How to Rid Root Maggots From Turnips

Written by veronica smith-jennings
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Root maggots can plague turnip crops and spread from one plant to another quickly if they are not killed. Using preventive measures such as row covers and crop rotation or more extreme measures such as pesticides, you can stop root maggots and prevent them from doing further harm to your turnip plant. With careful attention, you can ensure you choose the best methods for their removal and limit possible dangers to maggots' natural predators and other beneficial creatures.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Row covers
  • Matches
  • Rove beetles
  • Liquid pesticide

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  1. 1

    Plant turnips at the end of June or beginning of July. When the roots grow significantly in warm weather, they are less at risk to suffer from maggot root damage.

  2. 2

    Cover turnip plants with row covers to avert root maggots during the earlier part of the growing season.

  3. 3

    Burn immediately or throw away any plants already infested by root maggots. These plants will attract the root maggot fly, and composting the plant will continue to provide a home for maggots and flies.

  4. 4

    Release rove beetles into the turnip plants. These are a natural predator to the root maggots.

  5. 5

    Use a liquid pesticide at the start of the turnip growing season, and soak the soil. This should be a last resort, however, because it will kill not only the root maggots, but also worms and other beneficial insects.

  6. 6

    Rotate crops, and create as much space as possible from the current crop to the previous year's crop. Make sure there are at least 650 feet between fields.

Tips and warnings

  • Root maggots may be the problem if the plant stops growing or starts to wilt inexplicably.
  • Root maggots are more prevalent in cooler temperatures.

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