Tiny black bugs in terrarium.
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  #1  
Old 07-07-2011, 08:33 PM
Paul Mc Paul Mc is offline
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium. Male
Default Tiny black bugs in terrarium.

OK, so I know I have a few fungus gnats in my terrarium but after I introduced two carnivorous plants I noticed that the population dwindled to almost nothing.

However, today I noticed really tiny (needle point sized) black bugs crawling all over the place in there. They are so small I can't even really see them or get a picture. I just see them moving around and climbing on plants and stuff.

They do not fly when I swoop in to squash them though.

Do you guys have any ideas what they could be and how to solve the persistent issue of bugs in there?

I was using some bacillus pellets (sp?) in my handheld spray bottle but took them out after a while because I was fearful of too much chemical buildup inside the terrarium. Was this a good assumption to follow through with or was I wrong?

BTW, the two carnivorous plants I got were specific for fungus gnats and I do not see any of the new small bugs trapped in their leaves.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2011, 02:09 AM
PaphMadMan PaphMadMan is online now
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium. Male
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From the size they could be Springtails (Collembola). They are literally everywhere in moist soil/organic environments and need high humidity. Your terrarium is probably a perfect home. If you ever noticed them jumping that is certainly what they are, but you might not notice it at that size.

They are technically not insects, but a related class. They usually cause no harm to healthy plants but can be a sign of unhealthy soil conditions. Lower humidity and letting the soil dry would probably help control them but that rather defeats the purpose of a terrarium. I think they can be controlled with pyrethrum, a natural insecticide. There are certainly other insecticides that will work.

I'm not familiar with the Bacillus product you are using, but Bacillus is a bacteria common in soils, and if that is all that is in the spray there is no danger of chemical build-up, assuming you are using good quality water. What is listed in the ingredients? It may be that the Springtails are eating the Bacillus, and you are providing a buffet as well as a perfect home.

Are your carnivores Butterworts? It may be that the springtails are too small for the plants to trap efficiently.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 10:20 AM
Paul Mc Paul Mc is offline
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium. Male
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Thank you for the information. I have not seen them jump, but they move very fast, lol...

Perhaps it's not bacillus then. It's the stuff you put in standing water to prevent mesquito's and it is a chemical although it's supposed to be plant and animal safe. However, it also says people should not drink any water that has had it in there - but it's safe for animals, lol...?
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:19 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium. Female
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Paul Mc,

I know this was years ago, but did you happen to find a solution to the bugs? I currently have similar bugs in my terrarium (black, don't fly, very tiny). Fungus gnats usually fly and the bugs in my terrarium do not fly. I'm a bit doubtful they are springtails but I could be wrong. Any help is appreciated!
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2018, 10:20 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium.
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I'm not Paul, nor do I play him on TV, but many moons ago I recall a grower found that placing some dry ice (not in contact with anything) in the terrarium and sealing it, so the carbon dioxide replaces the air, did the trick with no plant damage.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2018, 02:19 PM
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SillyKeiki SillyKeiki is offline
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It is hard to know without a picture and I know I am just throwing in ideas and suggestions, but could they be Oribatid mites? I had them on one of my Vandas some time ago, but I think they all died after I moved. A real pity, they were good guys (they feed on dead plant material, algae and fungi). And they look like very tiny, round things. But they move slowly, and if yours move fast then it can't be them.

Oribatida - Wikipedia
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2018, 06:47 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Tiny black bugs in terrarium. Female
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Thanks for your responses! Silly Keiki, they move fast unfortunately. I wasn't able to take a good look at them until recently. It appears that they aren't black, but instead a light silvery/whitish iridescent color. There's no way I'd be able to photograph them since they're so small. They're more rectangular in shape than round.
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