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Risks of buying plants from all over  RSS feed

 
elle sagenev
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I'd posted before that I Was buying a ton of stuff off of Ebay. It's worked really well except for one issue. I'm not positive which plant came with the bugs, though I suspect the bamboo, but I have a HUGE bug problem now. Flying gnats and then some sort of bug that lays small white eggs all over all of my plants. I've been using tape to get them off. I finally moved the bamboo outside because they were all over it. So now what do I do since it's too cold to plant outside and I still have a ton of things in the house?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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you might try some old fashioned fly strips, the kind that come in a short tube to be hung, those might attract and capture the bugs.
 
Peter Ellis
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I might try taking the plants outside for an hour or two on a breezy cold day. Make the bugs uncomfortable, let the wind help take them away, give them lots of other places to be - and, hopefully, places where they will freeze to death and die.

Unless the plants are extremely delicate, an hour or so in sunlight with cold air moving past will not hurt them (or hurt them less badly than the bug infestation)

And, note to self, use quarantine practices when bringing in live plants....
 
elle sagenev
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Peter Ellis wrote:I might try taking the plants outside for an hour or two on a breezy cold day. Make the bugs uncomfortable, let the wind help take them away, give them lots of other places to be - and, hopefully, places where they will freeze to death and die.

Unless the plants are extremely delicate, an hour or so in sunlight with cold air moving past will not hurt them (or hurt them less badly than the bug infestation)

And, note to self, use quarantine practices when bringing in live plants....


Ah well I literally ordered a zillion plant starts all on the same day so they all arrived at basically the same time. I have no constant house plants so they will go outside as soon as frost is over.

I have been having my kids catch all the spiders and put them in the plants. So I'm either about to have a spider problem or no more bugs. LOL

It did have me thinking though. What if I bought like a tree that had some sort of disease and then I planted it out and all my trees die. Is that a real concern?
 
Peter Ellis
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Yes, it certainly is.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Becky Proske
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Hello Elle,
When you say "Flying gnats", i suspect they are fungus gnats. they love moisture and rotting material. Part of their life cycle takes place in the soil. One way to reduce their numbers is to alow the soil to dry out between waterings. Let the soil surface become dry to the touch. Pour off any excess water that remains in the tray after each watering. Like fruit flies, fungus gnats are very annoying, but are not likely to harm the plant. maybe homemade traps (like those used for fruit flies) will work, just a thought.

"Some sort of bug that lays small white eggs all over all of my plants." My first thought here is the common houseplant/greenhouse pests like scale, mealy bug, or aphids. Where on the plant do the "white eggs" appear? How are they shaped? Are they in clusters? Are they fuzzy? Sticky?

The act of moving plants outside is effective where natural peditors and environmental rythmns can help. But if it is cold, I wonder if the "bad" bugs will just crawl down in the plants for shelter, until they are moved back in side? Regardless, it's worth a try. The weather and length of time outdoors might be key.

Becky
 
Dave Friday
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If it is fungus gnats, get some mosquito dunks. Crumble on up an sprinkle a bit on the soil of your plants and water it in. The fungus gnat is related to mosquitoes and the BTI kills the larvae in the soil.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Have the kids watch for ladybugs , some of them might help?
 
elle sagenev
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Have the kids watch for ladybugs , some of them might help?


I think it's still too cold for them. Spiders are just coming out in the house already.
 
elle sagenev
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Becky Proske wrote:Hello Elle,
When you say "Flying gnats", i suspect they are fungus gnats. they love moisture and rotting material. Part of their life cycle takes place in the soil. One way to reduce their numbers is to alow the soil to dry out between waterings. Let the soil surface become dry to the touch. Pour off any excess water that remains in the tray after each watering. Like fruit flies, fungus gnats are very annoying, but are not likely to harm the plant. maybe homemade traps (like those used for fruit flies) will work, just a thought.

"Some sort of bug that lays small white eggs all over all of my plants." My first thought here is the common houseplant/greenhouse pests like scale, mealy bug, or aphids. Where on the plant do the "white eggs" appear? How are they shaped? Are they in clusters? Are they fuzzy? Sticky?

The act of moving plants outside is effective where natural peditors and environmental rythmns can help. But if it is cold, I wonder if the "bad" bugs will just crawl down in the plants for shelter, until they are moved back in side? Regardless, it's worth a try. The weather and length of time outdoors might be key.

Becky


All of these plants are destined for the out of doors eventually anyway.

I'm unsure on the knats though. Some of them are white and some of them are black. The black seem to be everywhere while the white are exclusively on the bamboo.

The eggs are clustered on the grape vines mostly though I've found some on the underside of my peppercorn plant leaves as well. Daughter kind of fixed that problem when she shredded the peppercorn. :/
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The white bugs sound like white flies, they would be the ones laying those white eggs on the undersides of the grape leaves. The black ones are almost certainly fungus gnats. You can mix up some mild detergent (one or two drops per quart of water) and wipe the leaves with it on a sponge to remove a lot of the eggs and to help control the white flies. A little powdered gypsum sprinkled on the soil will help control the gnats, or you could use a small amount of Ag. Lime, I've had my best success with the gypsum though. Gypsum can be purchased or just smash up some left over drywall board if you have access to that.
 
Blake Wheeler
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Dave Friday wrote:If it is fungus gnats, get some mosquito dunks. Crumble on up an sprinkle a bit on the soil of your plants and water it in. The fungus gnat is related to mosquitoes and the BTI kills the larvae in the soil.


I've found the pouring hydrogen peroxide in the soil handles the problem VERY well, and much cheaper, and won't harm the plant as it breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen. It kills the larvae. If you put tape over the soil, sticky side down (but obviously not on the soil) it catches the adults when they emerge. Apparently they're attracted to the color yellow, and the make yellow tape traps specifically for targeting fungus gnats. They're more annoying than dangerous. Not to mention they're attracted to CO2 so they'll fly right up in your face
 
elle sagenev
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Can I just sprinkle DE over everything ya think? I already have tons of that and I'm rather kicking myself for not thinking of it earlier.
 
William Bronson
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My potatoes came up with a bad case of slugs. I have been growing them inside over the winter and just recently we opened up windows and let the ambient temperatures takeover. Suddenly the potato plants keel over and soon after that someone finds evidence of slugs, so I coated them in DE and I'm hoping for the best.
 
Blake Wheeler
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elle sagenev wrote:Can I just sprinkle DE over everything ya think? I already have tons of that and I'm rather kicking myself for not thinking of it earlier.


Don't know why you couldn't. I actually used the peroxide thing then sprinkled DE on the "mulch" I put over potted houseplants (small bark chips). Haven't seen a gnat yet.

My mistake was using worm castings to fertilize my houseplants, pretty sure that's what caused the outbreak.
 
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