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What are these horrid bug things in my water butt? eurghK!

(25 Posts)
mankymummy Tue 29-Jul-08 15:13:34

I have a bin that i've been using to collect water on my allotment and been putting nettle leaves in to make a liquid fertiliser.

I looked in it today and there are hundreds and hundreds of squirmy bug things.

They look like small pea pods with a very thin long tail and they are white.

Any idea what they are and how on earth i get rid of them?


misi Tue 29-Jul-08 16:51:44

could be mosquito lava (can't think how to spell that correctly!!) making sure the bin is covered with a close fitting lid helps stop them getting there in the first place but without seeing one, they could also be amphibians like toads, frogs or newts too. if you are convinced they are not tadpoles etc, either use a mesh filter to scoop them out and leave them on the grass or pathway for the birds to eat especially if hot and sunny but not when it is raining or damp, or you can give the water a good stir up if it is murky (the lack of light and oxygen usually does for them after a few days stirring, or if that fails, you can get an organic water butt cleanser that helps to kill of bugs and beasts, can't think of what it called at the moment but try the internet search engines

mankymummy Tue 29-Jul-08 17:39:33

thanks misi, they dont look like mosquito lava, they are much bigger... the main body approx 2cm long, the thin tail the same.

if i scoop them out and leave them I'm worried they'll mutate into some sort of monster bug !!!!!!

will the birds really eat them?

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 19:43:45

depends on what they are but meat eating birda like starlings eat anything. blackbirds will eat just about anything meaty too. can you see 2 black dots on the round body bit like unformed eyes?
but if they are put out in the sun and dry, as they are living in water now, I doubt they'll survive for long, or the old gardeners way is to place any bugs they don't like into pots of parafin but that is hard to get now I think. the only thing I have ever seen that big still in water are amphibians.
i found this site earlier, if you have some spare time might be worth a look?

mankymummy Tue 29-Jul-08 20:03:05

thanks misi... i'll take a look. i might take a photo and post it on my profile... would you mind taking a look if i post it on friday (cant get up allotment until then)....

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 20:18:20

ok, I can try but I failed, well got a low mark in my fauna ident module at uni grin
my son will be here then and he can look as he loves bugs, well killing them anyway

mankymummy Wed 30-Jul-08 13:48:47

ooh what are you studying at uni... sounds interesting.

misi Wed 30-Jul-08 17:48:45

sorry, my days at uni were around 10 years ago and I did environmental management. we had to learn how to identify the things we were supposedly looking after etc, bugs and beasties just didn't do too well on when I didn't have my reference book with me, with the book though I am ok grin now I am studying another degree but at home as a second degree at uni is too expensive, this time it is mainly flora as it is a medical herbalists course. my son is studying ants at the moment. he found a nest a the base of a eucelyptus tree in my garden, dug it out a bit then kept pouring water in the hole to drown them, it shouldn't be, but was really funny, the workman like manner he filled his watering can up from the paddling pool and poured it in the hole, great vid of it too grin

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 13:18:20

misi... just done a bit more research. i think they might be Dronefly larva. do you think this is likely?

if so, will they be harmful if they hatch (not sure if thats the correct terminology) or will they be useful in the allotment?

that sounds like an interesting course. sounds like your son is a chip off the block! im starting a btec horticulture course in september. how do you find it studying and being a single parent at the same time?

thanks for your time...

yorkshirepudding Thu 31-Jul-08 13:19:18

Message withdrawn

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 13:20:11

i wish! no the bodies are long and much bigger than tadpoles.

yorkshirepudding Thu 31-Jul-08 13:33:33

Message withdrawn

misi Thu 31-Jul-08 13:52:25

droneflys? possibly, will have a look. but I thought dronefly larvae were classed as maggots, but it was a long time ago I did this sort of thing wink if you sweep the larvae out and leave on the grass in the heat, they won't do much else except be food for birds.
as my latest degree is home based, no probs being a single parent, I do it when he sleeps, usually from 10pm to 10am grin
no really, I do a lot of work between 9pm and 2am and then finish the week study off when he is with his mum. it can be a struggle sometimes but then when I go out on field trips like we did a few weeks back across the local fields to do a plant ident module, he came with me and helped me pick the flowers/herbs we found. weren't supposed to pick them but he thought is was great fun. I now have a box full of dried up and shrivalled plants which when he has forgotten about them, will go on the compost heap!!

RedHead81 Thu 31-Jul-08 14:01:37

sorry to crash the thread, but seeing as we have people on here who might know.... anyone know how to stop maggots in the green bins?? I have a composter so don't use a green bin, but my neighbours bin always has maggots by the end of the fortnight - she uses compostable bin bags too?????

I have no idea about your bugs - was going to suggest mosquito larvae, until you said they were 2cm??

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 15:13:12

i think the only way to avoid maggots is to prevent flies from getting to any food waste. guess you'd have to keep all bins and bin liners sealed.

misi Thu 31-Jul-08 18:28:15

yes, theres not a lot you can do apart from make sure the lid is on properly and tight. I used to have this when I lived in an area that you put food waste etc into a green bin, was collected every 2 weeks, during the summer I used to take any waste in my car to my shops bin as that was emptied twice a week. a suggestion by the council was to place all food waste in a sealed plastic bag which defeated the whole idea of this collection as the waste was composted but how could you compost plastic bags????????

misi Thu 31-Jul-08 18:30:54

forgot to say, a blue bin would be more useful as flies cannot see blue. thats why old houses kitchen walls were painted blue, so flies didn't land, but the council didn't thin of this, composted green waste/food is considered green so you had a green bin?
otheer than that, just had a thought of using tea tree oil. a few drips around the edge should help see off flies, but would become quite expensive as you would have to renew every day during the summer sad

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 18:49:12

thats amazing, is that true about flies and blue?

LuLuMacGloo Thu 31-Jul-08 18:55:09

Def sounds like drone fly larvae - when they 'hatch' they look like bees and are good pollinators! The larvae have a horrible name - it's something like 'rat tailed maggot'. I freaked out when I found them in my tiny pond but then left them too it and they all disappeared - I presume they evolved and flew off.

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 20:35:41

really? thanks for that lulu. how long before they disappeared?

RedHead81 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:56:41

hmm, think i may get a can of blue car spray!!!

misi Thu 31-Jul-08 22:10:34

apparently so, something to do with ultra violet and something!! I think it is because most flies use infra red to see so the blue spectrum is invisible to them but not sure exactly. all I know is that blue walls in kitchens were very popular and an experiment I saw in a dutch uni when on a field trip there some years ago, they had a ''room'' full of flies the walls and everything else was blue but there were red patches here and there, and the only places the flies landed on were the red patches, the blue was completely free of flies

Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 31-Jul-08 23:43:07

if they are drone fly larvae - wiki says they can cause upset stomachs in humans if you're not careful - also says they live in water badly polluted by organic matter. Here:

wish I hadn't looked at that photo.. barf.

LuLuMacGloo Fri 01-Aug-08 00:59:35

Not sure exactly how long Manky - we when we went on holiday they were there, when we came back they were gone. Also hard to say how long they were in residence because I didn't notice them until they were freakishly big!

mankymummy Fri 01-Aug-08 16:17:19

went to see them today and they are all dead. thanks everyone for your help though...

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