Strange caterpillar like bug in bottom of trash can
I have a trash can in my back yard that I had stored old bags of dog food. I went to empty it out tonight and the bottom of it was filled with this strange bug I have never seen. It looked like there were small ticks crawling all around them too! Pictures are included. Can you identify this for me?

Hi Greg,
Your photos are rather poor quality, so it is impossible to be certain. I am convinced you have some type of maggot. It looks like a Window Fly, Hermetia illucens, Maggot. This is a large black fly that resembles a wasp. According to Hogue: “The larva is robust, tapered in outline, and somewhat flattened, with a tough brown leathery skin covered with numerous short bristles. It is terrestrial and breeds in various organic substances, commonly decaying fruits and vegetables. In urban areas, the larva occurs in garden soil, in piles of compost and ground mulch, and near garbage pails that have been placed on soil.”

As we were responding to Greg, he emailed us back this note:
Garden Soldier fly larvae
I found the type of craeture it was I asked about. It is the garden soldier fly larvae. I have had a tick problem recenly and treated the yard for them. I think that they may have migrated to that small area too. Thanks anyway.
Greg L.

Hi Greg,
The Window Fly is a member of the Soldier Fly family Stratiomyidae.

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