Tiny little bugs on a Jalapeno seedling

tn_veggie_gardner(7)April 7, 2009

Yesterday I found some very tiny (have to get real close to see they're bugs) little brown/light brown bugs (100's of them) on one of my Jalapeno Early Organic seedlings. It has 5/6 leaves & is about 3-4 inches tall. I got rid of most of the bugs temporarily by using canned air, which froze half a leaf on the plant. :-\ Then, I rushed home after work and checked all my other seedlings and none of them had the bugs. The one that did, I brought to work about a week ago. I sprayed it today with GardenSafe Fruit & Vvegetable Pest spray, even though it didn't have the bugs anymore (??).

My questions are this:

What are they?

Did they possibly come from another plant in the office at work?

If not, do I need to be worried about them being on other plants (maybe they're in the soil mix, etc.)?

Are they harmful to the plant?

Also, what's a definite method of killing them, if they are harmful to my plants?

Any & all help appreciated.

Peace - Steve

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peppermike(Indiana Zone 5)

They could be Aphids, I had bought some seedlings from a nursery a couple years back when my Jals did nothing and a few days after sitting the new seedlings with my others I noticed something odd and on closer inspection the newly acquired plants were crawling with greenish brown bugs. The leaves literally looked like they were bubbling. I quickly grabbed those plants and moved them to my garage to get them away from the other healthy plants. The Aphids had made their way to some of the surrounding plants which I then dusted them with seven.

They have a couple forms the ones crawling on the plants, and the mature ones who have wings and fly. I saw some of what I thought were gnats at first but realized they were aphids. Indoors they have no natural enemies except for us. They can be difficult to eliminate because they lay eggs. With them it's more a matter of control rather than elimination, easier done once outside. An interesting thing about them is ants will herd, protect, and milk them like cattle. The aphids suck nutrients from the plants and are harmful.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:46AM
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Ok, thanks...I wondered if they might be Aphids. I thought they were too small to be them at first. Luckily, this one Jal plant is isolated from the rest of mine due to being at work. =) They haven't showed back up yet & hopefully they won't. If they do, i'll probably spray with some Liquid Sevin. - Steve

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:50AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You wrote: "If they do, i'll probably spray with some Liquid Sevin."

No need to bring out the big guns for those few small critters, whatever they are.

If they're aphids, and because your plant is so small, squish the critters or wash them off.

Or, if you must spray something, use direct hits of insecticidal soap, diluted according to directions and repeat as needed.

These 3 low-tox methods work for all sorts of young insects.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Ok, i'll try a less drastic approach then. I still have nightmares about my spider mite problem from last year though, hence the drastic method...lol. BTW, the leaf I kind of froze a bit is doing fine again. The plant continues to grow well here in the office & is now about 4-5 inches tall and has 7-8 or so leaves.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:52PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Oops, brain fade.

Even though you have 100s on one small plant, my above three suggestions should all work.

Something else, 100s of critters is bad news for one young plant -- you did say one plant with 5/6 leaves, right?

Chances are that plant could be so stressed it won't do well whatever the outcome.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:53PM
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They were only on there that one day & it's like they disappeared by the time I got to work the next day with my pest spray. I have no idea where they went. The plant is continuing to grow & looks quite healthy. Weird, huh? Yes, there were well over 100 of them (prob 200-300 or so), but they were so tiny that like 10 of them looked like a small spot on a leaf.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Ladybugs eat aphids. They are cheap, organic and won't harm surrounding plants. You can buy them by the bag full from organic and hydroponic nurseries or order them online.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:38PM
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