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How Do I Get Rid of Trash Can White Bugs?

Despite having so many capable insect experts on my team, I struggle to let someone else take over incoming bug questions. The world of insects and arachnids (not to mention rodents) is so vast and variable that I never cease to be amazed. Most things I encounter are not totally new, but they are unique in some aspects. This was a recent question we received from a disturbed homeowner asking, “How do I get rid of trash can white bugs?”


The first step of the process is to put on the Sherlock Holmes hat and break down the situation. There are many pests that would love to invade a trash receptacle. They are typically:

  • sheltered from the weather
  • full of scrumptious pest food
  • protected from predators
  • placed in low disturbance areas

I never want to bug the person more than the pest, so I do my best to arrive at the most likely conclusion without peppering them with the thousands of questions an entomologist mind would want to ask. Most importantly in this process is coming to a conclusion about what kind of pest we are dealing with so we can match the solution to the source.

The Clues

While I don’t have all the information I would like, I do have some key clues to go off of:

  • garbage cans – while I can’t be certain, most receptacles are emptied weekly which means we have a quick life cycle pest at hand
  • white bugs – my entomologist side of my brain wants to consider the bug term as technical, but the human side of me understands this is a catch-all term for a small creature that I don’t want present
  • get rid of – this is pretty general, but it is the essential piece to knowing we are dealing with a pest and not a lovable creature. It also indicates some level of population or persistence that is concerning.
Larvae that could be called a white bug

The Solution

Detective work and deciphering are fun, but if we don’t come to an actionable element to help, it is fruitless. Here is what we came up with:

Fruit flies are linked to fermenting produce
  • fly larvae – white grubs seem the most likely and since it is a trash can we are looking at flies over beetles in most cases
  • sanitation – this trash can will need a good level of sanitation. This will need to remove stuck on food particles and any grease or slime that has accumulated
  • bags – from liners for the receptacle to enclosing problematic refuse such as meats and produce, enclose to exclude. These don’t have to be perfect solutions, they just need to slow down the process enough to get the trash out of there.
Blowflies are inked to death and decay

As with all situations, having technical expertise can be a time saver and avoid unnecessary concerns and hassle. The bug experts at Rove Pest Control have the experience and tools to take care of: