Tiny white bugs

lliebermNovember 3, 2005

I'm fairly new to vermicomposting. My first bin didn't seem to attract any bugs that I could see, but after I added the second bin for the worms to crawl up to, I see tons of little white bugs. They look like very tiny white lines - I don't know how else to describe them and I don't know what they are. Does anyone know what they are and how to get rid of them? Thanks!

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sqh1(z7 NC)

llieberm...Check out the web site below and click on their "invertebrate " page. Look at pot worms and see if that is what you have in there. These are the good guys and necessary in a healthy bin. Sometimes I see lots of them "bloom" when I have put in acidic type feedstock (oranges, tomato, etc).

Here is a link that might be useful: Happy D Ranch

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 12:41PM
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I've looked a little closer at the bugs and they don't seem to be worms because they have legs. After looking at the Happy D Ranch website, they look most similar to Springtail, but it's hard to tell since the Springtail are magnified in the picture, but obviously not in my bin! I haven't noticed if they can jump.

For control, the website says dry out the bin a bit or use Hypoaspis miles, but I don't know what that is.

Any further help would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 10:33AM
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sqh1(z7 NC)

Springtails are very small. Try going back to that site and look at Soldier Fly larva. The ones they have pictured are probably more mature. They start out pretty small and are white. They grow and change color, getting dark gray before they pupate. They can tolerate anaerobic conditions and heat better than worms. They are voracious composters and are found in most all healthy systems (usually during the warmer months). Most all the creatures you are going to see in your bin are good guys and you should just let them do their thing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 1:39PM
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Well, they are definitely not Soldier Fly larva because I see in the pictures how large they are compared to a coin and mine are much smaller. Probably they are no big deal like you said so I'll just leave them be. It's just kind of gross to see the bin covered in so many tiny white bugs!

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 2:06PM
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sqh1(z7 NC)

If they are BSF, they start out very small and grow to the size you saw on that web page. They will grow very quickly, so you will be able to tell soon.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 5:37PM
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neene(new york)

I have the same tiny, tiny white bugs -- there are thousands, everywhere in the bin and seem to be eating the vegetables also. And upsettingly, my worms seem to be dying off. I put much more food in there today... I wish the tiny white bugs would go away. Could they be aphids, I wonder?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 4:23PM
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MKitten(z8 Oregon)

I'm guessing they're mites. I believe you see more of them when your bin is too wet or possibly anaerobic. That could also cause your worms to die. Try drying the bin out a bit and fluffing the bedding to get more air.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 4:32PM
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neene(new york)

They killed off my worms -- we have like 15 worms left out of thousands... my husband and son rescued the living worms and we started a new bin. I did let the bin dry out, but there were still wet clumps... I'm so sad about the worms now.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 12:10PM
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Hello I am sorry to hear that your worms have been killed off but please do not blame the tiny bugs you tell us about it is far more likely that the conditions in your bin were more favorable to the "mites"than to your worms. save what you can and start again I do wish you well John

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 1:08PM
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sqh1(z7 NC)

I agree with John. Also..I hope it's not too late..but keep that other bin going, as I bet there are baby worms amd cocoons still in there, although hard to see. I doubt all is lost. Work on drying that bin up a bit and see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 9:39AM
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I don't think the bugs have affected my worm population too much. It's a bit hard to tell since my worms are transitioning up to the second level so some are above and some are in the lower bin. I have been trying to dry the bin out some, not sure if it's working yet.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 10:10AM
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I have very tiny white bugs on my indoor herbs. I think they were in the potting soil because they only appeared after I transplanted my seedlings. Could these be cyclamen mites? Here is a link to some photos.


Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of the bugs

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:40PM
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