Are these grubs or some other damaging worm like in my soil?

half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)April 28, 2013

Hello, Been a while since I last posted here. It's that time of the year again and I been a little more tending to my plants/trees.

I was preparing to test the soil fertility today and began digging a few inches into my soil and freaked out when I noticed these slithery looking small white worms. :shock:

There pretty small measuring in at around 1/2" to 3/4" in length.

Are these grubs or some other sort of worm that I should be concerned with? The front on their body is sort of flat shaped while their tail portion is pointed somewhat (as shown in the photo).

I also see many (of what seems like) their eggs (also included in photos).

Anybody know what these are? I discovered these in my grapes and nectarine trees which are both currently growing in plastic containers.

There are loads of these worms. It's as if there infested with these.. My plants haven't been looking it's best lately, which I been suspecting possibly some sort of nutrient deficiency.. And then I discover these... :(

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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

several worms slithering around

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:01PM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Another shot of these worms...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:02PM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Here's the shot of the little red looking eggs I discovered throughout the soil also....

Hopefully somebody that's experienced with this sort of issue or blessing can enlighten me... :?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:03PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The "worms" are fly larvae (youngsters). The pointy end is the head, the blunt end the rear.
The "eggs" are fly pupal cases.
The next phase will be adult flies.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

half-full,
They may be some kind of fly. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Fly Life Cycle

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:05PM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Hello and thank you both for the replies. Jean001a, you are correct about the pointy end being the head and the blunt/flat end being the rear. I mis-typed that part in my initial message. I took another closer look at them after I wrote that message and noticed they were slithering with the pointy end forward. :)

So these are basically like house flies? Gez, I never knew they start out as these little worms (larva). My poor ol 7 gallon grape tree container is loaded with these larva's. There must be over 100 of them... :\ I also noticed them in my nectarine container. Heck, they may be in all my buckets. :(

So the obvious question/concerns on my part is are they or can they be harmful to my plants? I read that they feed off manure. Do they also feed on the roots of the plants and will they take away nutrients or minerals that my plant may be needing?

I really hate the thought of raising flies. From a gardeners perspective, would one usually attempt to get rid/kill them?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:53PM
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foolishpleasure

They look gruesome. Just think about next year you will have an army of them. I kill flies and ants and their larva with spectracise spray once and you are done.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 3:24AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Halffull,

If they are in the soil it must be rich as they feed on rich decaying organic matter like manure. Not to be confused with bottlefly maggots that feed on rotting meat.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:59AM
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ltilton

Maggots - fly larvae.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:04AM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Thanks for all the posts. So I now have a better understanding of what these are. I don't feel fortunate to have an abundance of these slithering critters in my fruit tree containers. :\

Are these beneficial to my plants or can they ultimately cause harm? Will they also feed on the roots of the plants? And will they take away the nutrients or minerals that my plant would need?

I'm not pleased by the sight of these and am leaning towards wanting to get rid of them all. Are there any effective organic sprays that I can add to the soil to kill em all?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:15PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I don't think they are harmful really though they are taking some of the nutrients from the soil. They won't feed on the roots. The flies that will come may bite depending on the species.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:48PM
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applenut_gw

They make great bait for bluegill and crappie. Take a hook and fill it up with them.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:28PM
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half-full(z9 - San Lorenzo, California)

Sounds like there not benefiting me or my fruit plants in any way. Are there any organic sprays I can add to my soil that would kill them off?

I was looking at the "Safer" brand, they claim to be safe on fruit trees and target a broad range of insects and critters. There also omri certified...

Thanks applenut, but I'm not much of a fisher so using these for bait isn't going to work for me. Besides, I wouldn't want to spend the next few days sifting through my 7 gallon plastic containers. I just hate the thought that I'm breeding these flies in my growing medium. I need to get rid of them for good.

Please, if somebody is familiar, do tell. Some sort of organic insecticide that I can add to the soil. Something that is true, tried and tested.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:15PM
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