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By Snake

Berkshire, United Kingdom Gb

What i thought was eggs in my compost bin on closer inspection they are moving. There is also smaller than ant size black flys . Has anyone got any ideas what they are. Will they effect the compost ?




This photo is so out of focus it only tells us that they are white and oval. Any chance you could try again Snake? Try replacing this photo rather than starting another question.
What size are they?
If they're moving independently that suggests maggots, or grubs. They could be ants eggs being carried around by ants. If they are ants it means your compost heap needs watering as it's too dry. Maggots will be eating the remains in the bin so helping to break it down. You'll need to take the lid off at arm's length and stand back with your mouth shut and holding your breath for a while as any flies that have hatched fly out if they are maggots. Fruit flies for instance lay eggs on fruit peel that can end up in the bin.

17 Aug, 2010


If they are maggots does that mean you are putting the wrong type of 'food' in the compost bin, I wonder? If ants eggs then maybe as Beattie says put the hose onto the compost wet it well then turn the compost heap over with a fork.

17 Aug, 2010


I've had little fruit fly maggots in my compost bin. They lay their eggs before it gets into the composter. Then the fruit flies come out when you lift the lid.

17 Aug, 2010


Beattie wouldn't they be really tiny ? Because fruit flies are minute.

17 Aug, 2010


Thanks to all. Im new to sending photos. Will attmpt to get it clearer.Beatie, you said you have had fruit fly maggots. Are the little flies black ? and will they effect the compost ? do i need to get rid of them,if so how? All these questions. Thanks snake

18 Aug, 2010


Sorry for the delay in answering Snake, I've been away.

Fruit fly maggots are small, but you can see them with the naked eye. We still don't know how big these things in the photo are.

Fruit flies are the little flies you get round ripe bananas and on oranges in the fruit bowl. They're harmless and very common. They feed on tiny natural moulds on the skin of fruit - hence the name - and reproduce very quickly which is why they were used for lots of early investigations into genetics and inheritance.

If that's what they are, Snake, they won't harm the compost - they're just another agent breaking it all down. I just step back and hold my breath when opening the lid of the composter til they've flown out.

23 Aug, 2010


Beattie, Hope you had a good time away. I have taken a clearer pic with a penny beside these " THINGS " to help with sizing, hope this helps Im thinking they may be fruit flies as i do tend to[ rather wastefully] throw over ripe fruit in the composting. Thanks for your help. Snake

25 Aug, 2010


They look like fruit fly larvae to me. They would be there even if you didn't throw the over ripe fruit in - just the peel, as the tiny flies lay their eggs on the outside of the fruit. They're all part of the system of breaking down things that have finished their job so that the molecules in them can be recycled. I'm sure your compost is fine. :-)

25 Aug, 2010

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