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Thread: Mystery pest

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Mystery pest

    Just found 2 unknown bugs in my nepenthes pot, infestation doesn't seem high for either, but I don't know what they are, so I am very concerned.

    1st. Very very small, about the size of these periods, maybe even smaller. Dark colored, either black or dark brown it is hard to say. They like the undersides of the leaves, don't seem to be going after new foliage, like to be towards the base of the leaf rather than the tip. No webs, move slowly. Currently not particularly numerous, no signs of leaf damage or anything else as far as I can tell. If I spray them, they stay on the leaf. Although I have seen what I would call Braille like bumps in the leaves, both new and old, they don't appear to be damage but my other nepenthes don't have them so I'm not sure.

    2nd. Only one or two of these as far as I can tell, but they might be underground. About the size of springtails, fast moving, don't hop, ghostly white all over, white as white can be.

    So what do you guys think they are, just random bugs or do you think they might be harmful? I need to know what kind of bugs they are to get rid of them properly, but I have never seen either before.
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

  2. #2
    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    I wish I could take pictures, but the bugs are too small for my camera.
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Sarah,
    I suggest you do a Google Images search for "soil mites" and see if you recognize any of the species that show up in the results.

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    maxima's Avatar
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    1st - Might be predatory mites. There's also a round and dark colored species of springtail that walks a steady pace like that but it does hop when pushed. That one may cause plant damage also.

    2nd is probably thrips. Silvery, elongated and fast moving. They do hop but may be too quick for you to notice.

    These are some of the bugs I've come to know over the years but for sure they might be different things, need photos really.

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Well, I have the pesticide Sevin, concentrated form, kills both mites and thrips. Looked up mites, wish I hadn't, too many close ups, and like I said all I see are very small dots for the first one, I can't make out any details. The second could be thrips I guess, if there are white species of thrips, but I only see the white bug in the soil, not on the plant. Plus, it is more similar shaped to springtails than thrips.

    Anyone ever used Sevin brand pesticide on nepenthes? Leaves and soil? The book Savage Garden lists it as potentially damaging drosera leaves, but the leaves will recover, but I have never used it on a nepenthes so I don't know how much to use or if there would be negative effects from using too much.
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Well, it's definitely not scale or mealybug at least. And that apparently I caught both infestations apparently early, as I don't see them without really looking. And no damage had appeared... yet.
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

  7. #7
    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoSarah View Post
    Well, it's definitely not scale or mealybug at least. And that apparently I caught both infestations apparently early, as I don't see them without really looking. And no damage had appeared... yet.
    The only way to identify them without a camera is the old fashioned way. Try to snag one with a damp q-tip, pop it in a ziploc bag and freeze it. Get yourself a jeweler's loupe (usually 12x magnification) and then you'll be able to compare a little more closely to the pictures.

    I haven't run into pests yet, but I think when it happens (notice I didn't say "if"), I think I'll look at some...err...less chemically severe pesticides, such as diluted soap....or something.

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    You don't want to use soap and the like, they are basic and will kill CPs.
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

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