Forum home Problem solving

Rat-tailed maggots

I tried to make comfrey tea but due to my general uselessness I actually made green alkanet tea. I believe this is still quite useful for the garden. Anyway - today I started ladelling out buckets full of stinking water (I have showered twice but can still smell it on me).

The water was filled with maggots with tube bits - I believe these must be the drone fly maggots. Now having looked on the forum I take it these are not going to destroy all my plants. I ask because I had already poured a few buckets onto the raspberries and asparagus before I noticed them.

It will break my heart if my hard-won produce is eaten from the roots! Can anyone tell me if it will be OK?? I also poured the remaining sludge onto the compost heap - again - I hope this won't destroy the compost already there?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Don't worry Helen, the larvae will die or be eaten by birds once out of the water  They will definitely not attack your plants.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    So glad you posted this. image I keep plants in containers of water that I am moving between gardens. Saw these maggots this morning in one of them and had no idea what they were. Do now image and good guys too by the description of them.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,248

    . They use the tube bit like a snorkel to breathe.  A few drops of a thin cooking oil on the surface of a water butt will kill them

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    Why kill them fidget are they bad then? 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,248

    Drone flies are not a problem. They are just a type of  hoverfly. However mosquito larvae which also love standing water are a flaming nuisance in UK, and deadly in some countries. Water butts are best kept covered, and I tip out any standing water in buckets lying around  etc


Sign In or Register to comment.