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Bulb Mites?? WTF!?

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I am not sure how many gallons of soil you are dealing with. Something to ponder when dealing with hard species of bugs is if can seperate the soil from used flowering plants from veg plants.

Once current finishes flower take that soil and pasturize it like mushroom growers do. You wet the soil take handfull of medium squeeze it until 1 or 2 tiny drips of water come out of it, then put it in the oven at 160F or lowest setting and let it cook for a solid 12 hrs. Mushroomers go shorter because they use less medium, can go 24 hrs if want to.

Granted your medium will be dead no fungi, no bacteria. Just mix a act add molasses so it has fungal and bacteria in it, brew for 8 hours so still has bacteria not fungal dominate brew, use eath worm castings, fish hydroslate, and what ever you wish.

Once tea is ready apply to your pasterized soi. If you can put the pasturized soil in a tote with a seed heat pad in center of the pile, use act and let rest for atleast a week your bug issue will be gone. Be sure to use steps to prevent soil being used in the infected area.

If its coir turn hot water heater to max let it heat up for 3 hours, apply the hot water on the coir wait 45 min replace the hot water. If have a good hose not cheappie can hook it to water heater instead of buckets.

I had thrips from bag soil, i pasturized it, fed it act, gave it bit of time to do its thing and they never come back. If dont have big enough stock pot turkey bags are great to use. Iuse turkey bags fill them full leave top open stand them up and fill oven full.

It comes down to cycling the soil, cleaning the room immaculant daily for several days and keeping it seperated. Bugs have no chance against a wash cloth with alot of pressure being rinsed on every stroke from being squished. This ensures nobody is hanging around or there eggs.

Have had alot of bug issues from bags of dirt and coir. Now if its new soil its pasturized in the oven before use and rests, coir is pasturized with hot water 45m soak,drain and repeat, and do it for 8 hours. Granted once coir is pasturized its rinsed and cal mag, 1/4 strength veg nute for a day then used. This is done as a prvenative with anything i have not worked with. If i get the errant bug from somewhere in my grow i do this again.

I am not a user of the word organic, i do want to limit chems but sometimes there needed to finish a run. If you pasturize after you know theres an issue, and are anal for a week in a cleared out room wiping evey surface ceiling to floor,equipment, i mean everything, and keep the bug plants away and contained while they finish this will KILL anything in the medium, just need to make it living with what you want except for pests, those need to die. I know you need to keep using bacteria species for there preventions, not saying dont include bt, bti ect in your grow.

Just trying to help those that have or want to prevent gnats,mites,thrips ect from buying products and keep having issues.You can have eggs on clothing and get pest issues. Keep it clean,use bacterias to help they are your personal army. Nothing is not fail proof but when have a failure cook them and let mother nature use them to your advantage, not thiers.

Edit- if have a meat thermometer check the center bag or the center of the pile for temp. Once the center of the midle bag or the center of the pile is 160F then start your time.
 
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I am not sure how many gallons of soil you are dealing with. Something to ponder when dealing with hard species of bugs is if can seperate the soil from used flowering plants from veg plants.

Once current finishes flower take that soil and pasturize it like mushroom growers do. You wet the soil take handfull of medium squeeze it until 1 or 2 tiny drips of water come out of it, then put it in the oven at 160F or lowest setting and let it cook for a solid 12 hrs. Mushroomers go shorter because they use less medium, can go 24 hrs if want to.

Granted your medium will be dead no fungi, no bacteria. Just mix a act add molasses so it has fungal and bacteria in it, brew for 8 hours so still has bacteria not fungal dominate brew, use eath worm castings, fish hydroslate, and what ever you wish.

Once tea is ready apply to your pasterized soi. If you can put the pasturized soil in a tote with a seed heat pad in center of the pile, use act and let rest for atleast a week your bug issue will be gone. Be sure to use steps to prevent soil being used in the infected area.

If its coir turn hot water heater to max let it heat up for 3 hours, apply the hot water on the coir wait 45 min replace the hot water. If have a good hose not cheappie can hook it to water heater instead of buckets.

I had thrips from bag soil, i pasturized it, fed it act, gave it bit of time to do its thing and they never come back. If dont have big enough stock pot turkey bags are great to use. Iuse turkey bags fill them full leave top open stand them up and fill oven full.

It comes down to cycling the soil, cleaning the room immaculant daily for several days and keeping it seperated. Bugs have no chance against a wash cloth with alot of pressure being rinsed on every stroke from being squished. This ensures nobody is hanging around or there eggs.

