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Unread 06-22-2010, 12:02 AM
Therion9116 Therion9116 is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Zone: 4a
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 18
Default TINY black bugs on roots.

Today I was watering some one my Neofinetia, and during my inspection I noticed these tiny little black spots on the roots. After watching them for a short while I noticed they were moving around. I'm REALLY worried that I have something harmful living off of my Neos, and would like a little input on what they may be and what I could do about them.

They are really small; tiny as a pinhead, and I can't get any real detail on what they look like. Even with a magnifying glass I have a hard time seeing anything other than: Black, Round-ish, and move fairly quickly. I've found them on 5 of my neos (which are mounded in sphagnum moss in the traditional way). Any input? I'm about to pull my hair out, as I've dealt with pest after pest, and just FINALLY had a stretch of time without any problems... And now these.....

Invasion of the orchid-eaters. Boo.

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Unread 06-22-2010, 09:17 PM
phearamedusa phearamedusa is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 488

Hi Brian,
Is it possible that it might be springtails? Normally they don't do any damage to the top of the plant or the roots. They usually eat decomposing matter.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 08:01 AM
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RosieC RosieC is offline
Senior Member


I had wondered spring tails as well, but didn't suggest it because spring tails are usualy white and I would never describe them as round... at least the ones I have seen.

They do fit the description of fast moving and very tiny though.

Things like Mealy bugs are meant to be slow, I had aphids on the flowers of one of mine recently... I don't know enough about pests to suggest anything else though.
My Orchid Photos
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Unread 06-25-2010, 03:51 PM
RobS RobS is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 551

Most likely mites I have seen them one some of my plants to tiny black / dark brow slow moving spots. I suspect them to be harmless either predating on springtails or eating decaying organic matter.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 12:48 PM
Poppyseed Poppyseed is offline

Join Date: Sep 2009
Zone: 5a
Location: Denver, CO
Age: 30
Posts: 52

i just found 4 of these on one of my spiking phals roots. they were all huddled together. It almost looked like metallic speckles of paint until i noticed them moving around. They are tiny, tiny, tiny....and very round. almost like a perfect little pin-point sized dome.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 08:03 PM
Therion9116 Therion9116 is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Zone: 4a
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 18

Well, I repotted all of my orchids. Got them out of their media, washed with water at a decent pressure, and got all the bugs off with a q-tip. They don't seem to have come back at all, so hopefully they're gone. They didn't seem to be causing any damage, so if they come back, I think I just wont worry about it. On the up side, I know how happy all of my 'chids are, and they're sitting pretty in their new media. Not a wasted effort, no matter what.

Thanks all!
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Unread 07-10-2010, 09:51 PM
vmax3000 vmax3000 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Zone: 8a
Member of:AOS; OCA
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 516

I read this post with great interest. I had some "infesting" a Sophronitis cernua. How I noticed was because one of it's little leaves yellowed and fell off...of course it was the new growth.. I sprayed them all off, treated the partially rotted pseudobulb and it seems to have recovered. When I first starting cleaning up the plant, I thought it was covered in dirt specks. Upon realizing that they were shiny...and they moved, I went crazy with the cleaning. I don't know if I was dealing with two events and associating the yellowing rot issue with the bugs, when it was actually something else. I would be interested in finding out more about them, though.
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black, neos, pest, time, tiny, roots, bugs

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