spirea plants and white worms in the soil

Zone southeast missouri | susan s added on June 16, 2014 | Answered

I bought 2 spirea plants, but it was about 2 weeks before I could plant them. One of them had hundreds of white worms or bugs in the soil of the plant. My husband thought they were termites. I'm not so sure... Any ideas? I thought they were getting enough water, since we've had an abundance of rain. The bushes both looked like they were dying, although only one had the bugs in the potting soil.

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susan s
Answered on June 19, 2014

Thanks for the info. They were not symphylans. After searching for pictures of small white bugs, the one most similar was the Japanese beetle larvae, but I didn't notice the brownish head. They were curled into the "C" shapes and were white, about 1/4" long.
We went ahead and planted the shrub... in hindsight, we should have returned it. :(

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Answered on June 18, 2014

They might be symphylans - https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/garden-symphylan-small-white-worm-like-bugs-in-the-soil.htm
I hope you returned the plants to the nursery from which you bought them. There shouldn't be hundreds of any kind of bug after only 2 weeks.

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