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How to Control Root Maggots


how to control root maggots

few poems are written about root maggots

few songs sung in their honor root

maggots the larvae of root maggot flies

are fat gray white grubs with pointy

heads and can grow in 3rd inch long they

live about 2 to 5 weeks but in that time

they manage to annoy many gardeners by

eating their way through crops roots

controlling these pests requires an

understanding of what they do and why

life history you would be hard-pressed

to distinguish a root maggot fly from a

regular small house fly unless you

observe the insect laying eggs in early

spring female root maggot flies can lay

more than 100 eggs at the base of a

single plant over several days the eggs

hatch in 10 days or fewer and the young

larvae burrow into the plant roots

eating as they go this dinner kills and

damages vegetables and sometimes entire

crops the larvae mature emerge as adults

made in the females lay more eggs damage

identification typical root maggot

target crops include onions allowing SPP

cabbage Brassica oleracea Kappa Tata

Group broccoli Brassica oleracea italic

a group cauliflower Brassica oleracea ba

treatise group Brussels sprouts Brassica

oleracea gemma fear a group and turnips

Brassica rebus wrap affair a group

initially affected plants yellow they

may will candy especially if they are

seedlings the most severe damage to root


however occurs beneath the soil where

the maggots cut tunnels through the

plants roots and those areas become

filled with rotten disease


an ounce of prevention the most

efficient manner of controlling root

maggots is to prevent the Flies from

laying eggs on crops one method is to

protect the crops with floating row

covers lightweight fabric that allows

light and water to pass but keeps bugs

out this method works only when the row

covers are in place before any eggs are

laid otherwise the larvae will thrive

protected beneath the row covers an

alternative is to position circular

cardboard or tar paper collars around

each crop transplant each circle should

be about four inches in diameter and

have a center hole sufficiently large

enough for the plant stem slit one side

of each collar so that you can slip the

collar into place around a plant soil

protection roof maggot flies lay their

eggs and cracks in the soil at the base

of edible plants you can prevent this by

piling items on the earth layer one inch

of wood ash around your plants choosing

ash from heartwood rather than treated

wood alternatively sprinkle your garden

with rock phosphate or diatomaceous

earth in yesteryear gardeners mixed one

cup of line with one quart of water and

let the solution sit overnight the

following morning the clear water was

removed and poured on the soil around

the base of vulnerable plants to keep

flies away a layer of oak leaves also

may work well


good cultural practices


it pays to clean up your garden before

you plant during the growing season and

after harvest and sanitation might help

control the root maggots to clean up

your garden beds affected by root

maggots even if you had to abandon the

crops remove weeds and plant debris

regularly and rotate crops move crops

attacked by root maggots as far as

possible from their old location