Have had alot of bug issues from bags of dirt and coir. Now if its new soil its pasturized in the oven before use and rests, coir is pasturized with hot water 45m soak,drain and repeat, and do it for 8 hours. Granted once coir is pasturized its rinsed and cal mag, 1/4 strength veg nute for a day then used. This is done as a prvenative with anything i have not worked with. If i get the errant bug from somewhere in my grow i do this again.

I am not a user of the word organic, i do want to limit chems but sometimes there needed to finish a run. If you pasturize after you know theres an issue, and are anal for a week in a cleared out room wiping evey surface ceiling to floor,equipment, i mean everything, and keep the bug plants away and contained while they finish this will KILL anything in the medium, just need to make it living with what you want except for pests, those need to die. I know you need to keep using bacteria species for there preventions, not saying dont include bt, bti ect in your grow.

Just trying to help those that have or want to prevent gnats,mites,thrips ect from buying products and keep having issues.You can have eggs on clothing and get pest issues. Keep it clean,use bacterias to help they are your personal army. Nothing is not fail proof but when have a failure cook them and let mother nature use them to your advantage, not thiers.

Edit- if have a meat thermometer check the center bag or the center of the pile for temp. Once the center of the midle bag or the center of the pile is 160F then start your time.
If you have more soil than that to treat, here is a method that may be helpful:
Pickup: make or buy, a 50 gallon compost drum (alternate method below for a 275 Gal. Tote).
  • Pick up some QR compost activator.*
    Mix 1/4 teaspoon QR in a pint of warm water and shake vigorously.
    Mix this QR solution into a gallon of warm water.
    Take a 5 gallon bucket with 4 gallons of Alfalfa pellets (Rabbit or Horse feed)
    Mix the diluted QR solution with the Alfalfa pellets as evenly and thoroughly as possible.
    * In Europe: http://www.organiccatalogue.com/p503/QR-COMPOST-ACTIVATOR-Small/product_info.html, in the USA Google: qr compost activator
Recycling the soil: If you do this immediately after pulling your root ball, the soil should still be fairly moist, but it does need to be damp: use the squeeze test, you want it to just barely drip…

Start adding your soil to the compost drum, add some inoculated pellets, give it a couple spins, add some more soil and pellets, spin again, etc until the drum has about 40 gallons of soil in it. (you need some air gap)

If it is summer time, and your drum is in the sun, it will only take a few days for the contents to get up to 160 F. Spin it daily, and let it cook for at least 4 or 5 days.

During the winter, I do it in the garage. I use a 24 x 24” seedling heat mat duck taped to the drum with a hot water heater blanket around the drum. Of course you want the heat mat to be on the bottom of the drum. Once the internal temp of the drum gets up to 160, you can usually disconnect the heat mat unless it’s really cold out.

For a 275 gallon Tote (not good for winter use):
  • Cut the top off
Using 3/4" PVC pipe:
  • Make up an H pattern with a center T for the riser on the bar of the H
  • Drill 1/8” holes evenly, about 2” apart, on the H pieces of PVC
  • Glue all fittings and end caps of the H
  • Connect to an ECO 5 linear air pump (or similar), on a timer to run for an hour (or two) every six hours
  • Fill in the same manner as for the 50’s
  • Takes a week or so to get up to 160…
Thanks to Dave at Everwood Farm for the good ideas...
 
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This mite be a leap. I have discovered these little funk monkies in my garden. A post by @wesolidarity suggested that these suckers only follow the fungus on which they feed. Its like they are the clean up crew. So i paused on freaking out. Checking out the dud arguement over yonder i stumbled upon the skunks post, suggesting one of the predators of stem nematodes are Rhizoglyphus echinopus, aka bulb mites. It mite be that the symtoms discussed here are actually due to stem nematodes, Ditylenchus dispacci.
 
Having been an Avid reader of the site, which seems to Pylon the facts, i hope this is of some use to someone.

Chitosan is supposed to help as well. More specifically chitosan olligosaccharide lactate (via stormshadow).

This seems to be my problem. The stem nematodes or foliar nematodes. I dont have the appropriate credentials to discern the two. Nor the time.

If these posts were unwarranted or simply wrong. Please delete them. I'd hate to spread misinformation. Thank you!
 
Oh. The bitter irony. Due to the size of the eggs i'm seeing, it looks like its more likely Ditylenchus destructor. The potato nematode. Ha. I might have gottem' doin the potato test. Who was it that said not to get the organic kind? Ba. Suppose i oughta start a new thread. Okey doke. Lemme do a little more research and get my ducks in a row and my poop in a group.
 
