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I am seeing lots of small bugs in my compost as shown in the picture below.picture of my compost pile.

I just want to make sure they are the larvae as said in this post

If they are the larvae, then I've got a problem when they mature.There will be lot of flies that will threaten my garden. Please reply and tell me what these bugs are.

  • Do you notice a lot of what seem to be black wasps around the heap earlier in the season? – Fiasco Labs Jun 13 '14 at 1:20
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    Flies won't harm your garden plants, btw. But if these are blowflies, they probably aren't good for you or your kids, pets or livestock (if you have kids, pets or livestock.) – TeresaMcgH Jun 13 '14 at 14:19
  • Blowflies are not good means what? do they carry diseases? – Gardener Jun 17 '14 at 13:41
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Those are Blowfly larvae. These are the most common maggot in compost heaps. They will usually appear when the pile is less aerobic than ideal, but will hit almost any compost heap, especially those with raw kitchen scraps or manure added. These will become flies if you don't stop them soon.

When I had this problem, I spread out the pile to 1" deep, on some tarps. They sat in the sun until completely dry. This of course brings the composting process to a standstill, but you can moisten and re-stack the pile after all the maggots are dead. Drying the heap in some way is probably your best option. Be creative.

If you have chickens, you can spread out your heap in their pen. They will eat out the maggots (free protein supplement), and add valuable manure. Re-stack, and add carbon accordingly.

Most maggot infestations are caused by a heap which is:

  • too damp
  • too compacted
  • too large
  • too cold (a good hot heap will kill them)
  • mostly partially decomposed food scraps or manure

and others. It could be any combination of these. Composting is complicated and these things happen to almost everyone. If neither of the suggested methods will work for you, and no one else gives input, you may have to wait this one out, and try to create a healthy, active heap which the flies won't lay eggs in.

....................Dirty maggots:............................................Clean maggots:....................

dirty maggotsclean maggots

  • Thanks for the great photos of these maggots. I thought at first they must be a 'hard jacket' but the mass looked like maggots. Gotta do something to ask people to put something in their pictures for scale. Maybe a down-loaded logo from our site? Did you give these guys a bath yourself? – stormy Jun 13 '14 at 20:01
  • @stormy I did not give the maggots a bath. I just thought it would be useful to have pics of both, as they are run across both ways, depending on what they're eating. – J. Musser Jun 13 '14 at 23:30
  • I was being funny. Grin... – stormy Jun 14 '14 at 18:08

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