Sunday, July 19, 2009

Maggots

Maggots are not the most pleasant things in this world, but they are part of the food chain and are a vital part of our ecosystems. That being said, when they have infested your green bin, they must be annihilated.

Friday night, we (the super, Kim, and I) noticed that there seemed to be a few maggots in the lobby of our apartment building; Kim and I figured people brought them in on their shoes after having dumped their waste in the green bin, located about 50 feet from the building. Around 9:30 Friday night, I was being all domestic, cleaning and taking out the garbage, including compostables. I noticed a large number of maggots on and in the green bin, but it has been very humid of late so didn't think too much of it. Around 11:30 I went outside to look for moths attracted to the lights around our building and when I got outside on the front walkway, I realized I was surrounded by maggots.

I just stood there, dumbfounded. They were "swarming" and marching up the walkway. At first I was grossed out, but I was also a little intrigued. What he heck were they doing traveling from 50 feet away? I scanned my immediate area and noticed the majority were headed to the building, with quite a few in the parking area, almost like reinforcements. As I stood there, looking down on this grotesque scene, I was struck by how similar this picture was to an aerial photo I have seen taken during World War 2 of ships leaving Halifax Harbour en masse for Europe. It was a flotilla of maggots. They were headed for the front door.

I felt like I was in the middle of some horror movie: Invasion of the Maggots. My only consolation was that the birds would have a feast first thing in the morning. I went inside, scraping my shoes all the way and fired off an e-mail to the building manager, Adena (who also happens to be a friend). I explained that the infestation was a little worse than first thought. The next morning Adena called and she said if I was grossed out then it must be bad. So she arrived loaded with bleach and salt after my suggestion for eliminating them.

Turns out we have indestructable maggots in Nova Scotia. They are the Arnold Schwartzenegger Terminators of maggots. The Hulk Hogans of maggots. You get the picture.

Because there was compost matter in the bin we couldn't dump it out or put it in the garbage. So, we boiled water, added bleach and poured it on them. We poured salt on them. We tried vinegar (and baking soda for a nice fizzly effect). That just made them mad. And still they kept moving. We really didn't want to use anything heavier so as not to upset the tummies of birds and other creatures that might eat the bodies. They kept coming. Truthfully, we did kill a good number of them. I think we probably drowned more of them than anything. We mixed soap and water and threw that at them. After a couple of hours of boiling water in my apartment and taking it outside and hosing down the parking lot to get rid of the evidence we stopped for a break and to rethink what we could do.

And the heavens opened up. It poured and poured, washing all the maggots away. The ones outside the green bin anyway. We still have maggots in the green bin, but not as many. The temperature is a little cooler today as well, so that's helping the cause.

The main problem though is that because we're an apartment building, the bin gets dumped by a waste company and tenants dump more stuff in it before it can be rinsed out. So we're thinking about a solution to this. And trying to get rid of the heebie jeebies....

S.

5 comments:

Patrick Mullen said...

Move the green bin somewhere else.

James said...

You could have tried boiling water. A long, tedious, possibly expensive option, but THE most effective way of getting rid of maggots.

Courtesy of the THOUSANDS of people that have suffered and visited the maggots site.

Denver Refashionista said...

So gross... I'm glad they got swept away.

Diane J Standiford said...

LOL, sorry, but THIS from the bug lady. L sorry OL. OK, here is my vast advice: put up a sign for tenants to wait until it is cleaned w/boiling water b4 use. Then get some macho person to boil the bin clean. I can hear the Crocodile Hunter, "What beauts they are!"

Shauna said...

Patrick,
Would have loved to move the bin, but the neighours would see me.

James,
I have visited that site....and we did boil water and throw it on them with bleach, too....just made them angry.

DR,
Was very happy for the rain for a change.

Diane,
I know, I know. so unlike me. It was interesting from one point of view, but the bigger picture was disgusting.

Everyone,
We have come to a solution. On Thursday the bin is being emptied completely and will be cleaned thoroughly. Anyone caught putting wet (meat, fish, etc) stuff in the bin not wrapped effectively in newspaper (and with a bow) will be shot at daybreak. Notices have gone around and people will be required to pay a little more attention to what and how they put stuff in there.

S.
PS: Anyone want to see pictures?