Help - Maggots in my garden

jensatJune 24, 2013

HELP! Recently I put cocoa shells down for mulch/weed barrier in my gardens. I have used it for a couple of years and have been very happy with it. Today however I found hundreds of Maggots in both my gardens.

Is it possible they were dormant in the mulch? (I have several bags in the garage waiting for another bed to be ready).
How do I get rid of them?
Do I need to remove all the mulch?

Thanks in advance!!

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I did some looking at this was discussed on the garden clinic forum - worms found in cocoa bean mulch - attracted to decomposing material so probably deposited there by the parent bug. I posted the link below.

From the discussion:
The tiny, white, jumping worms are Folsomia Candida (actually anthropods, not worms) or Springtail. Lots of photos and information available through Google. They feed on decomposing material in soils.

Another discussion here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Jumping worms?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:04PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Please post a picture or two.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Thank you for the link. Sorry I don't have my own pics. I deleted them when I figured out what they were. I put a link below to someone else's though.

I kept doing research and found this blog (link). Jumping worms! There is a video on the blog. All other comments I found were related to cocoa shells, which is disappointing because I like using them over woodchips and rocks.

They come out in droves when it rains. Original post that I found was here - Titled Jumping Worms from '07. Lots of comments on it. One said they jump to avoid drowning. Most comments said they weren't harmful, but one said they move on to the roots when the foodsource is gone. Every comment referenced the cocoa shells and water.

Anyway here is the link to the blog with pics and videos. The video doesn't do the jumping justice. I could cleary see them jumping 6 inches or higher and easily a couple of inches in distance from my first floor window! I didn't even have to go outside.

My husband bought raid and sprayed it when it rained tonight, before I could tell him to stop. It seems to have gotten quite a few of them, but I would rather not have that in the garden.

Don't know if this will be a recurring problem or not, but it hasn't happened in 2 years. I'll let you know if they come back.

Here is a link that might be useful: jumping worms video

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Maggots, the larva of any one of several species of flies, will hatch in almost any organic matter if the conditions they need are present, organic matter, moist conditions, warm. Cocoa bean shell mulches are relatively high in Nitrogen, 2.5 percent, which is very attractive to these flies for laying eggs so their larva, the maggots, can feed and grow into adults. For some people having maggots around is not a problem, they do digest organic matter, while for many of us it does present a problem.

The simplest way to deal with these maggots is to apply a dessicant to them and Blood Meal work quite well. But long term let that mulch dry out.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:44AM
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