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Small brown maggots - any ideas?!

I've discovered several patches of small brown grubs or maggots around the edges of my raised vegetable bed. They're in clusters of about 50-100 in an area the size of your hand, about an inch under the surface. When disturbed they look like they're dead but slowly start to move and wriggle underground again. They're of a uniform size, no more than a centimetre long, medium brown in colour with a black 'dot' at the blunt end and quite thin, about the size of a pencil lead. I've searched for pictures of something similar online but can't seem to find anything quite like them. Any ideas? And should I be worried?! Just a bit concerned that they'll be dining on seedlings that will be keeping them company in the not too distant future...


  • Thanks Philippa! I did pick a load out today actually but there's no way I could guarantee I'd removed them all. Also, I don't want to disturb them if they're about to transform into something wonderful (unlikely, but could happen..), I'll see if I can get a photo up here but they are small....
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,892
    I suspect they're just fly maggots. Where did the soil come from in your beds and what was growing in there this year? I've found similar patches before and assumed something was buried there like a dead mouse or something. I just turn them out onto the surface of the soil and let the birds have them.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267
    edited January 2020
    My guess is that they are the second instar (developmental form) of daddy long legs larvae. When the larvae develop further they become those fat grey things called leatherjackets that you find in turf.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • UPDATE!! I've found out what they are - bibionid fly larvae. I'm still a bit worried about them being in my vegetable garden - some internet articles say they're good recyclers of organic material and aren't really pests and others say they will eat plant roots! I've been picking them out by hand when I see them but there's loads and I can't get them all. Anyone else come across these?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    All part of nature ... they will feed on dead vegetable matter (amongst other things) ... to keep a healthy balance,  encourage frogs, toads, beets and birds into your garden and they will feed on them. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks Dovefromabove - I'll try especially hard to encourage the beets! :-)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    Whoops! Flippin’ auto-corrrect ... I was trying to say ‘newts’. 🙄 
    Have you got a little pond or bog garden? If not I recommend you consider one. Great for attracting an army of creatures who’ll help keep slugs, snails and other critters who might fancy a nibble on your veg, under control. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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