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little bugs around

Posted by tallyhoot 6b-7a (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 9, 04 at 22:33

This was here when I moved in a couple years ago but only just now was I able to make use of it

i put in some easy to grow plants , a set of plant light tube lights and a humidifier.

though, I noticed like around 3 small black bugs flying around .. size a bit bigger than gnats

Are they okay to stay in there?
any suggestions

here is a pic of the terrarium

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: little bugs around

  • Posted by GaWd z9/10 NorCal (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 10, 04 at 11:23

That's such an awesome setup, in the wall like that. One day I'll have to do the same.

Anywho, they're probably fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are on most if not all houseplants, and they are attracted to thing breaking down in the soil. As your humidity and temps rise in your terrarium, they will begin to hatch and you'll see more of them.

They're harmless and do no damage to your plants. If you find that they are becoming a huge annoyance, I recommend that you purchase a nice little sundew to control them. That's what I do and it's very successful for control.


RE: little bugs around

ok, thanks for the advise and information!

i was wondering now if...
the gnats are in anyway unhealthy for human contact
because i like to open up the sliding door of the terrarium
to let the plants breath more air...
im not sure if the gnats will leave but just in case.. and
opening the door giving them more air, is it possible that will descrease the number of gnats AND...
what is sundew?

RE: little bugs around

  • Posted by GaWd z9/10 NorCal (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 10, 04 at 19:53

Gnats will fly out, but are not harmful to humans. A sundew is a carnivorous plant covered in sticky dewdrops that collect and digest small insects. THey're pretty, small, and serve a great purpose in situations like yours(and minem, I've got tons of them but my CPs keep eating them for me so it's not a problem).


RE: little bugs around

Ditto Sam. They're totally harmless, totally normal, and easily controlled with carnivorous plants. I also recommend nepenthes (pitcher plants, don't get sarracenia), and pinguiculas (butterworts). The latter, I've heard, are particularly effective at eating gnats. Oh yes, and I love your terrarium! Just like a mini garden vingette. Beautiful! Your lighting appears to be very yellow/orange though. What kind of bulbs are you using? You say 'plant light tubes', but that's not very descriptive. Are they fluorescents? 'Gro-lights'? (waste of money, get cool whites or 'Daylight's next time).

RE: little bugs around

thats so odd, i had posted a reply to your question sayhoarefk but it appears it didnt go through...
well anywya, i have philips plant and aquariam 40 watt bulbs

im not sure if thats correct but for now I have those in..

I also wanted to ask another thing...
I want to prevent bugs... is there any methods i can set in place to prevent any situations with BUGS (any kind)
the terrarium isnt professional. I think it has lots of ventilation and the bottom has planks of wood on top of the "floor" of the terrarium..

RE: little bugs around

You can use those yellow sticky strips. They will catch all of the bugs in a few days, leaving them unable to reproduce, and then you will not have any bugs anymore! Terrariums do seem to attract bugs though, so you will either need to always have a sticky strip or two in there, or get some CPs, as already mentioned. Why so opposed to bugs though? I used to have gnats, but now I only have a few, so that I never really see them. I also have springtails, but I don't see them unless I go pulling up moss or something in my terrarium. If you really hate bugs, I'm afraid the only option is plastic plants. =) Plants and bugs just seem to go together. And most bugs are harmless, and aren't even overly gross, so I really wouldn't worry about it.

As for your lighting, you have 2 tubes, right? The types you mention are fine, though when you replace them (every 6-12 months), just go with cheap Daylight bulbs. I assume you have a standard 'shop light' fixture. Probably wouldn't hurt to add another one. 80 W isn't much for a tank that big.

RE: little bugs around

i understand that they arent harmful and the only way i can describe my feeling of them is "fear"
not like gut wrenching but I would rather not deal with them ..
I was saying "prevent" them because I dont want to kill them either... I was hoping something would make the environment undesireable for them ..

and about the lights... yes, i agree with it being too low wattage and I will need to think about ways to increase it

RE: little bugs around

Sorry, but bugs love soil and humidity and plants. It's not like you're guaranteed to have all kinds of aphids and spiders and centipedes and spider mites, but fungus gnats are pretty much a given. I really don't see them in my terrarium anymore though, and you know what they say, 'Out of sight, out of mind'. My pitcher plants (nepenthes, not sarracenia) do such a good job of catching them all that they just aren't constantly flying around. It did take a while though. At first I had lots, so a few escaped and were flying around the house, but now it's all good. You can't see the bugs in the pitchers either, because they're opaque, so it's not gross or anything.

About the only way to increase your wattage is to get another fixture. =) The shop lights are very cheap though, something like $10, so I'd just get those. Other options like T5 bulbs get much more pricey.

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