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little crawlies in the stones

This is a discussion on little crawlies in the stones within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; so strange. i thought by switching to stones from bark and other organic materials i ...

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  1. #1
    hohcs is offline Member
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    Default little crawlies in the stones

    so strange. i thought by switching to stones from bark and other organic materials i can say goodbye to crawlies in medium forever but today i woke up early while it is still dark and turned on the lights on my plant table only to find little crawlies scrambling to hide. as i turned the stones, i uncover more. they are like shiny black and one has wings. not sure what they are. big enough to be seen but not big enough to identify. also i have not seen many bugs to know them. not sure if they are harmful to the plant. also what do they possibly be feeding on. i presume there is no rotting stuff in the stone mix. the roots? oh dear... or just the water? with nutrients?

    i should give the medium a good drench of neem oil?

    chung shih

  2. #2
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    Without a pic, that's going to be really hard to identify. Sounds like some type of gnat that came in on the roots or the underside of leaves, and enjoys the moist conditions of your media?

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    I would try running a little soapy water thru the pellets then follow with clear , I am not sure about putting Neem through the pellets it is oily might not be good for the roots , sounds like fungus knats just a guess ,they love moist places . Gin

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    these fungus knats are they harmless to the plants? A few of my plants have them. What is a good way to get rid of them?

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    I thought without rotting materials in the medium there won't be fungus gnats.

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    There is usually debis in any mix from old roots ect . the knats are about the only thing I can come up with, they lay eggs in damp places then hatch out , I keep the regular fly strips up , in a bark mix or Spag. let things dry out . Try laying slices of raw potato on the top of the pellets in the evening check them in the am and see what is on them . works to monitor for the tiny bush snails too. I would think running a lot of water through the pots would get rid of them . I have heard they feed on the leaves and roots ? don't know for sure . Gin

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    The surest way to get rid of them is to repot in new medium.
    I,ve still got a few plants in bark & i use the sticky strips to keep the number of fungus gnats down.

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    I understand that they're called fungus gnats because their piercings into leaves supposedly lead to fungus.

    Frankly, I have never experienced that. I call those bark gnats, because they hover persistently around older medium, but I have to say, other than being eyesores, I cannot once think of a time that a plant or plants they've been hovering around caught some kind of rot. They may enjoy moist places to hang out in (and possibly breed), but they've never been a disease issue that I can think of or remember. Maybe I've just been lucky...

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    These may be soil mites, rather than fungus gnats. I have a number of so-called dry wells under some of my orchids--essentially pebbles with water in a plastic container. The idea is to increase humidity. At any rate, often when I fill the wells, I see these miniscule critters scurry up to the dry stones. They are primarily detritus feeders (decaying organic matter is what they're after) and don't do any harm to the plants--at least as far as I know. If you wish to control them, you can zap them with Safer's soap or other insecticidal soap product. (I hardly think chemicals are warranted for these critters.)
    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Check this site out, may help you identify...

    www.bug-guy.com/more_about_gnats.htm


    I, (again possibly because I'm from Iowa originally), know these only as 'dog pecker gnats'. Why, you ask? (Just kidding here, I didn't really intend to explain this.)


    I've had these off and on, but don't seem to have ever had them cause a problem? I had never heard that they bite into plants....I always assumed they fed off the decaying potting medium. If it is true they will spread fungus, I'll probably try to get better control of them. I know they feed on fungus (which is why they are called fruit flies sometimes...they love a banana peel...make sure you don't let fruit rot in your indoor garbage can or you'll be sure to start getting these.)

    If anyone has any further information, by all means do post.

    Matt

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