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From reading this post and several others in different sites I got more questions than answers because:

  • Mites are too many, some people identifies them as beneficial, predatory, pests...
  • There is no agreement because of the difficulty to obtain decent pictures of the tiny animals with household items (Unexpensive USB microscopes, phone cameras etc).
    • It is difficult to count the legs numbers
    • It is difficult to differentiate the Antennae feelers from front legs. (To make things worse a proto-ninph stage of Mites has only 6 legs).

What seems to be a common occurrence is:

  • People see a few fliers.
  • Plants show signs of assorted deficiencies linked to High pH (Usually resembling Iron or Mg or Ca)
  • Many have done the potato test thinking fungus Gnats and find these crawlers instead.
  • Nothing seems to kill them.
  • The smaller the amount of soil the worse the plant does.

Now something I have observed is that My worm bin has Mite population that seem to explode if the bin is too wet.

I consume a lot of coffee that ends up in the worm bin so my bin must be on the acidic side.

When the bin gets dry the mites are nowhere to be seen.
(This might just be because they don't like soaked soil so they come to the surface.)

I have seen fliers come and go from my worm bin and they have the erratic flight patter of FG, however there are no fungus Gnat larvae to be seen in my worm bin.
(But i have found some FG larva in some of my potted plants)

What can be concluded:
  • They share the optimal conditions for FG
    • Acidic pH (5 to 7)
    • High humidity (Soil too retentive)
    • Highly organic matter content decaying (live soils, organic media)
  • They are not affected by common pest killer methods
  • Since the more soil the less damage this might indicate that they might only turn aggressive towards the root mass if enough in numbers and not enough food.
  • The are photosensitive (Hide from the light)
  • Even thou they like humid places they seem to be chased to the surface by drenched soil.

I might have introduced them in my plants from the worm bin.

The plant i found them was a cutting i got from a friend with impossible to explain lockouts (the mother thrived in vegetation showing deficiency symptoms but with good grow rates just to die after 8 weeks of flower producing very little yield, 32 top occupying 1.2m X 1.2 @ 80 Cm height when switched yielded about 10g dry...)

3 cuttings were recovered from this mother, rooted them with his soil and took em to a different place to see if the problem could be isolated.


Here are the observations:

The clones were re-potted as follows:

a) 27lt pot, on my soil mix of: 2x Peat + 1 Vermiculite, some sand, bottom of pumice + a hydro basket filled with peat to make a wick/self watering pot with low Perched Water Table (PWT) level.

This one is doing great, took about 2 - 3 weeks to recover, damaged leaves where used by the plant and shed. Lots of new growth, but it is the one where i did the potato test to see if the gnats traveled with the roots to the new soil.​

b) 3lt pot: Pure peat

This one fell from a stand i put on so it was close to the lamp, it lost about half the peat on the pot which and didn't replace it (lazy boy).
It is also doing great, thou showing less growth as it has much less soil.
IT also took 2 to three weeks to recover.

c) Didn't report left in a 4" starter pot with his mix.

This one, which was left on its soil but shared the Nute solution, the watering, ETC from the others; is the one that did not move, the damage seem to have stopped but she didn't recover, so last week i decided re-pot it.

Now it is showing new growth and recovery signs.

To re-pot it:
A 1% solution of H2O2 in a big water container was prepared and dumped the soil and the root mass on it, it didn't fizz too much.

All the root ball was cleaned from soil and riders (I hope)
And the plant was potted in the same mix as (a) but in a 1 lt pot to keep it "handable".

I left the old soil in the H2O2 solution ever since
(I can see the FG larvae as white strands immobile underwater on top of the sedimented soil, I took tweezers and catched 3 after 4 days under water (the H2O2 probably has already broken into H2O and O.) To my surprise, once under the microscope the wormy FG larva became more active as it crawled out of the water drop and once on the dry it moved like nothing has happened to it... After 4 days soaking in a previously Neem treated soil under a ton of Water + Oxygenated water).

So Drowinign doesn't kills FG larva, nor Peroxide, nor Azadirachtin (Azamax 1.2% or Neem oil (0.03% to 0.25%))


I did found a lot of fungus Gnat larvae in his original soil, since
BTI is not readily available in the country I live in, this is what was tried:
  • Neem oil + soap + water spray
  • Hidrogen Peroxide (H2O2) flushes
  • Aired Nutes + Molasses
  • Aerated wormcastings Tea.
  • Drowning
What to do from this point on:

Put potato slivers on:
the 3 pots + the Worm-Bin and compare what is catched.

