Something bugging me

100mphtortoise(5)July 9, 2013

Ive got these little pests under some of my pots, there silver in color and move fast, any suggestions on what they are and how to get rid of them would be great thank you for looking.

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NeonCactus(8A South Carolina)

Those look like silverfish. They aren't a problem for plants, but they can infest your home. They prey on small insects and like wet conditions. If you really want to get rid of them diatomaceous earth is a great solution.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If you set the pots over a gap in the deck boards (looks like this is outside,) it shouldn't stay moist enough under the pots to attract these things to gather there.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:18AM
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rosemariero(Z9 SW SUNDiegoCA)

I can't see them very well, but they don't seem to be long enough or skinny enough to be silverfish. BUT...if you look up silverfish & they match, then...there you go!

If they are not...maybe you could get a closer/in focus pic?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:34PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Earwigs(or silverfish) Do eat the leaves, flowers and the roots to plants, especially roses(trust me tHis is from experience. They are closely related to cockroaches and like them can feed on a variety of foods including plants(they tend to favor flower petals)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:16PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

I don't think there silverfish, there to small. Sorry the pic is out of focus im useing a smart phone as a camera and they move to fast, there only under my pots after it rains. Ive had them before when I bought substrate for my tortoise. I cured that by freezing the substrate, I can't freeze my cactus though. I think I might just build some kind of metal wire shelf for my plant's and get them up of the ground.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:16PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Earwigs(or silverfish) Do eat the leaves, flowers and the roots to plants, especially roses(trust me tHis is from experience. They are closely related to cockroaches and like them can feed on a variety of foods including plants(they tend to favor flower petals)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:17PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

I don't think there silverfish, there to small. Sorry the pic is out of focus im useing a smart phone as a camera and they move to fast, there only under my pots after it rains. Ive had them before when I bought substrate for my tortoise. I cured that by freezing the substrate, I can't freeze my cactus though. I think I might just build some kind of metal wire shelf for my plant's and get them up of the ground.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:18PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

I don't think there silverfish, there to small. Sorry the pic is out of focus im useing a smart phone as a camera and they move to fast, there only under my pots after it rains. Ive had them before when I bought substrate for my tortoise. I cured that by freezing the substrate, I can't freeze my cactus though. I think I might just build some kind of metal wire shelf for my plant's and get them up of the ground.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I don't know what they are either, but sounds like your thinking is already similar to my comment. If moisture can't congregate under the pots, critters won't either. No doubt you can't stop the rain, but if your cactus is moist enough to harbor soil critters, that doesn't sound good. Raining a lot here, too, trying to keep plants under the porch roof when it rains, out in the sun when it's out, but it's been a lot of shuffling. All kinds of critters are coming up out of the soil so they don't simply drown. I saw worms floating down the river in the front lawn the other day.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 4:13PM
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mfyss

Maybe springtails? But some jumping should be seen. Yale

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 4:28PM
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rosemariero(Z9 SW SUNDiegoCA)

Springtails! THAT's the word I was looking for this morning (in my brain) & all I could think of was Springers. Thanks, Yale!

Check out Springtails online, 100mphtortoise!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 4:49PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't think these are silverfish, which sadly, I've had in my apartment for years. I won't allow exterminator (am afraid of an allergic reaction as my Mom is highly allergic & as a kid I too was very allergic).

The shape, size & color are not right for silverfish (sorry, I didn't take pix of mine). Recently discovered that whole cloves will deter them (think they hate the smell). Once I started tossing a few whole cloves around my place where I'd seen them, I didn't see them any more for months at a time. Then babies came, I refreshed the cloves & they disappear again. Just in case In case anyone has real silverfish in their homes.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 5:03PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

Yes, I think there spring tails, because when I lift the pots you see them and then you don't. thanks everyone all your help was very appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 5:32PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

doesn't look like silverfish though hard to be completely sure from this photo. I would guess either thrips or springtails.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:41PM
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overtis

OK.I have some bugs like these I belive they are the same ones as yours on my Jades.I have lost 2 of my jades alredy to them they suck the plant inside out and I always find them when i remove the sucked out part.They are always under the pot and i belive in the soil aswell I don't know what to do can some one help or has expirience with something like this?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:24AM
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rina_

If I remember correctly, springtails like to live in leaf litter/compost and similar. And they like moist environment. Maybe with all that rain we have been having the conditions are more favourable? Also, what kind of soil do you have in the pots - maybe more organic?

Springtails are found everywhere, some species in tree canopies. If you look closely at compost there is many of them. They are beneficial, but some species will feed on tubers of plants.
I try to keep my pots elevated, especially from wood surfaces (the moisture under not only attracts bugs, but also damages the wood). I use clay 'pot feet', bricks, rocks, upside-down clay saucers or pots, always leaving space in between for better air circulation.

Rina

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:04AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

"OK.I have some bugs like these I belive they are the same ones as yours on my Jades.I have lost 2 of my jades alredy to them they suck the plant inside out and I always find them when i remove the sucked out part.They are always under the pot and i belive in the soil aswell I don't know what to do can some one help or has expirience with something like this?"

Most likely the plant is dying to due to soil conditions or some other factor, and the insects are simply feeding on the dead plant matter. Plants can form hollow stems when they rot, but I doubt there is any insect that can accomplish this on its own.

I'd blame the soil, not the bugs.

This post was edited by penfold2 on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 10:22

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:05AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Has it rained alot in your area, it might be the rain that makes them rot

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:18AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Has it rained alot in your area, it might be the rain that makes them rot

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:19AM
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100mphtortoise(5)

I got part of the problem fixed. I reused some fenceing someone threw out and made some shelves, Heres some of the material I stared with.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:47PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

Shelve #1

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:49PM
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100mphtortoise(5)

Shelve #2,3 wired together

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:51PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Wire is awesome stuff! It's applications seem limitless when you think a little outside of the box, Re-using scrap type stuff in general is always a joy when a little creativity is applied. "found object" art projects abound when you train the eye to see the diamond in the rough in all manner of recyclables.

Excellent work Tortoise! :)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:54AM
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