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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#286715
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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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  22266
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#286769
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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By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#286785
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.
By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#286797
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!!!!
By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#288877
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!
Last edited by Orit on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Smooter80
Posts:  1038
Joined:  Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:33 pm
#288879
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?
By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#288887
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!
By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#289518
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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By TampaTraps
Posts:  63
Joined:  Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:12 pm
#289724
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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By xr280xr
Posts:  2805
Joined:  Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm
#289727
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.
By TampaTraps
Posts:  63
Joined:  Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:12 pm
#289728
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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By xr280xr
Posts:  2805
Joined:  Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm
#289730
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: http://www.flytrapcare.com/phpBB3/venus ... tions.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.
By Orit
Posts:  287
Joined:  Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:36 am
#289824
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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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  22266
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#289827
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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By xr280xr
Posts:  2805
Joined:  Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm
#289864
I suspect treating nearby plants to eradicate them from the whole area would also play an important role. I've had them really bad on some of my fruit and vegetable plants in my yard. They've nearly killed my grapes for 3 years now, took out some artichokes, a bunch of strawberries, and more. I'm not sure how they get around from plant to plant so well but they do.
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