Tons of these bugs in my garden bed! Please help identify a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.


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I was weeding out the front garden bed yesterday and noticed that there are a TON of these bugs crawling around just under the surface of the dirt and mulch (not on top). What are they and how do I get rid of them? I have a bunch of bite marks on leaves from the rose bush and other things as well :(



They look like the silverfish we have, except they aren't silver.....

I packed my NAS north american insect guide already, sorry.

I imagine they are shredders. They are probably beneficial. The bite marks on the leaves are probably from something else. These look like they feed on the wood, thereby shredding it, and turning into food for the microbes sooner. This in turn leads to a more fertile soil.

Keep them away from the house if they do eat wood, for obvious reasons.
They look like sow bugs to me. They like damp conditions. They will eat your plants if no other food is available. You can trap them in wet newspaper or upside down coffee cans. There is a bait on the market to kill them but I prefer trapping them or poke holes along the bottom edge of a sour cream container (sow bug size) put in a quarter cup of cornmeal and put the top back on. I don't know if its true, but its said they love the cornmeal but can't digest it and die. Good luck.
They might also be springtails. They also love the damp and dark. Diatomaceous earth (food grade) sprinkled under mulch will reduce the numbers or spray them with lemon juice.
Thanks guys. At least now I have something to go on. I think you're right by the way about the bite marks on the rose bush leaves. I was told to use a spray insecticide on it, as well as our butterfly bush which is having the same issue.

On a positive note, the bulbs we planted are finally peeking through the soil :)
(some tulips, lillies, and crocosmia)
Confirmation...they are Sowbugs. Reducing moisture will help as they require moist areas to survive. Diatomaceous Earth can also be mixed in where they are at which will dehydrate them and kill them.

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