How to Kill Maggots in a Vegetable Garden

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Maggots cause damage to garden vegetables.
Maggots cause damage to garden vegetables. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Maggots are often found in vegetable gardens because they feed off the growing crop. Maggots eat the roots of the vegetables and sometimes travel upwards into their leaves. This fly larva is known to kill germinating seedlings and very small seedlings, as well as inflict damage to already established vegetation. In order to put a stop to the wreckage and prevent the maggots from destroying additional crops, you must eliminate them from your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • Pesticide
  • Beneficial nematode
  • Predatory roving beetles

Remove the affected plants and destroy them by burning. Taking the culprit plants away from the garden will not only kill the maggots but will prevent them from harming other plants as well.

Lay food-grade diatomaceous earth on top of the soil in your vegetable garden. The maggots will eat the fossilized algae and ultimately die from dehydration as a result. Reapply the product after the soil gets wet.

Apply liquid or dust insecticides to the garden that are safe to use on vegetables. Each insecticide comes with its own directions for use, so read the product labels carefully before applying them to your garden. Although the product will likely eliminate the maggot problem, it will also kill other bugs in your garden as well, including those that are helpful, such as worms.

Add beneficial nematodes to the garden soil. Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms that inflict damage to the maggots, ultimately killing them.

Add predatory rove beetles into your garden. Predatory rove beetles eat maggots and will not harm your existing vegetation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lay floating covers over your vegetables to prevent flies from laying eggs on them.
  • Avoid adding excessive amounts of manure to your garden, as this can attract flies.
  • Nematodes and rove beetles are often available at garden centers and extensions. Diatomaceous earth is found in many home improvement stores.

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