Bug ID with pictures

toenaciousJuly 18, 2010

I need help figuring out what these are and how to get rid of them. These tiny white bugs live in my soil and are eating my ripe strawberries. I was told they are springtails but can't confirm that springtails eat fruit, or how to get rid of them. They are less then 1mm, white/semi-translucent, 6 legged with antenea. They only eat the strawberry from the bottom, where it is in contact with the dirt. Photo links...

http://i780.photobucket.com/albums/yy87/toenacious/bugs1.jpg

http://i780.photobucket.com/albums/yy87/toenacious/closeup1.jpg

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those are springtails. Yes, some species of springtails are known to be pests. It is likely that they are feeding on overly ripe strawberries. Is that possible, from what you see? We'll trust your careful observation. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why so many people grow their strawberries on top of a ground cover of some kind. This would include landscaping cloth, straw, etc.

By and large, springtails are considered an important and even essential part of a healthy, working soil system. They are one of the many soil-borne critters that help turn all kinds of debris (plant and animal stuff) into mineral elements required for plant development.

Attached is a pretty good fact sheet that will tell you a bit about your springtails. Below (copy and paste) is an image of a springtail for your comparison.

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/rowcrops/e1205-1.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here for some interesting information

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:58PM
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toenacious

Thank you so much for your reply. I was also worried that they could be causing damage to the roots of my other crops. From what I am gathering, though, this is not the case. Thanks again!! I was at my wits end trying to figure this out.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:25PM
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