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  #1  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:01 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Very small silvery thin bugs! Female
Exclamation Very small silvery thin bugs!

Not sure if I should post this on the pest & disease forum but I'll go ahead here.

So today I was watering several of my group. A NoID, reads 'Pink Pirate' & number on side of pot I later discovered, I bought from a box store and never quarantined over a month (yeah bad I know but I thought eh, been there a while now everything looks good) just revealed many very small pinhole sized crawling bugs. They crawling on the roots and medium. I had forgotten to fertilize so after I soaked I poured on the Miracle-Gro solution and BAM noticed one right away. Then another. And another. They're very small like I said but thin, don't look spider-like. They're kind of white, but mostly silvery. Please tell me these aren't young Mealy Bugs!!!!!

I wiped a couple up with my finger and smashed them of course which then gives me no chance to look closer at them, lol. And they move moderately fast. The plant looks pretty good really although there's one small scab like thing on the underside of a leaf.

Last I bought some supplies from a grower supply I asked about Physan 20, just to have on hand. The guy said he'd rather I use Hydrogen Peroxide. I can't remember how much he said, couple ounces to a gallon of water maybe?....But not knowing exactly I haven't made any moves against these pests other than moving Pink Pirate to the other room away from everyone else. While it's been sitting next to all my others () I didn't noticed anything readily on them like I did here.

Also, I'm expecting three new Orchids, one maybe today the other two no later than next Wednesday. I've already got my two rescue Orchids "quarantined" in the front room (the group is in dining room just before front room). So I guess I have three questions:

1) Do you have any idea what these bugs are? Doubt a picture would capture them. I've seen fruitflies cruising around a few weeks ago but have never seen their larvae. Could this be them?

2) What's the best, safest (to plant & I have birds) way to eradicate them? How long is treatment typically, how long should it be quarantined?

3) What are the best quarantine methods for new and diseased plants? Should I put the new ones in the front room with the rescues (one is great, except some mold I noticed on medium prior to this water; the other I posted about needing help because it seems to have suffocated)? Or should they all go in a completely different room?

Okay, sorry to be more complicated, 'Pink Fred' Paph. I got couple weeks ago from Orchid exhibit and just put him with the group trusting my source. So to break it all down:
Should the two rescues remain by themselves. The rest of the group stay in their room by the east window. The "Pink Pirate" with bugs in the bedroom by itself. And the new guys...what's best for them? Quarantine with rescues in front room? Different room? Can they all be together? They're from different vendors.

I hope I've not made this too convoluted. Thanks in advance for any help. I'm worried about these bugs!! (My first!)

Lotis
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:35 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Very small silvery thin bugs! Female
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Are they so tiny that you wouldn't be able to see them if they weren't moving?

If so... then I suspect they are springtails. These feed on rotting vegetation. I had a plant infested with these when I got it. I changed the medium completely, pitched the old stuff and cut off the rotting roots. I allowed the plant's roots to air dry over night before I repotted it in clean bark that I poured boiling water on, and allowed to soak overnight.

Haven't seen one since.

I believe my infestation was limited to that one plant as I have not seen them again.
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:46 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Very small silvery thin bugs! Female
Default Good question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomGemini View Post
Are they so tiny that you wouldn't be able to see them if they weren't moving?

If so... then I suspect they are springtails. These feed on rotting vegetation. I had a plant infested with these when I got it. I changed the medium completely, pitched the old stuff and cut off the rotting roots. I allowed the plant's roots to air dry over night before I repotted it in clean bark that I poured boiling water on, and allowed to soak overnight.

Haven't seen one since.

I believe my infestation was limited to that one plant as I have not seen them again.

I hope it's that simple!! But I have relatively good eyesight but I would say maybe I would think they were just little flecks in the medium were they not moving. Looking close I couldn't focus in on them; they're thinner than a grass seed.

Thanks for reading through that long post btw, I appreciate it. Figures this would come up just as I'm getting new ones! And I assume you're saying your repotted it AFTER soaking bark in boiling water? I will say that this plant was never repotted after I brought it home since it was flowering and I was even less experienced then. But I've been thinking the almost dirt like medium it's in is probably bad. I have newly purchases coconut choir and clay pebbles too. My bark is limited right now.

Thanks again!
Lotis

---------- Post added at 11:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------

I had browsed some of the pest and disease resources out there and couldn't remember the name, but I believe they do look like Springtails now that you've said that. You could say I lazily posted here out of haste and anxiety!!

Thanks!
Lotis
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:49 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Yes, that is what I meant.

What I do is I put the kettle on, measure out some bark into a bowl and put it in the sink, then when the kettle whistles, I pour the entire kettle into the bowl, over the bark and then I let it sit overnight to cool before I use it. Then the next day, I will repot my orchid, using this soaked bark.

This method opens up the bark really well so that it can hold moisture better than if you didn't do it this way.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2014, 02:06 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Thank you that's good to know just in general!
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:24 PM
quiltergal quiltergal is offline
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Definitely sounds like Springtails. When they show up it's a sure sign the media is way past needing to be replaced. They are kind of like the canary in the coal mine.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:45 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Thank you! Makes me get that should'a would'a could'a feeling! I knew that medium was crap I was just happy to keep blooms for a whole month for once!!! That's probably why the flowers are looking sort of decrepit, not wilting at all, just thinning around the edges. I figured this to be age, that probably they're dying soon. It is growing a new leaf though!

I can't help but ask since I'm still on here (GO AWAY SELF!) although I should be doing this research myself later (you guys are so great and experienced though ), do springtails spread to other plants readily? After repotting should it stay quarantined?

thanks.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:48 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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I didn't even thinking about doing that and haven't had an issue with them. I don't think that they cause any particular harm, they are just an indicator that things are not going as they should be in the pot.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:08 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Reiterating what others have mentioned, from the description it does sound like they're springtails.

Springtails are harmless. They are good indicators for the need to change the medium out. They feed on rotting vegetation and fungus, hence why they're extremely abundant in a pile of humus or a wet, rotting log.

Different species have different temperature tolerances, but many of them really like constantly moist or wet places.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 04-03-2014 at 05:11 PM..
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