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Is this a pest?

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:37 pm
by AndrewFR
I found a really tiny worm-like bug in the soil of my sundew. I picked it up and tried to feed it to the plant.

Here are two pictures. You can see the worm's black head between the leaf and the metal tweezers.

What is this? Is this a pest?

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:34 pm
by evenwind
Sorry, I can't make out your bug. But the "black head" you mention makes me think that you should do a Google image search for "fungus gnat larvae" and see if that's what you have.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:01 pm
by P A U L
it's a fungus gnat larvae. they'll eventually get everywhere in the soil. probably a decent source of food for your sundews. they'll emerge into gnats, fly up and get caught. they'll either be eradicated or just keep feeding the sundews. some will survive and fly elsewhere and if they come into contact with other soil, you'll have a new infestation.

all my non CP houseplants have a top layer of diotomaceous earth and i water them with a tray from the bottom. this prevents a new infestation which i had to deal with when i first started growing plants inddoors.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:48 am
by AndrewFR
Thanks! Checking against photos online, looks exactly like fungus gnat larvae! I'll start with a layer of decorative soil/sand.

One point I'm not clear on, though. How does the tray method prevent fungus gnats? I'm already using the tray method, so I'm not sure it's related.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:37 pm
by P A U L
tray method does NOT prevent fungus gnats. and majority growers on the forum do not prefer the tray method. i suggest you do more reading before you put stuff on top of or into the soil. just in case. i put a bunch of crap into my CP soil and...the plants weren't too thrilled and they let me know by staring at the floor.

i, however, do use the tray method. i forgot why i decided 2 years ago to use a tray, but it's how i started and it's worked fine for me...so i'm just..still doing it.

for NON carnivorous plants, there are claims on the internet that it will minimize fungus gnats by keeping the top layer of soil less moist as the water gets soaked upwards. however, that has not been the case for me. so i put a layer of diatomaceous earth on top of the soil of my NON CP plants because fungus gnats don't like dry stuff...also D.earth will cut them and they'll eventually die.

the soil of CP plants wouldn't ever get dry enough to deter fungus gnats.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:00 pm
by evenwind
AndrewFR wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:48 am One point I'm not clear on, though. How does the tray method prevent fungus gnats? I'm already using the tray method, so I'm not sure it's related.
Yeah, as P A U L said, the tray method isn't going to kill fungus gnat larvae. But if you do a search here, you'll find there's a lot of entries of folks using "mosquito dunks" in the tray water to kill them. I personally can't recommend the dunks because I haven't tried them - but it seems a reasonable thing to do. My standard approach to killing the larvae is to ignore them and concentrate on the killing the egg-laying adults - which simply requires having a goodly number of happy pings and/or drosera on hand.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:13 pm
by P A U L
check out this thread as well
pest-identification-and-control-t6170.html

we all have the same pests :D

i think it's kind of funny.. i started growing CPs to get rid of the 1 or 2 fungus gnats that bother me once or twice a week. now i created an ecosystem for them to thrive.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:19 am
by Sundeewz
I would like to add on that utricularia does very well at cleaning up fungus gnats. My bog bowl used to be infested with fungus gnats, but when I introduced U. sandersonii, they disappeared after some weeks.

Re: Is this a pest?

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:33 pm
by AndrewFR
Good to know! I've been wanting to get utricularia as a companion plant. Right now most of my regional shops sold out of everything before winter. I'm waiting for them to restock :-)