Spiders and worms in my citrus bush, please help!!

alisou21August 15, 2014

Hello everyone,

I am the biggest amateur you will ever find in gardening. As a matter fact this is my first post. I decided the beginning of this year to have my own little kitchen garden. And I had success with growing my rosemary it triplicated its size and lots of basil. I bough in April a little lemon tree that was around 30 cm and now it is thriving but a month or so I noticed little spiders in the leaves (actually I saw the most tiny webs), so I showered and kept spraying in regular basis the lemon tree, also I sprayed with a garlic vegetable oil/water recipe I saw online as organic pesticide. It seemed to help a little at that point but I see in the pot them crawling everywhere and new leaves started falling again. Also I just saw tiny transparent worms in the pot soil and there are looooots of them. I am freaking out.. what do I do?

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Here is a picture of the worms in the pot. So upsetting!! Are they good or a pest for the plant??

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 4:25AM
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I took the worms out of the soil so you can identify it better. Please, what do I do with the worms and spiders? I dont want my little citrus to die!! :(

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 4:27AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Is your plant inside or out?

Your 'spider' could be spider mite. I don't have a sense of scale in that pic. Look that one up and treat appropriately. Usually a sharp spray of water (undersides of leaves as well) on a regular basis will help.

Your 'worms' could possibly be fungus gnat larvae. Look that one up. They are often found in potting soils and feed on fungus and decomposing (often overly wet) organic soils, but often on roots as well. And adults emerge and can be annoying in your home.

Look these up and treat.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 8:58AM
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Thank you for the reply dave_in_nova.
I am pretty sure you are right and the "worms" are fungus gnat larvae. I was re-searching online of ways to kills it but it seems that my plants will suffer as well.. Today I will go to the garden store see if they can help me somehow.

The lemon bush is my kitchen window in a pot. It is the sunniest place I have in my apartment. So, I really want to get those larvae out of the pot. Up to until now, I haven't notice they leave the pot and there is nothing flying around, so I guess the infestation is in the early stages.

Thanks anyways for the help!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 1:21AM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

Here's something that I've heard can help get rid of fungus gnats. Put about a 1/2 inch layer of sand over the soil. Apparently the sand stops them from being able to hatch out of the soil as adults. And stops the adults from laying eggs too.

But the best long term solution would be to re-pot your plant in better draining soil. Fungus gnats are attracted to and live in soil that is high in peat moss and overly moist.

That kind of soil isn't very good for citrus anyway. If you soil has less peat and drains faster, you will not get the fungus gnats, and your citrus will be healthier. Us the search button on this forum and look up 5-1-1 soil mix. That will work much better and not attract the gnats.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Total agreement with Barb..

That is no insult intended, but the worst soil mix I ever saw posted on these forums for Citrus or any other potted plant..

Did you use soil from outside or compost that you made?
Those bugs could be very damaging to any potted plant, especially in the cooler months rapidly coming.

What is your Zone and are you grow in? It would be much eaiser for give help if we knew that..
Pics was a very smart tjing to do...Thank you for posting pics because that helps too..

Your best bet to get rid of those bugs once and for all is what Barb said...I was make sure to wash off even teh roots, down to bareroot if you are not scared to do so..

Use a sterile mix, even if it's not the 5.1.1 mix..Even a bagged with, soilless that is with perlite is better than that.
Dont' use compost in your pots, it just sours the mix, cause root rot, cyclonic death of your fiborous roots, bugs, and a host of other issues..

If you choose to change your mix asap, it will be ok..If you wait, then I wish you good luck..

It's nice to meet you and hopefully we can help.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 1:20PM
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