left of it) in the vessel.

I have very limited gardening experience and the compost has no specific goal (I haven't needed to clean it in years, it's self-regulating).

How do I get rid of the maggots the easy way?

Note: I do not think this question is a duplicate. I'm looking for a one-time fix while the answers in the other question are more of a long-term thing.

  • possible duplicate of Compost has larva or maggots?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 22:38
  • @kevinsky See note. Does that fix the problem?
    – Mast
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 0:03
  • 3
    Is the problem the maggots or the smell? Because I doubt the maggots are causing the smell, more likely they're eating the cause.
    – GardenerJ
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 4:20
  • @GardenerJ Preferably both. I'd split up the question but there's a risk of an answer on one question invalidating an answer on the other. If the maggots are the easiest way to keep the smell at bay, an answer keeping the maggot population under control while they work on the smell is acceptable, assuming they can be rid of later on.
    – Mast
    Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 12:26

2 Answers 2


I've done a fair amount of composting and with minimal effort things will usually balance out. That's not a quick fix though. Honestly I'd just let them eat and try to keep the meat buried as much as possible. You might kill the maggots but then what are you going to do with the rotting meat? Search out every chunk? Let the maggots do it and go from there. I know it's not the answer you want but I honestly think it's the best one. Maybe put some screening over it to keep animals out. (Not sure if your vessel has a lid or not).

  • The vessel has a lit, yes. I can imagine burying it in something would reduce the stench. It could affect the maggots, not sure. Would a couple of pounds of soil work?
    – Mast
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 17:01
  • Try grass clippings or hay. It will allow some breath-ability but should still cover the smell as bad. Lots of grass though will have it's own smell.
    – Dano0430
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 20:06

Diatomaceous earth is an excellent organic, non invasive remedy that shouldn't harm the existing ecosystem. It works but suffocating insects and pests of various sorts. It is the only insecticide I use on my garden and I have had success removing, Aphids, TwoSpotted Spider Mites, Japanese Beetles, Earwigs and many others. A simple google search will list dozens of suppliers whose sites you can explore to see for yourself.

Also for the stench try pine or cedar chips.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.