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Little black bugs

Posted by lilsmurfie (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 24, 08 at 10:35

A few days ago I notice that the bottom leaves of my Violet had died, I figured it was because we moved the plant to a different location. Yesterday I noticed that the were tiny black bugs on the plant and scattered around the surface under the plant. I am not sure if they are Aphids or Fruit Flies. A friend suggested Fruit Flies when she noticed that they had wings. I cleaned them off of the surface and inspected the plant for others, which I picked off. Well they are BACK!! Can anyone tell me what they are and how to treat them? It's upsetting to watch this happen to my plant, I bought it at Lowes almost two years ago for 30 cents. It had only one tiny green leaf, all the others were brown and dried.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Little black bugs

I wonder if they could be fungus gnats. Try putting out a no pest strip to see if that will help. Some people put out dishes which are yellow filled with water. Yellow seems too attract bugs and they dive in and die.
Fred in NJ

RE: Little black bugs

Sounds gross! I noticed they are also by the kitchen window, but no where near the peaches that I have out on the counter. I'm thinking that they definitely not fruit flies because they would be all over the peaches too. I'm not sure what a no pest strip is so I think I might have luck with a yellow dish. Will that kill all, or just some of them?

RE: Little black bugs

A no pest strip is a piece of sticky material (paper or cardboard) which attracts bugs and gnats. They land on the strip and cant get off. If you can't find a no pest strip you might also look for an old fashioned fly paper strip that comes in a cylinder that you pull out and hang up.
Fred in NJ

RE: Little black bugs

I hate fungus gnats! Don't believe the myth that they are harmless to your plants. The adult gnats are harmless, but I have lost many young violets to fungus gnat larva. The larva will eat the roots.

Any insect spray will kill the adult gnats. Gnatrol (can buy from will kill the larva.

The larva need the top half inch of soil to be wet, so let the top dry out between waterings. Don't leave water in plant trays. A small fan near your plants helps too.

Another thing, there is often an outdoor source that attracted the fungus gnats. Check for rotting leaves or other composting materials especially near windows. In my case they came in from potted plants I have outdoors.

I hope this isn't too much!
Adam in NH

RE: Little black bugs

I have three Pinguicula, insect-eating plants. These have attractive light green leaves, a tall 6 inch stem and pretty lavender single flower. Every part of the plant is sticky. It exudes a scent that insects can smell but that we humans are not capable of smelling. The scent attracts any flying insect, they go to inspect it and get stuck.

And this is not like the ugly yellow cards that get full of dead bugs. The plants absorb the insect in some way. All of a sudden there is nothing left on the plant. Don't know how this works but these plants are amazing. They are in the Sun Dew family of carniverous plants. I bought mine from a local carniverous plant club.

Reproduction is like violets, by leaf.


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