Trust my pH
Find a way to measure the pH and trust it because the bugs might be unoffensive even beneficial and might just be an indication of too low pH / too humid soil / ready for problems!


Why? Let me explain:

Most of us use inexpensive pH pens, I have a Chinese Pen and a two electrode Chinese thing that you jam in the soil).

I don't expect them to be very precise but at least be coherent.

By the amounts of Peat I use in my soil and the amount of coffee i trow in the worm bin i should have low pH problems, yet when i pH the Brew either Nutes either WCT I find it in the 8's with the pen and the electrode thing doesn't move from 7.

I can trow some white vinegar in the mix and the pH will drop, just to be back at 7 - 8 a few hours later.

My tap water reads 7.7 - 8 lately, pure white vinegar read 2.6 in the pen, around 4 on the electrode thing.

My run off claims to be 6.8 pH. according to the pen.

It doesn't makes sense my pH should be low from the soil mix.
Should'n Nutes solution should also be on the acidic side?

Keep monitoring the plants:
Maybe the damage comes from FG, I didn't see many adult fliers in the clones, but the smaller the pot the worse the plant did, and once removed the plant shown improvement. (The donor grower had a bad case of FG)

If the mites are beneficial/unoffensive, but share FG conditions they might be a consequence of the FG infestation, for all we know they might compete against the Gnats for food.

I ordered some BTI (i'm paying more for shipping than for the product) If the FG dissapear but i still have the mites and the plants thrive then I'll let them be.


Some pictures of my mites:
These pictures are from the catch of a potato slice in a potted plant, I am yet to capture some from the worm bin and compare.

There are two types of bug, roundish ones (like a light bulb shape) the ones that seem to be mating.

And the one on the pict below which is more elongated and smaller.

I took the pictures both under UV and normal light.
2.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
9.jpg
10.jpg
12.jpg
17.jpg
19.jpg
20.jpg
22.jpg
 
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Ok so far i checked:

Worms bin and they are there in numbers, i mean they have been always there i just confirmed they are the same i found in the potted plant.
T20170213_001_0013.jpg

T20170213_002_0056.jpg

There seem to be the two variety (The round and the slimish one, the slim one i could not get a decent shot)



I also checked my underwater FG larva by fishing 2 of them after 8 days submerged into what was an H20H solution.

They are still alive and kicking.

Both Mites and FG Larva took about 3 minutes immersed in 90¤ Alcohol to die.
S20170213_0003.jpg
S20170213_0004.jpg


I put potato on every plant and will let them for a few hours and back to the microscope to see what got into them.

I will try to harvest some more from the Worm Bin as to try my UV flashlight again as i think it killed the ones i was trying to illuminate on the first set of pictures.

Also I will try drowning them in a petri dish as I read that bulb mites wont survive.

The Mites don't move much in the worm bin but when light hits them they go crazy and move fast.
 
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Here is a thing I believe.

If you find a mite, it is not a predatory beneficial unless you introduced it.

I had mites in my worm bin once (different variety than ever seen in the garden).
Started feeding to lower level and they went away.
 
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Here is a thing I believe.

If you find a mite, it is not a predatory beneficial unless you introduced it.
While that might be true in an airlocked setp, mites are acarians they are so little that they can travel on the wind.

In soils and compost all sorts of bugs occur on their own because they travel :D

A worm bin a potted plant or am open garden all can potentially develop populations of feeders spontaneously.

In a worm bin it starts with rotting, Microbes and Fungi break down organic matter to eat it.

Where those microbes and fungus came from?

Then Mites and springtails and others appear to feed on the fungus and and decaying matter mulmed by the microbes.

Where those came from?

What happens is that there are either dormant eggs or adults are brought (by you in your clothes, by the wind etc) and if the conditions are ok the population will develop.


Both good and bad bugs seem to "appear" but they are actually innoculated by us or something we do.

Now predatory mites can come from several places:

Eggs put by the manufacturer on dry products to protect the product
Brought by the wind
Hitch a ride on your clothes
From that potted plant in your neighbor balcony.

And all that they need to Thrive is a population of prey available.


I dont think i claimed those are predatory mites anyway.

I think this naturally occurring soil life is more of a cleaning crew going around after something attacked the plant and it is mostly beneficial.

That is the reason i am approaching them with a method, in order to pin point what the hell they are doing in the pots.


I had mites in my worm bin once (different variety than ever seen in the garden).
Started feeding to lower level and they went away.
You think they went away.

