Thrips, springtails and symphalans

vall3fam(9 CentralCA)November 21, 2007

In the water reservoir of some of my violets, I'm finding some teeny light colored bugs floating on top of the water when I look to replenish the water. They move pretty fast and are so small they just skitter around on the tension of the water surface. On one strep, it looks like dust on the water until I look really close and see movement.

Do I need to worry about these? I don't notice anything moving on any of my blossoms, just on the water surface. I looked on Doctor Optimara and Steve Reed's bug sections and can't decide which of these fit the description. Do symphalans move fast?

Nancy, can you shed some light for me?


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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)


Sounds very much like Symphyla. These are long, thin with two antena. They have many sections of the body and many legs, 12 pair as adults. Colors may vary but they are often very light.

These won't cause a lot of trouble but they do feed on the tiniest roots. If there happens to be a large infestation, the plant will wilt.

Check your soil. Are you using garden loam, by any means? These are often in the garden and eat on fruits and veggies there.

Use a teaspoon of bleach in a gallon of warm water and pour over rootball over the sink. Hopefully any other of these pests will be leached out. Pour the whole gallon over the rootball.

You might also wish to repot using soil less mix only.

I found one on a plant shelf. He died before he had time to get into a plant.


They do move fast.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:31AM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Thanks, Nancy. I do just use a soilless mix that I made up myself. 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite and 1 part vermicilute.

I'll try your suggestion with the bleach solution and then try repotting.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:46PM
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