So, you somehow wound up having a bucket of maggots inside your toilet. How the hell did that happen? What is this? Your first week at Boot Camp! And what are you going to do about it? There is probably nothing more damning to compact composting/dry toilets than a maggot infestation. It can and will probably happen until you come to appreciate the fact that compact composting toilets do take a certain amount of maintenance and vigilance. They are nasty little buggers for sure. They glue themselves to everything in the most out of the way places you can imagine. It is all a survival mechanism for them and considering there is no shortage of flies, it seems to be working for them pretty well. So you’ve got it, what do we do?
One compact composting toilet manufacturer suggests pouring boiling water onto the parts of the toilet. I don’t recommend that at all. That is a half baked idea and clumsy process for a problem they don’t know how to solve and it’s dangerous and unnecessary. Notice all the caverns, nooks and crannies needed to give their toilet rigidity with the flexible plastic they use. Of course they have designed their toilets without taking into consideration the probability of infesting flies climbing into those spaces. They rely on screens to keep the flies out. Screens or no screens, it only takes one fly to lay a ton of eggs. A better solution is to prevent infestations in the first place. See my blog on that (here). But we are beyond that stage if you are reading this for solutions. So, if your C-Head is experiencing an infestation, what do we do?
If you are on a boat, the easiest solution is to empty the bucket, Tie a rope to the handle and drop it into the water and let the minnows do the work for a few hours. Then spray the bucket down with a hose, let it dry, refill it and replace it. If you are using it in other applications, you may want to clean it like you would an oven. Get some cold oven cleaner and follow the instructions just as you would if you were cleaning an oven. Spray, let set, rinse off, let it dry, refill and reinstall. Follow the directions on the can and wear protection.
Don’t take the bucket apart if you don’t have to. It is hard to get apart for starters. If you feel you must take it apart, follow these instructions.
- Remove the single screw in the backside of the lid.
- Remove the four screws on the bucket bar and remove the churn out of the bucket.
- Turn the bucket upside down and spray WD40 in the seam between the lid and the bucket.
- Invert the bucket and remove the lid by tapping on the inside edge of the section that has been removed. This will cause the lid to swivel off of the bucket. It will move slowly. Be patient. At some point you will be able to slide it off by hand.
- Clean the parts with a sponge.
- Reassemble. You can replace the lid by snapping it back on with a hammer. You don’t need to swivel it back in place. Be sure to replace the screw in the back.
If the infestation is outside the bucket you can use the same methods on the toilet housing inside the toilet. Don’t use abrasives on the interior as it will abrade the surface and make cleaning harder to do. Use oven cleaner if needed. You can use a strong stream of water but don’t use a pressure washer. Preventing an infestation is not that hard and usually after you have had one, you will not want to get another one. Empty the bucket regularly and use diatomaceous earth mixed in with the medium if needed. If you are using your toilet in an area that is prone to infestations, e.g. as in an outhouse, on a farm with animals, in an RV space or boat slip near a restaurant dumpster, etc. you will want to read my article on aggressive prevention.
Please feel free to make constructive comments or ask questions.
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