Actually they reduced numbers because there was less excess food available and since less food most likely also dryer enviroment and they are hidden in between the castings.

Try soaking your bin and you will see them coating the surface of the bin.

Most people thinks there are no bugs because you don't see it, and then claim that their worm castings population exploded because they put cantaloupe on the bin...

No, what happens is that the conditions changed and now, you can see them.

See how most people posting here have found the Mites while looking for RA ?
Why? becasuse before they were not looking at the soil with a microscope... :D
 
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Checked the Potato on all the plants.

The results:
Found another one (a cherry tomato) that has the same mites (both pear / lightbulb and the smaller one.

It is strange because at least 4 plants have been fed worm-castings and only two show the presence of life.

But the other 2 are huge containers and maybe they are deeper in the soil so they don't smell the potato ?

Clone (c) the small one just recently re-potted had a lot of movement in the potato.
Nematodes (and i don't think they are beneficial)

I worry as someone mentioned that he tough those soil mites are predators of nematodes...

I also saw in this potato a very fast mite i could not catch in a photo.

Since i moved all the plants I re-potted clone (b) in a serious container (the same size as clone (a) with the same soil)

UV Light:

No luck killing anything with my led UV light, thou after illuminating my first potato for pictures/contrast I found a few dead mites in the desk the fell off the potato and i thought they died of UV...
:(

Mite Habitat:
I also made an habitat (like the ones for springtails) with a tupperware, some activated carbon and rice and inoculated a small piece of coffee filter containing about 20 Pear shaped mites.

If they reproduce, i will setup a kinda closed terrarium with a plant inside to see if they attack it / make it wilt.


Drowning mites:

I forgot to do that, will try tomorrow if i find the time
 
Bulb Mites can be a pain for sure! I'm in Washington as well and I deal with a lot of commercial grows. Bulb Mites aren't very common with cannabis in Washington and I would love to help you with your problem. My company makes a product that's approved for use on commercial cannabis and is safe to use up to the day of harvest if you'd like. It is extremely effective at killing Bulb Mites, however like some others said, getting to them can be difficult!

I would say that our products would help and if you're in Washington I would love to help you get rid of these if I could document how we kill them.

We have killed a lot of bulb mites in our lab and some in soil, but finding cannabis infested with bulb mites is pretty rare our here and it would be really great to figure out HOW we can kill them as efficiently as possible.

PM me if you'd like to take me up on that! I'm serious!
 

ShroomKing

Best of luck. Peace
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The sk
Ok so far i checked:

Worms bin and they are there in numbers, i mean they have been always there i just confirmed they are the same i found in the potted plant.
View attachment 668569
View attachment 668611
There seem to be the two variety (The round and the slimish one, the slim one i could not get a decent shot)



I also checked my underwater FG larva by fishing 2 of them after 8 days submerged into what was an H20H solution.

They are still alive and kicking.

Both Mites and FG Larva took about 3 minutes immersed in 90¤ Alcohol to die.View attachment 668547 View attachment 668548

I put potato on every plant and will let them for a few hours and back to the microscope to see what got into them.

I will try to harvest some more from the Worm Bin as to try my UV flashlight again as i think it killed the ones i was trying to illuminate on the first set of pictures.

Also I will try drowning them in a petri dish as I read that bulb mites wont survive.

The Mites don't move much in the worm bin but when light hits them they go crazy and move fast.
The Slimmish ones are hynoaspis miles bugs. Fyi.
Peace
 
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Mites from hell - unkillable! Hope you get it sorted bro. A friend has used predatory mites before, but only on a small scale with some clones. They worked for him, but unsure how you'd go on a larger scale. Worth a try at least.
This is the only course of action that I've read will work. H. Miles in particular are soil dwelling predators. When I can actually get look at my soil and i can see them crawling all through the soil in search of prey. They aerate the top layer also. The bulb mites aren't really affected by biological IPMs that must be ingested such as neem or spinosad. I've read that nematodes can't get em. Hell from what I can see they like eating karanja cake!!! wtf. they were all over the half melted pellets.

They thrive in extremely wet soil and usually go hand in hand with fugus gnats. they even attach themselves to the adult form and hitch hike. Take that into account. Wait an extra day between waterings for a few weeks. They aren't damaging to your plant unless you have a root decaying fungus or root munching pest like fungus gnats. They only like decaying organic matter but from what I've read they get a little crazy and sometimes start working into healthy tissue which opens you up to pathogens and disease.

I'm not saying to ignore them by any means. Just helping you understand why they are there.
 

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