I don’t recall they having so much hair so I’m hoping your wrong about them being bulb mites
I think you are on to something, perhaps even a symbiotic relationship with fungus gnats and root aphids. It's a chicken or egg things. The Bulb mites are there because there is fungus , which persist after the soaks for the other bug...the soaks themselves presenting an atmosphere for further fungal growth due to extra moisture and anaerobic fungal activity.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:
What to do from this point on:
- Neem oil + soap + water spray
- Hidrogen Peroxide (H2O2) flushes
- Aired Nutes + Molasses
- Aerated wormcastings Tea.
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.
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Observation, oils have to be used super carefully, then you have the soap as a dispersing agent. 2 strikes. Actually 3 soap raises ph and we know our plants like it slightly acidic. I do believe they have a place but it may be more cleaning disinfecting a room or there scents maybe enough to keep insects in the not interested zone.This video is very informative when approaching mites. All kinds of mites.
Watch “Cannabis Diseases & Pests: Kill Hemp Russet Mite Broad Mites on Cannabis” on Vimeo:
With you on this , I put BT/Dunks in my soil upon potting and these fucker live in it... Also did 2 essential oil and soap dunks. They were laughing at me. Triad seemed to knock them down, Malthion the same, pyrethium didn't bother them. I trashed it all , heat treated the room scrubbed everything with bleach, fogged and will be dropping new seeds after letting some no pest strips sit for a minute..Oh yeah bought a steamer and steamed every nook an cranny.Hey Mikenite69, did you identify the bulb mites with a microscope? I tried BT I and K many times with no luck when I had them.
also it seems unlikely that you would get them from a brick of coco. They like wet environments with lots of roots to eat. A coco block has nothing for them. Are you sure it wasn't spring tails? Did they hop at all? And how fast were they? Bulb mites are pretty slow to the naked eye
I am definitely gonna be there with you I believe these came from some off brand organic soil, but it doesn't matter . Every new bag is gonna get pasturized now.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.
Old post I know but can you show me some pics of the bulb mites amd root aphids I'm dealing with some type if eost that looks similar and my plants are going down hill I only find them in my soil and theres this white webbing all throughout the soil...please any info you have help or advice would be greatly appreciatedI've unfortunely been diagnosed with having bulb mites this week and all I can say with certainty is that clones take much longer to root. Makes sense when you have a bug eating the roots as quick as they grow. I also have root aphids and lots of fungus gnats in a flower room. Its plausable that one or the other brought them along.
I haven't had an indoor pest since 2006 and now have my hands full. It's sort of exciting :)