Unknown pest

by Lynn Bybee
(Ogden, UT)

I have a critter in my hydroponic garden that I haven't been able to identify or irradicate. My growbeds have expanded shale as the medium and it has been invaded by a small (less than a millimeter in length) insect. They are gray to cream colored, oval to elongated in shape. They live below the surface and are not seen unless the gravel is distrubed. They hop (two or three inches in a leap) and quickly scurry back out of sight. I have tried using an inscecticidal on them, but it doesn't seem to phase them. I have had trouble getting seeds to germinate in my beds and I suspect these little guys may be the reason. In a 3' x 7' bed, I woulld suspect there are millions of them. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.




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Unknown pest

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Aug 26, 2012
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RE: Unknown Pest
by: Anonymous

It has been some time since I posted about my unknown guests in my hydroponic garden. Well, I finally found out what they are. I bought a microscope to bet a better look and that helped considerably. They are springtails! Here is a link for more information, if anyone else is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtail


Now I can put this subject to rest.

Jul 21, 2012
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Unidentifiable pest
by: Larry

Hi Lynn, since you do not mention white spots on the stem joints they can be leaf hoppers, whiteflies or fungus gnats (which are the most likely candidates).

Fortunately the treatment is pretty much the same; organic or processed chemical.

There are many generic pesticides you could buy that would take care of any of these pests or you could try an organic (or somewhat organic) repellent.

I would try the organic repellent mainly because of the toxic quality of pesticides not to mention the pesticide getting into ground water.

Try a blend of water, steeped garlic, shot of dish soap and maybe some neem oil or chamomile tea and see if it works.

Jul 21, 2012
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RE Unknown Pest
by: Lynn Bybee

Thanks for your comments. I wish they were aphids. I have had them before and they are fairly easy to get rid of. Wash them off the folage a few times and they disappear, or use insecticidal soap. The guys I have are much smaller than aphids, about 1/5th the size. They would fit between two periods (..) and are not much wider than that space. I am still looking for a solution. Lynn

Jul 21, 2012
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Unknown garden pest
by: Larry

Identifying an unknown garden pest without a picture (and I know that would be close to impossible to get) is difficult.

Most pests are voracious eaters and very destructive. I would suspect aphids off-hand because they seem to be a common pest - at least where I live.

Getting rid of them depends on how much you are willing to use toxic chemicals in your garden. Toxic chemicals will usually get rid of a pest in one application but is dangerous to use not mention the pollution it results in.

I do not use really toxic chemicals anymore because I limit my exposure to toxins if possible - I get enough just breathing the air.

Try some organic repellents...they are safe and cheap to make and use. The downside is that they will only repel for a limited time and will need to be reapplied periodically.

This is a small price to pay in my opinion. So 'go green' with an organic repellent recipe.

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