Pest Identification and Control

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Orit

 
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:28 pm

I suspect I may have spider mites. Haven't seen them on the plants but I see what I believe are spider mites around the yard from time to time. Can anyone tell me if this looks like spider mite damage and if neem oil is in fact good for treating them? Though all my plants have a good amount of new growth, I have experienced some baby traps turning black for months, and now I'm noticing this spotting and notching in addition. Some traps also seem to have trouble forming teeth, they'll turn black as the trap is forming.
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:47 am

Just saw this little jerk walking around my most badly affected trap. Not sure what he is (aphid?) but appears grey and almost translucent with a pattern across his back. This was unfortunately the best picture I could get.

I live around Denver. Not sure if he's responsible for the damage I posted earlier. Appreciate any help!
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Matt » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:59 pm

That does look like mite damage, Orit, particularly on the last photo in the first post you made. The insect in the photo of your second post isn't a mite and likely isn't responsible for the damage to your plants.

Mites are hard to get rid of and most people recommend using a dedicated miticide to do the job.
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:51 pm

Gulp. :( Thank you. I am realizing that while my intent was to shield roots from heat and allow them more depth, I have effectively put all my eggs in one basket when I placed them all in the same large pot. The worst damage is on one plant but I'll have to treat them all.

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:24 pm

I picked up avid miticide from your store rather than risk further damage, and will carefully apply as directed. Have you ever used beneficial insects in conjunction with this? Wondering if ladybugs could feast on the mites and maybe the traps eat a few ladybugs (or other mite predator if their shells are too hard)?

Edit: WOW that was some crazy fast shipping. Thank you!!!!

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:07 pm

I mixed up the avid using exact measurements and sprayed my plants thoroughly, 3 days apart. A week or 2 later, I could see several mites on the pot. They are teeny, but visible against the white pot when they move. They are too small to see any characteristics, but if i squash them, they do leave an orange mark.

I started spraying again on Saturday, then again Tuesday (yesterday), and I just spotted another one crawling across the top of the pot today!

I have seen mites around since we moved in a decade ago, but they never damaged my other plants. Still, I'm resigning myself to the idea that they will always be around our yard, ready to pounce and destroy my beautiful babies.

I know they can become immune to Avid over several generations. I am happy to buy the other 2 miticides if needed, and I have neem oil, but I need some guidance on a long-term plan to keep these little #$%&@s at bay. I am not sure when to rotate, how often to spray, etc. I'd love to try predatory mites/ladybugs as well, but obviously not together with the pesticides, and keeping these plants healthy is priority one. Appreciate any help!

PS: 6/9 in the large pot are showing signs they're emerging from dormancy and I'm SO EXCITED!
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Smooter80 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:32 pm

It would be really early in year to be having mite issues. The mites I've dealt with are extremely slow and small. You may have mites but if Avid didn't kill what you are seeing, they are likely something else. Are you familiar with Springtails?
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:04 am

I think i see 1 of those things maybe once a year outside. They look like baby roaches. But the things I saw today and over the weekend were definitely round and about the size of a period on my phone screen. You would never know it was alive if it didn't move.

I'm thinking my husband's camera might be good enough to get a picture... I'll be back this weekend if I can get a good one. Thanks!

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:25 am

Sprayed Avid again today. Several hours later, I brought them inside to protect against the rather cold night. There were dozens upon dozens of these tiny bastards crawling all up the sides of the pot. The good news is I didn't see many at the top, where I sprayed, but they were launching an all-out attack from the bottom up. Managed to get some images, but not very good. You can get a good estimate of their size by the styrofoam they're on. Appreciate any and all advice.
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by TampaTraps » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:23 pm

Hey all,

I'm not sure of the spiders on my new VFT, but they don't seem to be causing any problem with the trap itself... From what I see about spider mites, that's not what they look like. There are two that I can see, one is almost translucent and the other is black/brown, they are the same size, about 2-3mm in diameter.

Are ALL insects harmful to VFTs or could I be dealing with a cohabitant?

thanks!

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by xr280xr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:32 pm

TampaTraps wrote:Are ALL insects harmful to VFTs or could I be dealing with a cohabitant?

