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unidentified bugs

This is a discussion on unidentified bugs within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; While watering this morning, I noticed that the tiny white dust on the surface of ...

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  1. #1
    peteMc's Avatar
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    Default unidentified bugs

    While watering this morning, I noticed that the tiny white dust on the surface of the watering trough was swimming. Really, really small - an mm or so, at most - elongated teardrop, with what appear to be antennae at one end. Nothing showing movement on any surfaces of the plants, no root damage, leaf damage...it appears they're living in the sphag/treefern of a couple of my Stan.'s baskets. Nothing any bigger in sight, so I'm thinking what I'm seeing is it's mature stage.

    Impossible to provide a picture, they're just too small. Anyone seen anything like that before?

    p

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    Hi Pete,

    I've found neem oil to be effective against all types of critters (even NOIDs). It's 100% organic - it's the oil from the neem tree in India, and isn't dangerous to you, your plants or any intergeneric pets you might be raising.

    When I find uninvited guests in my pots, I make up a double strength bath and soak the whole pot. Then I spray the leaves with the normal strength. For stubborn pests, repeat the process weekly until they cry uncle.

    I don't know if anyone locally carries neem oil, but I just bought a jug of it mail-order and have plenty to share. I'm in Marblehead which isn't too far from you.

    Julie

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    thank you, Julie...the baskets have been soaked and are dripping on the floor as i post this not neem, but murphy's oil soap and a shot of isopropyl, it seems to work. i do appreciate the generous offer.

    for some reason, i think the things are a lot more interested in the mix than the plants, and i can't say why i think so. i can't find anything remotely close to them that have had any write-up about being directly dangerous to the plants, my thought is that they may accelerate the breakdown of the medium, at worst.

    of course, that doesn't make them welcome here .
    if they're not pitching in on the rent, they're gone.

    p

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    ROFL!! These google ads are killing me. One just came up under this thread for "The BUGMAN Pest Control, commercial & residential!"

    Pete, white, tiny, and teardrop-shaped might be baby thrips, but that's totally a guess, and more than likely a wrong one: I haven't seen things like that around here. If they're in and around the media, they can also be larval forms of bark gnats, sometimes called fungus gnats because the adults can pierce tiny holes in the leaves and start a fungus infection.

    Whatever they are, the oil soap or neem should help control them...

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    thanks.

    thrips i've seen, they showed up on a non-orchid houseplant a while back, i'm pretty sure this isn't them. we'll see how it goes, doesn't seem a major problem

    pete

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    Default Springtails?!

    Sounds like springtails to me. I have them in my trays sometimes, though I never see them in/on the plants. I also have them in the basement. They are really quite common in damp locations. I've never heard them to be a problem. If you do a search, there's a bunch of info you'll turn up.

    Q: What are Springtails?
    A: Springtails (Collembola spp.) are small insects that feed on decaying material, fungi, bacteria, algae, and pollen. They are milky white or gray with elongated soft, rounded bodies. Wingless, they propel themselves by means of a forked muscular appendage at the tip of their abdomen to "spring" themselves into the air.

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    if any of them jump, they're springtails....and while I don't know for sure, I believe their larvae resemble disgusting tiny 2 mm whitish worms.

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    they did appear to be trying to jump. they also appeared to not care for being in water; it wasn't long before they stopped doing much at all.

    i'm having another look this morning, have eliminated several baskets as a possible source....


    p

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    Springtails--cool!

    Did I already mention my vivisection tray??


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    hehe. vivisection.

    had very few that were moving this morning, seem to be coming from only one or two baskets. yesterday's treatment really rained on their parade by the looks of things.

    i'll flush the baskets out a couple more times before retreatment later this week.

    p

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