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soil dwelling, non-flying miniscule killers

soil dwelling, non-flying miniscule killers
Posted by Octavia from MI / 5 on 2002-04-10 07:05:17

After a long winter of coaxing a few favorite clippings to transplant size, they suddenly started to collapse (wilt) and die. I suspect fungus gnats, but have never had such a rapid decline before. The pest that I see in the soil is only barely visible and that is when I blow on the soil, they don't fly and appear black, with the tiniest glint of shine. I would appreciate any comments, most of the seedlings are 'toast' but I'm sure the buggers have spread.
  • fungus gnats
    Posted by Will Creed, Horticulturist from NYC on 2002-04-10 16:55:57

    Hi Octavia,

    From your description, you may have fungus gnat larvae in the soil. The larvae eventually develop wings and fly off, sometimes to lay eggs in other moist soil. Gnat larvae thrive in decaying organic matter that is kept constantly moist.

    The larvae did not kill your cuttings, but overwatering probably did.

    Discard the suspect soil. For the future use a sterile poting mix composed of peat moss and perlite; no compost, soil, or pine bark chips.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Will Creed, Horticulturist
    Horticultural Help, NYC
    Email: wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com

    P.S. You may be interested in my website at www.HorticulturalHelp.com and my Indoor Plant Bulletins that I publish monthly.




    Quoting Octavia: ------------
    -After a long winter of coaxing a few favorite clippings to transplant size, they suddenly started to collapse (wilt) and die. I suspect fungus gnats, but have never had such a rapid decline before. The pest that I see in the soil is only barely visible and that is when I blow on the soil, they don't fly and appear black, with the tiniest glint of shine. I would appreciate any comments, most of the seedlings are 'toast' but I'm sure the buggers have spread.

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