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Does anyone know what these pests are in my house plant's soil? There's thousands!

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Does anyone know what these pests are in my house plant's soil? There's thousands!

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Old 10-07-18, 04:20 PM
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EJ123
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Does anyone know what these pests are in my house plant's soil? There's thousands!

I bought a basil plant from Kroger months ago, then repotted it with Miracle Grow soil about a month ago and didn't see anything suspicious at the time. Now a few days ago I see thousands of these mite-like creatures just hanging out at the soil. Any movement of soil or breathing on the soil causes them to become active and scurry around. There's already hundreds just chilling on the pot itself. It does not appear to be a spider mite as there's no webs or springtails since they don't jump. So far the basil plant is growing well. Looking online they might be Hypoaspis miles. Is this treatable?

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Old 10-07-18, 05:40 PM
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Dunno, but all common fluid-sucking critters on home and garden plants can be controlled with safe pyrethrins (derived from chrysanthemums or synthesized).

If you'd rather avoid even the safe pyrethrins, try a desiccant like Cimexa. It's just amorphous silica gel dust, primarily useful for controlling bedbugs, but also useful for any soft bodied insect or, with bedbugs, any critters with a waxy coating. The Cimexa dust sticks to their bodies and dries them out. It's the same stuff used in bottles of vitamins and medicines to keep them dry, but in fine dust form rather than beads. Takes only a very small amount, applied with a handheld puffer or even just a soft brush -- watercolor mop brushes are perfect. Amorphous silica gel is a very low risk material, at worst a very minor respiratory irritant. When applied sparingly as intended very little become airborne. It has a tacky feel like rosin and tends to resist becoming airborne once it adheres to surfaces.

Some folks suggest diatomaceous earth but this isn't ideal for those pests. DE is primarily useful for snails and slugs. It's a very poor solution for other critters and has a higher risk to humans -- the airborne dust can cause respiratory irritation and even bronchitis and pneumonia in vulnerable people. DE lacks the tackiness of Cimexa and becomes airborne easily. It's a slick feeling dust and doesn't adhere to surfaces, fabrics or critters unless they have a slimy exoskeleton.
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Old 10-11-18, 08:22 AM
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Try soaking the plant & pot in a solution of dish detergent & water. Dish detergent gives most little bugs a severe jolt to their digestive system (basically, they poop to death) but won't harm the plant.
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Old 10-11-18, 11:02 PM
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You didn't post any pictures (I know, they're tiny) but they're probably scavenging mites, picking through the organic parts of the soil. they're quite common, and harmless. You can learn more by googling "red worm composting mites". Bottom line is that they love moisture, so you can safely let the top inch of soil dry out to knock down the population. Grab some seeds from your basil plant while you still can, because it's an annual and will die shortly after the seeds have set, no matter what you do.
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Old 10-12-18, 01:47 AM
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there called micro fish they live on human flesh
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Old 10-12-18, 03:15 AM
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Spider mites. Diabolical little creatures that love house plants and will suck your little plant dry. Unfortunately you didn't show the plant, but even if its growing well now it won't be for long.

Purchase some insecticidal soap or make your own. Be careful though with the dilution. Some plants are very sensitive and you can damage it if the mixture is too strong.
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Old 10-12-18, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Spider mites.
If so, get the plant outside, immediately, before they spread, put it in the middle of the driveway, and then:



Seriously. Spider mites are wicked bad news. Ditch the plant and start over.
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Old 10-12-18, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
If so, get the plant outside, immediately, before they spread, put it in the middle of the driveway, and then:



Seriously. Spider mites are wicked bad news. Ditch the plant and start over.
Sometimes I feel exactly like that. ^^

Keeping those pesky critters at bay sometimes feels like a full-time job. When I went out today I noticed munch marks on some of the leaves that weren't there yesterday.

No pests were found but I suspect a white fly caterpillar. I literately have to spray every day. And to think, this gardening thing was suppose to be relaxing.
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