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Beginner Gardening: bugs on a carrot seedling?

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 62
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Drexel Heights, AZ
(Zone 8a)

January 21, 2014
10:13 PM

Post #9753151

I found these empty beetle (?) husks in the pot where I have a carrot seedling growing. Wondering if anyone can tell me what it is. Doesn't look like there is any movement in the pot. I dug around in the dirt far away from the seedling and still don't see anything. I checked the interwebs and couldn't find anything there.
I had also planted a couple seedlings in another pot with another plant, and checked that pot tonight- sure enough, found a couple more of these little things. The seedlings didn't make it, but I don't know if it had anything to do with these or not. They are very small, so I used a bottle top as a reference point. Any thoughts?

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Clarksville, TN
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2014
6:33 AM

Post #9753278

Hi. You might get an answer more quickly if you post the question and photos on this forum:
Drexel Heights, AZ
(Zone 8a)

January 22, 2014
10:36 AM

Post #9753440

Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

January 22, 2014
11:28 AM

Post #9753478

They look to me as though they may be cocoons (which would often have discernible thorax and abdomen sections, though I can't resolve that from your photos). I also can't tell if they are "in use" or old ones, though it looks like some are open at one end.
N.B. They're not actually "on" your carrot seedling, and aren't doing any harm at present, at least.


Clarksville, TN
(Zone 7a)

January 23, 2014
2:51 AM

Post #9753893

You're welcome. :)
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 27, 2014
12:20 PM

Post #9756759

These look like the maggot's of the carrot fly, when they hatch, they tunnel into the orange root area causing collaps, when dug out you see the black holes in the mature carrot,
These flies are attracted to the smell of the tender green foliage at top of the plants, Here in UK they can kill a whole crop / field, what we do here is build a barrier around the crop,
Stick garden canes into the soil close to the crop and tie some horticultural fleece onto the canes, this prevents the flies from landing on the green tender tops and then lay their eggs, what you have found is the pupa of those flies and the grubs have hatched, crawled down into the orange root / Carrot and eaten away the lovely crisp carrot, the flies cant fly higher than about a foot so the barrier only needs to be about 18 inches high,
Check your area to find out when these flies are in season as here the season lasts only a few weeks BUT when they lay there eggs, the problem lasts much longer than a few weeks, as the eggs need time to hatch, form pupa and attack the carrots, it's not known how to cure or kill this fly, just how to keep them off the crop.
Here I grow Garlic and onions along side the carrots as the smell from garlic and onions masks the smell of the carrots that deters the flies.
Hope all this is understood.
Good Luck. WeeNel.
Drexel Heights, AZ
(Zone 8a)

January 27, 2014
9:12 PM

Post #9757097

Thank you WeeNel! I'll look into that! Your info was very very helpful :) I very much appreciate it!

Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 28, 2014
3:00 PM

Post #9757588

Your Very welcome, I just don't know what months these pest / flies will be breeding / egg laying as it could be possible they are more evident different areas and times, I do know that they are a real problem when the smell from the tender new carrots are young and tender, It's the smell from the carrot foliage that attracts them sending a signal to the flies.

I was taught as a child that when working close or with carrots (say thinning the rows) you had to try NOT to disturb too much little carrots as you pulled out the weaker ones to make room for the others to grow larger, this method of thinning is a chore we carry out a few weeks after the seeds have germinated, the foliage having a lovely smell even us humans love, I still remember being allowed to eat as I thinned, no worries about germs, dirty hands or
health and safety LOL.
Good Luck, Kindest Regards.

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