I walked into the kitchen this morning to discover a batch of small, white, maggoty-looking worms crawling across the stainless steel lid of the trash can and rolling their plump, fleshy, little way down the sides and across the kitchen floor. It was disturbing. Especially coming straight out of a deep sleep. From my initial fog, I wildly wondered how the stripped carcass of a cooked chicken I’d thrown away last night could possibly decompose that fast.
However, upon reluctantly opening the lid with my latex-glove-protected-hands, instead of the fetid stench I feared my quivering nostrils met an almost minty fresh aroma. I realized with dawning relief that these were not maggots after all, but a type of garden pest that is usually invisible, hidden within the cell walls of a leaf. I’ve been battling an infestation of these tiny creatures among my spinach and swiss chard crops, and these ones must have hatched off a bunch of infected leaves I threw in the trash a couple of days ago.
My friends, I give you a rare (low-video quality…sorry!…) glimpse of the leaf miner adult worm stage.