Answer: They sound like grubs, which are larvae of beetles. Birds love them so if you're digging a garden bed and uncover some, the birds will have a feast. Unless there's a huge population of grubs in any one area of your garden, they're not anything to worry about. A huge population can munch the roots of your lawn or other plants and cause significant damage. If this is the case, there are controls available at your local garden center.
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