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Maggots & Poo


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I didn't want to further de-rail the other thread so thought I'd start a new one :) 

I have a problem as this thread title sort of indicates. For the first two years of owning Nyx all was hunky-dory, but in 2015 I was confronted by a strange phenomenon. (No, I met Timbo before that!!)

I had a pumpout at a highly regarded boatyard which I shall not name as they may have nothing to do with this. Some day or so later when I went to the heads, on opening the 'trap door' to let that which I'd 'laid' go away, a fly flew out from the holding tank. A day later when undergoing the same routine, several flies escaped and as time went on, the problem worsened.

I purchased a can of fly killer which I nearly emptied into the tank from the loo end. End of problem!

Later that season, having had the tank pumped out on a couple of occasions at different places, I had a pumpout from the yard in question once more. again after a couple of days the problem returned. I became suspicious of their routine and went elsewhere for this service. Problem solved... NO!

So, 2016 came and now it mattered not, where I had my pumpouts, the flies were in the holding tank. I was spraying fly killer into the tank on a regular basis in the hotter weather, but still they survived, the spray only lasting for the remaining period of each pumpout.

When I leave the boat, I give the tank a spray, and all is well, I return, use the loo and no problem. As soon as I have another pumpout... here we go again.

Any advice please :) 

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Hi John,

The only way they could have got into the tank would have been via the water (usually not drinking water) used to flush the tanks or the blue loo fluid.

If your tanks are removable it might be an idea to remove them from the boat and have them pressure washed, this is not a bad idea ever if you do not have a problem because the tanks tend to silt up and reduce their holding capacity.



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Sound like you have a dump through loo.

The holding tank is likely vented (possible no vent with a dump through, but two caps on deck, one vent/rinse and the pump out) so open to air and flies to enter, gauzed vents are less common on the holding tank as they block easy when people overfill the tank.

Its not recommended to put detergents in the tank that kill of the poo munching bacteria, these little guys help combat smell and some off the smellier loos are on boats that get a regular bleaching, that said I think you need a 'do-over'.  Have you tried a strong cleaner like a whole bottle of the strongest Duck stuff in the tank then fill your tank with water as full as you can until you either fill your loo or chug water out the breather, then leave it for a week before pump out.

I doubt, anything is entering the system from the pump out station, more there is something in the tank that when the tank is empty smells yummy to a fly to go and lay a load of eggs on.

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The tank isn't easily removable Alan, at least not without taking the engine out.

Yes Mark, My feelings are with a vent somewhere as their original route in. I know the tank must have one. My suspicion with the boatyard was more along the lines that they might have been a bit stingy with the 'blue' and that as a result the colony was able to become established. 

Anyway, established it is and I'm after a way of getting rid.

A thorough bleaching might be the way forwards, or fly spray up the vent (so's to speak) if I can find it.

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Of course everyone is missing the blindingly obvious...hang on let me put my scythe down, you see what my theory hinges upon, Grendel be a good chap and stop whittling boats with your axe while I'm explaining, what I'm trying to expound is, oh now come on Vaughan have you eaten all of the biscuits again? What all of them? Do you know I'm always hungry when Vaughan is around, what I'm suggesting is that Maurice...Oh Hang it all Grendel stop winding China up about the South Seas...you see Maurice Mynah, oh now that does it I could kill for a bacon sandwich...I suppose you wouldn't know anything about the distinct lack in the bacon sandwich department Vaughan? Where was I? Yes Maurice Mynah and the flies, you see if I'm Death, Grendel is War and Vaughan is Famine I'm not in the least surprised that Pestilence is having trouble with the flies in his netty! The only problem I do have is working out who Eric is?

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When the yard adds blue after a pump-out, where do they put it? If down the pump-out deck fitting, and depending on the configuration of the fitting and the tank, it may just be sitting uselessly in the pipe.only to be sucked out by the next pump-out. We always ask the yard to add the blue via the heads, so as to be sure it goes into the tank.





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I am surprised MM you haven't capitalised on this little problem. 

We have several ice cream boats north and south, so why not a maggot boat? Handy for us anglers. 

We would see you coming by the dark hazy cloud of flies approaching. The call of "look it's Maurice the Mad Maggot Man" would erupt. Bait boxes would be readied, windows closed!

You could even get a big plastic maggot for the front of the boat? If anyone can photoshop MMs boat with a giant maggot on the front I would wet myself. :party:

on a serious note it has to be a gallon of bleach in the tank and fill her up till she starts to overflow. Hope you get it sorted as I can imagine how annoying this must be. 

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In all seriousness MM I think Steve O has a point here. There has to be a blockage somewhere in the system. Somewhere flies are laying eggs, which hatch turn to husk, from which flies emerge to start the whole process off. Whenever the heads are pumped out there is not enough pressure of water getting through to get rid of all of the insects contained in the system.

RT's dump through system is always emptied and cleaned from the pan side of the system.

OK I'm volunteering to lend a hand and help fill the system with water...at the very least act as a spotter!



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Back in the day, before I discovered boats, cars were my passion. In the early 1980s I had a rather beautiful pale gold JAGUAR XJS. One hot July Friday afternoon my  husband was planning to spend the afternoon travelling round the various building sites we had going, to pay wages. He decided it would be more fun to do this in my car than his somewhat ponderous Range Rover. He wasn't known for his respect or consideration for cars having a rather cavalier attitude. A subject that was the nub of many rather heated discussions.

 I didn't have occasion to use my car again until the Monday morning. When I got in the smell was truly eye watering. I went in search of the cause. On looking in the boot I found  that courtesy of my husband's lunatic driving the tray of eggs I had bought from a local farm and forgotten to remove  were now a smashed, slimy, smelly mess, and worse -  the boot was a seething mass of maggots!

Dear reader I divorced him!



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I hope nobody is eating their evening meal. In the days of my hirefleet involvement, the toilets were basically a fibreglass box with a lid which had the bowl, seat and pump. On turnaround the toilet used to be rinsed from inside by putting a hose with bent flattened pipe (dedicated for pump out use only) down the flap and spraying the tank. However at the end of the season the toilets had their lid removed for a really good scrub out. The inside of the lid was always horrific, despite a good concentrated blast of water every week the lid had a blueish jelly layer, combined with dozens of fly pupae ( or what ever you call them). This could be the source of you flies.

Carry on with your tea folks.

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