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Small white crawling bugs in my organic soil

#1 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:21 AM

Hi,

I topped up my basil plant with some organic soil a week ago and last night I noticed that there are lots of white little crawling bugs in the soil. I did some research and they seem to be springtails. Is there anyway I can get rid of them without drying the soil? If I let the soil dry out, I guess my basil will die too. Can I use Neem Oil on the soil to get rid of them? I know that springtails are harmless to the plant but there are too many of them.

Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   autumnsnow 

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:51 PM

Heya! I was getting this too but wasn't sure if it was soil mealies either. I used tref organic potting soil. Not sure if it's the same one. I actually don't know much about organic soil but bought it cos the packaging said it was particularly good for herbs and stuff.

So I started a neem oil regime and the population seems to have dwindled. Will continue and hope it helps. At least now I don't see them crawling around near the top. Can only see them when I purposely dig deeper into the soil. Has to be good quality neem though. I tried a $2 bottle before and didn't work. The one I use now is the medical type - small bottle $6 from little India.
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#3 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:29 PM

[Thanks Autumnsnow. I'm a novice in gardening, just started a couple of months ago. I don't know much about soil. The soil I bought is called Organic & Peat Free Multi-Purpose.

I just returned from the nursery and got a bottle of Neem Oil Insecticide, it cost me $11.90. Planned to use it tonight. I checked with the guy at the nursery and he said it can be either mealy bug or springtail and Neem oil only work for mealy bug. I took a closed up of the bug (but not very clear) and it looks like springtail.

Bugs

Can I check with you if I need to flood the pot to get all the bugs out before I apply the Neem Oil? Hope to get rid all of them quick.
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#4 User is offline   autumnsnow 

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:20 AM

Hmm. I'm really not expert at this either. But from what I've heard before was that one ones you find at nurseries don't work as well as if you buy a $30 bottle of like pure good grade neem oil and mix it yourself.

Can't really tell from the video also. Maybe someone can give a better ID? How did you video that though!! Like some super macro video cam?

I personally didn't flood my mix cos it didn't actually stunt the growth of my plants so I just sprayed the mixture of neem and dish detergent to wait and see. I did kind of mess around with the potting mix and try to spray into the rest of it instead of just the top though.

I guess the fastest way is still wash out the roots of your plants and repot them in fresh mix. You can microwave the mix before using to kill all pores/seeds/living organisms.

Apparently neem is more of a deterrent than a instant pesticide. It takes time to see the effects because it messes with the genetic makeup of pests so they forget to eat or something like that.
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#5 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:06 PM

I sprayed neem on the soil last night and later of the night, some of them started crawling to the rim of the pot (eee.....) but most of them stay motionless, hope it will get better (crossing my fingers).

I used my son EyeClop Bionic Eye, some kind of microscope toy, to enlarge the bug then I took the video with my handphone.
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#6 User is offline   shirleycox 

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:27 PM

springtails feed off decaying plant matter and often spend their time in moist soil. Reduce watering and let the soil to dry a bit between waterings, you can greatly reduce the pests in the soil. Replace your plant's dirt, if possible. Lift the plant out of the soil and attempt to remove any that is left on the roots or stem. Thoroughly clean the old container or install the plant into a new, clean pot. Pour sterilized potting soil into the pot and place the plant inside. Cover the plant's roots with soil and add enough water to make the soil soggy. Take the old dirt outside immediately to prevent the bugs from moving into the new soil.
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#7 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:27 AM

Thanks shirleycox.

I noticed that those found in my basil pot are baby springtails. Yesterday, I saw some adult springtails near a small pot of clover and they are hopping outside the pot. Now I'm more worried about whether springtail will enter my house, my plants are all in my balcony.

I guess the problem lies in my organic soil cos we also noticed one or two springtail in it, am thinking of bringing the soil back to the nursery this weekend.

This post has been edited by lazy: 05 July 2012 - 09:39 AM

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#8 User is offline   AhSeng 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:19 AM

View Postlazy, on 05 July 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:

Thanks shirleycox.

I noticed that those found in my basil pot are baby springtails. Yesterday, I saw some adult springtails near a small pot of clover and they are hopping outside the pot. Now I'm more worried about whether springtail will enter my house, my plants are all in my balcony.

I guess the problem lies in my organic soil cos we also noticed one or two springtail in it, am thinking of bringing the soil back to the nursery this weekend.


don't worry about it. Most plants grow normally in the presence of these small creatures. natural soil has numerous small organisms living in it.

This post has been edited by AhSeng: 06 July 2012 - 09:26 AM

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#9 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:18 PM

But there were so many of them, it really freak me out. Will too many of these creatures pose any problem?
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#10 User is offline   autumnsnow 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:58 PM

Haha. Repot repot. I have alot of bug problems lately especially after trying organic soil. Am going back to soiless mix already after what ah Seng said. Also, do you get full sun? I realize the more sun the lesser the bugs.
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#11 User is offline   lazy 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:32 PM

My balcony gets the afternoon sun and hot too, but I still get the bugs, probably because basil need lots of water.
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#12 User is offline   digitalgate 

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:03 AM

Bug is part of gardening . They will come if u have plant . No point bringing the soil back to garden. Unless U have serious infestation . Your plant have no pest ,your Neighbour yourstair will spread to u . So spray neem oil regularly will control them to a certain extend . Think about it what If wasp come? Spider , centipide , earthworm is found in your pot ?
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#13 User is offline   shirleycox 

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:03 PM

View Postlazy, on 06 July 2012 - 10:32 PM, said:

My balcony gets the afternoon sun and hot too, but I still get the bugs, probably because basil need lots of water.


Springtails cause no problems inside the house, except they are a nuisance. Let the soil dry outside for several days be careful not over-water plants. The key to managing springtails is to reduce moisture and excess organic matter in gardens, plant pots, and around building foundations. Also screen or caulk cracks that provide entryways for springtails into homes. Pesticides should not be necessary and won’t provide long-term control by themselves.
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