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So... what are these things eating my roots?

Karen Pease
13 years ago

I have some plants indoors whose soil has been infested with some sort of insect. The first pot that was infested, shiso, has become dwarfed and not grown one bit since the infestation. The second pot that has become infested is my prize LED-grown pepper that had just started flowering, and now it's starting to lose its lower leaves. My first thought was, obviously, everyone's main target: fungus gnats. However, I've come to doubt this hypothesis.

1) The little white creatures that I see occasionally on the soil surface (never on the plants themselves) are clearly not wormy, which fungus gnat larvae are. They actually walk across the surface in a rather fast, legged manner (although they're too small to actually make out legs).

2) I've been treating my soil with BTi for a week and a half now, and I have nothing to show for it.

Sorry, no pictures -- they're too small, and duck out of sight too often. I tried an insecticidal soap coating on the top of the soil in case they're soft-bodied types that the soap can kill and in case they don't go deep enough into the pot. But if that doesn't do the trick, I'm thinking I'll have to up the ante and go with a pyrethrin soak.


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