Yes it’s happened to us all, especially those in hot climates, where raw chicken blood will breed maggots in an afternoon, and certainly by the next day. And after it’s all cleaned up, what then?
Homemaker failures like this should be used as an opportunity to review your systems. Just as in a workplace, something going wrong should be a signal to you that something is not working as well as it should.
It’s your responsibility to fix it, or you are setting yourself up for failure again. Something has to change.
So, if the garbage was the problem, here are some things to think about:
1. Is my bin too big? In this scenario the problem could have been that the chicken wrapper went at the bottom of a newly emptied bin, and the bin didn’t get full for three days. Use a much smaller bin so that it has to get emptied every day, or even twice a day.
2. Should I be rinsing containers first? Dog and cat food containers are prime breeding grounds and since they go in the recycling, maybe they are not moving out of the kitchen as quickly as they should. Rinse empty containers or make sure the container goes straight out to the outside bin when empty.
3. Did someone else not do their chores? If so, THEY SHOULD CLEAN UP THE MAGGOTS! (Particularly effective on teenagers who tend to have weak stomachs and not be at their best first thing in the morning). Cruel, yes. Effective, also yes.
Maybe you need to take this chore over, if it gets to be an ongoing issue.
4. Do you have too much food waste? There are plenty of ways to fix this. Dogs are good (but mine would never eat peas or lettuce). Also chooks (they do eat peas and lettuce). Compost is also good but beware: a poorly maintained compost bin or bucket can be more of a problem than a solution, and this won’t deal with meat scraps which are the usual cause of maggots.
5. In relation to food waste, maybe you need to reduce the quantities in your recipes if you have a lot left over. Freeze left overs for later meals. Freeze meat scraps until bin day. Freezing is really the only sensible way to deal with prawn and crab shells if you want to stay friends with your neighbours. If you miss garbage day, there’s always next week!
So when this (or another household disaster) happens to you, have a good think about what happened, why, and how you can stop it ever happening again. Because walking into a kitchen covered in maggots at 6am is not a great way to start the day.
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