The Q&A Archives: Mystery bugs

Question: While turning the soil in my flower beds this spring, I keep turning up these amber color pupi(sp?) looking bugs, about 1 1/4 long, 3/8 diameter, blunted on one end and coming to a point on the other with darker rings. I don't know what they are and just wondering if they could be harmful to any plant roots. I really don't want to use pesticides in my yard. Thanks

Answer: What you've uncovered are most likely cranefly pupa. When the larvae hatch they feed on the roots of plants. As long as the population isn't too high they won't do a lot of damage to the roots of your plants. I'd pick them out of the soil as you turn it over. Any that you miss will be snatched up by birds or attacked by ground beetles and other predators.

Best wishes with your garden!

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