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Beginner Gardening Questions: Little white worms (yuk)

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 8, Views: 179
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Debbie2007
Port Vincent, LA
(Zone 8b)

August 25, 2007
11:19 PM

Post #3900086

Hi everyone, I was moving some of my plants today. My zinnia is in a mixed bed with my periwinkles. The zinnia is growing so beautifully I wanted to put it in a larger space. When I scooped it up with my spade, the roots were just crawling with these little white worms that have about a million legs. They are about an 1/8 of an inch long. I lifted some of the periwinkles to check them (same bed) but there were no worms on their roots. Are the worms a bad thing or just go on planting? Please, if anyone knows what these are, let me know soon. I'm not sure if you can make out what they look like from this photo.

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mariaerosselle
College Park, MD

August 31, 2007
10:56 PM

Post #3923345

Are they worms like long or small. I have some in my flower bed this year and they are so annoying very small white insects just going crazy. They might be Springtails if they are not long worm like http://www.happydranch.com/5.html

This is the only information I could find on a white worm http://www.happydranch.com/12.html I hope this helps. But, I think you have springtails, I know I do.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 31, 2007
11:51 PM

Post #3923540

If they are really like worms, then most worms are a good sign, if they are grubs or the larva of some insects, then they are prob doing harm as grubs usually need vegetation or roots to eat before they grow into the parent fly/beetle etc, so worms should be OK, not all creatures we find in our gardens are harmful and believe it or not, there are fewer that are enemy, we just need to learn which are which. Good luck, Weenel.
mariaerosselle
College Park, MD

September 1, 2007
12:05 AM

Post #3923586

Ok, I found something. He said they move rapidly and they have legs. The only things I know that are worm like with legs are grubs and maybe a maggot. I have more images on image shack here is the link http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mariaerosselle/

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 1, 2007
12:41 AM

Post #3923688

If they are worm like (long and thin) then they ain't maggots, the white worm things are said to have hundreds of legs, well that points to either centipedes or millipedes, maggots dont have legs but get around by wriggling along the soil, worms dont have legs either so unless a picture can be sent into the forum, I think we will be even more confused as to what some folks call worm shaped thing and what others call maggots and meanwhile the real culprit could be going global, ha, ha, ha. WeeNel.
mariaerosselle
College Park, MD

September 1, 2007
1:25 AM

Post #3923839

there is a white millipede !!! wow!! weenel you are awesome check this out

http://bugguide.net/node/view/88503/bgpage
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 1, 2007
2:29 AM

Post #3924120

Geeeeeeees you have me blushing here Maria, but it was pure guess work, soon as it stated it had hundreds of legs, well not too many things have that eh, now we need to check out if it's a good guy or enemy, some of these actually eat other bugs like small snails and beetles, but wish I could take another guess to remember which is which, we have bright red ones here in UK and boy, do they move fast, well think even I could with all these legs, well, er, no, I would probably try show off and trip myself up into an open birds beak knowing my luck. Happy gardening Maria, WeeNel.
wannadanc
Olympia, WA

September 2, 2007
3:19 PM

Post #3928341

FYI - most millipedes do no harm - they are scavengers, feeding on dead and decaying organic matter. I admit, though, that if I found a millipede festival going on amid my plants, I would be a high alert.

I recall the day I found some pill bugs EATING my strawberries - ewwwww- they had never caused me a bit of concern until that moment - even though I had attended many sowbug festivals.
mariaerosselle
College Park, MD

September 2, 2007
6:43 PM

Post #3928964

There is also another white bug similar to that of a millipede or centipede. It is called Garden Symphylan. Check it out here. I have it in my book but of course you can't see that because it is here where I am. LOL :) http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/garden_symphylan.htm

It says they move rapidly.

Maria

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