If all insects were harmful, VFTs wouldn't exist, since they eat insects! ;) But no, some insects will hangout on or around your VFT without harming it. The most common of these are probably springtails, fungus gnats, and spiders. Spiders are wise to the fact that bugs are attracted to VFTs and will build webs around them, and sometimes even across the traps. It's usually small spiders that are successful with this because they're small enough to navigate the traps without triggering them and being eaten! With the exception of fungus gnats, if you don't see any damage, they're nothing to worry about. In the case of fungus gnats, they won't harm your VFT, but they might be a sign you're keeping it too wet, which can be harmful.
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by TampaTraps » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:54 pm

xr280xr wrote:
TampaTraps wrote:Are ALL insects harmful to VFTs or could I be dealing with a cohabitant?

If all insects were harmful, VFTs wouldn't exist, since they eat insects! ;) But no, some insects will hangout on or around your VFT without harming it. The most common of these are probably springtails, fungus gnats, and spiders. Spiders are wise to the fact that bugs are attracted to VFTs and will build webs around them, and sometimes even across the traps. It's usually small spiders that are successful with this because they're small enough to navigate the traps without triggering them and being eaten! With the exception of fungus gnats, if you don't see any damage, they're nothing to worry about. In the case of fungus gnats, they won't harm your VFT, but they might be a sign you're keeping it too wet, which can be harmful.


HAHA, now that I look at my question, that did sound kind of silly :lol:

Ok, great. I'm new to this and need as much help as possible.

I think I have successfully got mine growing and one actually caught a fly for the first time! Should I be worried about the plant eating TOO much?

I'm kind of getting off topic here, but how much water is too much? I'm using New Zealand long fiber sphagnum moss and the breed is a B52 clone. I got the small traps about 2 months ago from eBay user joelscarnivorousplants. I'm using a 3" diameter net basket sitting in a 3" tall 10"x6" rectangular Tupperware. It's hot here in central Florida so I do have to fill the tupperware almost daily, but I only fill it about 1/3 the way up the pot. Sound correct?

A Couple more things:
-Will direct hard downpours of rain hurt my VFT? We have crazy downpours sometimes here in Tampa.
-When should I consider transplanting to a new pot, and when I do, how well do VFTs take to their new homes?


Sorry for all the off topic from insects, but I'd be posting in 4 different sub-threads with these questions...

Thanks!

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by xr280xr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:35 pm

You can over-feed a VFT, but don't worry about it eating too much on its own. It will keep itself happy when it comes to feeding.

Wet or soggy is too wet, but flytraps are very forgiving of this in hot temperatures. They're also more forgiving of it in good quality sphagnum like you are using. In a 3" pot, it would be impossible to keep it less than fully wet in hot temperatures because it will dry out so quickly otherwise. It will also be very challenging to maintain the correct moisture level in that pot during cooler times of year not to mention, that's just too small of a pot for your B52 to grow well in. I would recommend repotting in a 8-12 inch tall container with good drainage on the bottom. If you can't manage a pot that big, get one at least 5" deep. I think flytraps actually like being repotted. Sometimes they will stall their growth for a week or two after repotting while they get their roots re-situated, but then they take off growing again.

Sorry for all the off topic from insects, but I'd be posting in 4 different sub-threads with these questions...

You'd be fine posting them all in one thread on this board: venus-fly-trap-questions.html I'd recommend posting any new or follow up questions there. Not only will it keep this thread organized, but it will get your questions more attention from other users.

Oh, and a hard rain can leave your flytrap looking a little beaten down, but it should spring back quickly. They must get pounded pretty hard in their natural habitat in the Carolinas too sometimes. You can provide it some shelter but if you're not home you don't need to worry about it as long as it can drain and won't get washed away. It's actually good for your soil to get flushed through by rain water once in a while.
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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Orit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:09 am

Can anyone suggest a long-term plan to keep spider mites at bay? For as long as my traps are outside (where they're happiest) they will continue to get attacked by scores of mites. I'm using Avid regularly but know they can develop an immunity with time. I'm happy to do whatever it takes but I don't know what that is.

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Re: Pest Identification and Control

by Matt » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:27 am

Orit wrote:Can anyone suggest a long-term plan to keep spider mites at bay?

Mites come regularly to our greenhouses and without treatment, our plants always get them.

But our current treatment plan keeps them at bay for the better part of 6 months with each application.

We do a thorough spray with Avid miticide and then follow that up 3 or 4 days later with a spray of TetraSan miticide. No mites for about 6 months!
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