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Bugs In Compost Soil.


Glacier Hills
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I have little 1mm x .5mm wide multi legged white bugs in my castings, they seem to congregate on any uneaten compost. I have not experimented yet to see if they eat live roots but i will know soon. any one know what these bugs are? this soil is now in my worm bin to be finished. I know that I can sterilize the bugs out but that will also kill all the good stuff in this batch it's chocked full of life. I am not going to sterilize it, so don't suggest that.

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I have little 1mm x .5mm wide multi legged white bugs in my castings, they seem to congregate on any uneaten compost. I have not experimented yet to see if they eat live roots but i will know soon. any one know what these bugs are? this soil is now in my worm bin to be finished. I know that I can sterilize the bugs out but that will also kill all the good stuff in this batch it's chocked full of life. I am not going to sterilize it, so don't suggest that.

I would look up Bacilisus Thurgenisis israelisis or short form BT. It is a microbes or predatory critter that is microscopic that will eat the larvae of lots of bugs when applied as a soil drenching in either compost Tea or with straight water. Give it a few week of applications and it will solve your problems, well most of them anyways. Predatory nematodes are also good too. Good Luck.

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I like the suggestion and know about BT... I'm not trying to kill them(yet, if at all) they are doing natures work right now right along side of the wigglers. I just wondered if any one else has seen them or knows if there going to eat roots. there are some little seeds starting in there right now so we'll see what happens. been all over the web but cant find any thing about these insects.

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I like the suggestion and know about BT... I'm not trying to kill them(yet, if at all) they are doing natures work right now right along side of the wigglers. I just wondered if any one else has seen them or knows if there going to eat roots. there are some little seeds starting in there right now so we'll see what happens. been all over the web but cant find any thing about these insects.

 

pictures?

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sound like predatory mites to me , they wont harm your plants , they eat spider mites and anything like feces etc. I bought a bag of ocean forest once and thats what was in mine. look up predatory mites on youtube , look at the adult and larvae version. Actually nice to have around wish i would of kept mine . once they run out of food they will die quick . keep those buggers fed and reproducing they are a nice for never getting spider mites. Plus they cost like 50$ for 2k of em delivered if you ever have to order them down the road . keep em multiplying and give to your friends that grow also, just make sure they are pred mites and not spider mites or anything else destructive first .

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also pred mites dont eat plant or roots or seeds , i didnt notice i had them right away either and planted seeds and they all came up with np's healthy as can be. If you ever want to get rid of em , which i dont see why you would all ya do is water your plant then put sand over your soil about 2 inches thick , wait a week they will all die. just repeat the process if not all die first time .. post pics and we can help you identify .

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Are you making your own castings? I do, actually my worms do, and when i feed the veggie scraps to the worms, the veggies rot and that draws flies and other bugs. Not a problem though. The worms only eat the left overs from the bugs feast, they do not eat the veggie matter directly. The fungus and bacteria left over from rotting food scraps are then worm food. Once most of the visible veggie matter is gone the bugs you see will most likely vamoose. When the food is gone it gets hostile for the flys and bugs that eat teh produce, as soil organisms can and do eat them. So i suggest just give it some time, let nature take it's course.

 

And if your not making your own worm castings, start. Your fresh from the worm farm castings are far superior than store bought. We use worm castings for the beneficail microbes, along with bacteria, fungus, and enzymes from the worms gut, as the NPK numbers are quite low. We can put the castings direectly in the soil or let them multiply in a compost/castings tea.

 

A simple worm farm can be made from a couple of cheap totes, I use the 4 dollar 18 gallon totes. Drill small holes in the tote you want worms in, then put in some bricks in the undrilled tote for the worm bin to rest on. In the worm bin I put in a couple of inches of paper shreddings, perhaps some old soil, some of my outdoor compost, and lots of worms. You can get the small red worms used for fishing or go the google for composting worms. If you buy off the net get worm cocoons, they will hold over two worms each, and it is fairly inexpensive compared to live worms. Some liquid will run out of the farm into the bottom tote, use this liquid carefully as it is very potent, and full of beneficial microbes, bacteria, ect. When your bin is getting somewhat filled either lure the worms to one side with fresh lettuce of just sift through you castings to return the worms to the bin while you take the castings. Anyway it is a great way to provide a rich microbe environment for your plants, with what is essentially throw away garbage...........shredder

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thanks for all that there shredder. I am composting and I do have a worm farm. started with a fishing container of 12 red wigglers now I have a couple hundred.I do my composting indoors and have a fly free home so I rarely if ever get any bugs these in question are the first I have seen in a year. A little tip for you too. if you can obtain some black solder fly larvae they are super good for red wiggler composting, I found them on youtube. they keep away flies and other pests and don't get smelly like house fly maggots.

 

Thanks hobo... but there are not Japanese beetles. I have had these bugs for months and they are all under 1mm long, I am positive that they are not larval and the 1 mm size is full grown. I have small wild seeds sprouting for about 3 days now and so far they are not being bothered, But there is plenty of other food (compost ) for them to eat. we'll see this has turned into an experiment and no plants will be harmed in the testing of these bugs.LOL

 

 

 

Blayne, wow 33 posts and already a mod? welcome to the Forum. any way, were your bugs bright white? these bugs stay out of the light or at the bottom of the container. I'm going to put a clump of compost and these bugs into a clear comtainer and try to get pics, I don't have high hopes for the pics though. these guys are tiny. I't would be VERY cool if they are the insect/mite thate you speak of. i have noticed them reproduce pretty rapidly, I'll test that too when I isolate a few into the clear test container. I will look up predatory mites on the tube too, if I find my bugs I'll post a link.

 

final note. this is a home composting and worm farm set up that I built, this is not worm castings from the store. thanks every one for their reply's. stay tuned

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://81.95.118.100/~doehetzelf/taxa/onycinae.htm

Springtails, Onychiurinae sp

I have been doing a little research on the soil bugs I have clear test containers with composted material in it to observe them to see how fast they multiply and how they treat plant roots. so far they have not bothered roots and are breeding. they are considered to be "shredders" and beneficial to composting.

 

I also have been observing the oribatid mite Collohmannia sp. in clear containers on compost, this is the most common mite on earth and scientists say that with out them we would not be here. they are beneficial to soil building and spread fungi and make food available to bacteria.They eat decaying plant matter and dead springtails. These a very small at adulthood being at max only .2mm. I have seen extremely fast multiplication of this sp, even though they are said to be slow to multiply. this mite is a relative of the tick. there are no males in this sp.

Edited by Glacier Hills
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