Bugs / insects in african violet soil, plant/leaves are great

cookie_growJuly 2, 2014


I have this one plant which has some tiny brown insects crawling around on the soil. The soil is green due to algae/moss I think and there were a few brown leaves with white tiny mold spots (on which there were quite a few bugs). The plant otherwise is doing great, its very healthy and no problems.

Can anyone ID these bugs on the soil?? For now I have removed the dead/rotted leaves and sprayed the plant with neem oil (thats all I have for now). I have also isolated and placed the plant in a ziploc bag. I have yet to change the soil and repot.

Please help me out with any suggestions as to what this might be? Have not seen them before. They have little antennas / feet and are light brown in color (oblong kind of in shape, not round).


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Hunh? Are they ants?
Suggest you repot, they might be below the soil level
and attacking the roots. Were the plants on a window sill
where some outside critters not normally associated with attacking AVs might have gained entry? A nurseryman told
me that AVs are very sweet and attract all sorts of bugs.
Was your soil sterile? Sometimes, organic soil has critters.
Even though the plants look well now, that might not last.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:20AM
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I think I know what bugs you are talking about. Not sure what they are called, but they like wet conditions, and feed on decaying organic matter.

Ok, i did a little digging around. They are called springtails.


This post was edited by Lauraeli on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 3:35

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:24AM
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Springtails (if that's what you have) are generally of no harm to the plant. They feed on dead plant material, usually at the soil surface and will much prefer to munch on the peat in the soil mix than living plant tissue. Treating to kill them is likely to be harder on your plant than simply leaving things as they are. I wouldn't worry about them too much. I see them at times with my plants, and I've seen them in other people's plants. They seem to come with the territory.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:13PM
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When dealing with plant pests-ID first before you start treating.

The pests you have are likely springtails. As others have said, they feed on rotted, organic material. They are one of nature's way of disposing of dead plant material. They are not interested in live plants.Keep your plants clean and they will leave.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:56AM
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Thanks! everyone, yes they are springtails. I will go ahead and clean up the plant and see if they leave. They just look like they are crawling everywhere.

I read that they feed on moist conditions, so I am planning to let the soil dry out and hopefully they will leave. I am just worried that if they dont leave they will spread to my other friends.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:59PM
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You don't need to dry your soil. Just remove their food source-dead, rotting stuff-and they will be gone. It is the dead stuff, not the moisture, that is the problem. Concentrate on that!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:29PM
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ok great, thanks Linda. I have gone ahead and cleaned up the plant. Most of the stuff online about springtails is about them in moist wood and it says to allow the wood to dry to limit reproduction.

They seem to survive on mold/fungus and reproduce in moist conditions. My soil is soaking and they seem to have increased tremendously in number!!!



    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Try not to let your soil get too wet or stay too wet for too long. It's an open invitation to rot.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:44AM
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