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Thread: Little Shiny Black Bugs of HORROR!!!

  1. #1
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Angry Little Shiny Black Bugs of HORROR!!!

    I don't have any pictures because they're very small, very quick, and don't like being exposed.

    But I just discovered them early this morning in a couple of my plants, which were not doing too well.
    When I saw them, they were crawling over the rhizome and through the soil. I didn't check every pot because..well...that'd be alot and I really should be getting ready for school.
    But Neem Oil didn't deter them, so I dumped out the two noticeably infected plants, rinsed out the pots, and left the plants to soak in distilled water.

    These definitely aren't winged, so I can't figure out how they got in the soil to begin with. They're so small, they'd easily get lost and drown in the water trays. I think.

    Both of those plants were having difficulties (new pitchers were looking sucked dry and left to brown). I haven't noticed anything else having similar difficulties, so I'm hoping some fresh media will do it.

    Can anyone tell me what they were and how to obliterate them?
    Thanks!

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    From your description I'd be inclined towards springtails which come in a sorts of shapes and colors. They should not be a problem for your plants. They eat decaying matter in the soil so massive amount may indicate your peat moss is breaking down.

    Drowning them is likely to be ineffective in eliminating them as they are small enough to float happily on the surface tension of water without getting the least bit wet. Indeed massive colonies of them con be found floating on water.
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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    I don't see how that's possible. I use distilled water and the soil is as fresh as from a three months ago. How it could be degrading so soon is beyond me.

    After an attempt to photographed one, I found something delightful: the second one of these buggers touched the hot deck, it died. Instantaneously. It was pretty friggin amazing.

    My problem is, I don't recall being my soil ever having bugs in it. I mean, not like this.

    Here's the best pictures I could get of one (the plants show the damage I mean- this is different from my earlier damage by spider mites, which I haven't seen yet):







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    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    rove beetle I think.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=r...0&oq=rove+beet

    usually feeding on the things eating decaying organic matter. springtails, fly larvae, etc. possibly fungus feeders. not known to eat plants outright. They are a symptom not the real problem. Need to figure out what the real problem is. Guessing fungal rot in the rhizome attracting insects that feed on decaying plant material and thus attracting the rove beetles.

    need to treat problem and not symptoms.

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    These are the only insects in the soil, although with springtails and rove beetles being so diverse, it's hard to point my finger and say "yes, that's it!" although I'm leaning more towards rove beetles. Would they be interested in mosquito larvae at all? Because my thing is, I'm having a hard time figuring out how they got in my pots in the first place, if they can't be out of the soil, then how did they possibly crawl out from under the rock from which they came, crawl up and over the deck, up the table, swim through the water, up the pot, and into the soil. And do all of this to more than one pot. Like seriously. Nature tends to stick to the most efficient methods, and doing all of that for a meal seems rather contradictory.

    After spraying the soil with a light mist of Neem, I really stirred up these bugs (they refuse to die though). They're in every pot, pretty much, except for the few I just planted within a week.

    I have definitely NEVER had this problem before. I've never had insects dwelling in the soil, and definitely not in these numbers. What stumps me is that they're in pots which have strong, healthy, vigorous and thriving plants. If the plants are so healthy, then why on Earth would the bugs be in there, and in such prolific numbers. I'm really terrified that if this is a case of misidentification, my entire collection will go down. They're also only affecting my CPs.

    Please help ._.
    Last edited by lizasaur; 06-02-2010 at 06:07 PM.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    I don't see how that's possible. I use distilled water and the soil is as fresh as from a three months ago. How it could be degrading so soon is beyond me.
    Soil is various matter in various states of decomposition. Peat is comprised of broken down organic material, so no matter how long you've been using it, there'll be some decaying matter for critters to much on.

    Because my thing is, I'm having a hard time figuring out how they got in my pots in the first place, if they can't be out of the soil, then how did they possibly crawl out from under the rock from which they came, crawl up and over the deck, up the table, swim through the water, up the pot, and into the soil. And do all of this to more than one pot. Like seriously. Nature tends to stick to the most efficient methods, and doing all of that for a meal seems rather contradictory.
    *chuckle* I used to wonder the same thing when I got earthworms in my pots that had a lip, were on a table, on the second story deck, with miles (well, for a worm, anyway) of treacherous dry and hot territory between the soil in the pot and the worm's home. Nature tends to stick to efficient methods in the long term, but we only get there by countless stochastic events. Without knowing a darn thing about the life cycle of your pest, I'd still guess there's the possibility that there were larvae in the soil to begin with.

    As for treatments, the bugs are making their home in the soil, yeah? And you've only got Sarracenia planted in there? Just flood 'em for a while. Enough water to cover the rhizome aught to do. Even flytraps and many Drosera wont be set back much by a good flooding.
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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Thank you Est for being such an amazing help!

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