mites killing my plants!?! - Dendroboard
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:43 AM
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Default mites killing my plants!?!

ok,
two weeks ago, i bought a lot of plants at a local nursery for my new vivarium i am setting up. i noticed this week that some of the plants aren't doing so good (they are still in their original pots waiting to be planted). i took a closer look to see some tiny mite looking insects crawling on the soil. i have seen these on my bonsai trees before and they have nearly killed several of my trees. i usually break out the garden pesticide, but i can't do that to plants intended on going in my vivarium.
i have run some soapy water through the infected plants but im not entirely convinced it will work (in fact, it hasnt). i do not want to accidentally put a pest into my vivarium that will kill the plants. this is extremely frustrating since i had hoped to plant the vivarium this weekend. any suggestions?
the plants are as follows:
cyclamen hederifolium "cyclamen",
ploystichum polyblepharum "tassel fern",
athyrium "japanese painted fern"

Thanks, ~Lauren
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Old 04-30-2005, 01:10 PM
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Probably aphids, try to grab a picture. One of the best pest controllers is a frog! Add them to the viv it will be like a new drive up fast food place opening. Green castle maybe, lol.
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:17 PM
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hi stitch,
thanks for the reply. i wish the pest was aphids, b/c they would not be a problem. it would be like you said "a froggy buffet" . but they are much smaller than that and i only see them in the soil. the best i have found to describe them would be a cyclamen mite, but i still dont know how to get rid of them safely before adding the plants to my vivarium. washing the plant is the only thing i know to do. i think the darts would still eat them too, but if they cause this much harm to my plants they are not worth the risk. i would try to get a pic, but they are too small for my crappy digital camera to take a decent pic.
grrr, this is frustrating.. .

:evil:
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:48 PM
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I was reading somewhere that you should be able to wipe down the plants leaves with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill whatever is on them and the alcohol will evaporate off (safe for frogs once its dry). you could probable treat it once every couple of days untill they are gone. Not positive because I don't know what your plants have and also have never actually tried it. The only thing that would worry me is putting to much on the plant.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:23 PM
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thanks for the reply hexen. i have used alcohol to get rid of scale before and it works! i think it would be a good option for me to try on the mites.
i wrote an email to the agriculture department of a college and here is a portion of the reply email about treatment:
"I would suggest that you treat your plants with insecticidal soap to suffocate the mites.* Take the plants out of the terrarium, treat, and return to the tank 24 hours later.* This procedure should not harm your frogs in any way."
sounds ok, and i have researched insecticidal soap and it seems to be harmless to animals. its basically a very pure form of soap.
anyone else tried insecticidal soap on their terrarium plants?
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:58 PM
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Default mites

my experience with spider mites on orchids is that they are a problem when the humidity is too low in the grow room. I doubt that will help you as I suspect your humidity is high but if not...
it is a creepy crawly mite? not a springtail or fungus knat (?sp)?
Are they actually on the plants, undersurface of leaves and doing visible harm? Maybe a harmless pseudo-pest.
Best of luck
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Old 05-29-2005, 06:04 AM
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hi shawn,

i really believe they might be fungus gnats because i have seen many gnats around my plants. i have basically just been washing them off with sudsy water and rinsing them well before planting in the viv.
the damage that fungus gnats cause is similar to what i have observed too. also they are encouraged by soil that is overly moist which makes sense b/c some of the starter pots had poor drainage. for a better ID, the offenders were seen on the surface of the soil or right below it and they looked like a tiny 1/16 to 1/32 bug that crawled.
who knows, might still be my persistant mite phobia (lol), but thats my guess. thanks for the insight. ~L
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Old 05-29-2005, 11:46 AM
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Default fungus gnats

Why not plant a sundew or 2? they capture fungus gnats with ease.
I have had them in my tanks as well and have not noticed any detrimental effects on any plants from the gnats. Maybe the larvae are the problem, I dont know. I am not sure fungus gnats are you problem if you are seeing issues with the plants themselves. I'd still try the Drosera treatment.

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