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Grubs in leaf mould

I am in the process of emptying last year's leaves which have made pretty good leaf mould. (I now shred the leaves with the lawnmower so the leaf mould 'makes' in one year rather than two).  
I have uncovered several nests/cluster of (horrible looking) dark grey grubs, very much alive, and I am wondering if these will be harmful if I spread the leaf mould as a mulch over the garden?  They are of medium size, smaller than daddy long leg grubs, and with legs - they move quite fast.


  • Woodlice perhaps ?  Goodies and worth letting them get on with their job. 
  • No, I don't think so, I know (and love) woodlice.  Been down to have a look again, I was wrong, no legs, segmented body with slghtly hairy body, but not caterpillar-type hairy.
  • You obviously like your Woodlice :D  A photo if you can may help someone to ID correctly. 
  • Sorry, do not have smart phone or similar so can't take photo  :'(
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,990
    edited November 2021
    If you’re feeling very unsure about them I’d spread the leafmould out on a sheet of plastic or a tarpaulin and let the birds help themselves before mulching. 

    Personally I’d just use it straight away as mulch and not worry about them. They’re  likely to be just one of the very many types of small invertebrates that have been doing what you need them to do …  turning your leaves into leafmould.

    In they’re in your leaves they’re likely to already be elsewhere in your garden.  


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Doing a bit of internet searching and I think they may be soldier fly larvae as I have also seen them in my compost heap.  If so, I understand they are harmless/beneficial so I shall spread the leafmould as I intended.
  • As  I said ... they've been making your compost/leafmould for you.  Gardeners' friends  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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