Potato worked!! (fungus gnat larva)

vic_zn5September 3, 2008

I just wanted to let ya know, I read in a post on here (somewhere) to cut a potato in half and put it on top of the soil and fungus gnat larva are attracted to it. The poster hadn't ever tried it and didn't know if it would work. I did it and it worked! It worked so good it grossed me out! LOL

I wondered if you could see the larva with the naked eye, oh yes, you can! I am still feeling itchy and "crawly" after pulling my potato out.

I put some slices in some pots and then put a half of potato in another pot, only got larva on the half potato. I could see them moving on the potato, this is after having it in there for 2 days (might have been 3, but I think 2) I know its a big pic, but wanted to make sure you could see them.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ok...I've been looking and looking and I can't see any fungus gnat larvae. :-( But what are those little things that resemble tiny seeds?

Do I need my Mr. Magoo glasses, or what?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:49AM
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vic_zn5

Those tiny seed looking things ARE the larva, they were moving around, and I could see some that were starting to get longer and more "larva" like.
At least I HOPE those are the larva and I don't have some other critters infesting my plants!!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 11:02AM
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vic_zn5

Ok Rhizo, thanks for giving me the creeps! I have went and looked up pics of the larva, and yes, they do not show little moving seed-like things, like I said I did see some that were more like the pics, but they were almost clear and would not show up with my camera.
Now I'm wondering WHAT these thing are!! And am thinking about just pitching ALL my plant!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 11:35AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Tee hee, sorry about that! I kinda thought that you were thinking that those little 'seeds' were the larvae.

So, they move? I'm intrigued. What kind of potting soil are you using?

They look kind of beetle-like. Wonder if they are one of the teensy decomposing beetles?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 12:58PM
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vic_zn5

Ok Rhizo, ONLY FOR YOU WOULD I DO THIS!! LOL
Yesterday after the "photo-shoot" of my crawlies, I put the potato in a plastic bag, very tightly wrapped it up in tape, put in the garbage and took the garbage out.
Today, I went out and dug it back out and took more pics (I tried to video them moving, but my camera isn't good enough to zoom that close!) But, here you can see how they have moved as I took the pics, I can't get any closer pics.

Now I've re-bleached the table and am going to go take a shower! LOL


I used miracle grow potting soil, the stuff is terrible! Now I have expert mix all purpose potting soil. I have already re-potted several plants in this mixed with perilite. I am considering going and getting peat moss and doing a peat perilite 50/50 mix, I have also thought of "cooking" my soil (yes, I know, only Ken does this, LOL I have been told by others that it works also)
But it would be cheaper than buying more stuff, and I have a giant bag of it.
I've also thought of using a bleach water mix on them, or ordering some BT and using that.
*sigh* It's very frustrating!
Vic

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:27PM
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mr_subjunctive

Oh noes!! Somebody said Miracle Gro soil was terrible!!

(Brace yourself. She's coming. . . .)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:38PM
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vic_zn5

LOL.... Well, when she gets here I hope she gives me her addy, I will send her this rock hard cement like stuff they call potting soil, bugs and all! : )

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:06PM
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perlite(z6, southern IN)

EEewwwwww.
Now, am I talking about them creepy crawlers, or the "soil?"
And, is there a difference.....?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:31PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

NO! Don't nuke the soil until we've solved the mystery!!! NO fair, I'm not nearly done with you, yet!

I'm moved that you've sacrificed so much for my twisted interest in crawly things. Are you willing to go one step further?

Would you mind (we all know you will mind) putting a handful of the potting medium into a large clear container and filling it up with water and a few drops of dish soap?

I'd like to know if any of those seedy things make themselves known. They still look like small beetles to me.

P.S. Don't you go putting pesticides in the soil, other than the Bt for the fungus gnat larvae.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 4:06PM
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vic_zn5

Rhizo, I'm so glad my little critters are keeping you amused! I have a NEW development for you too, I put the potato back in the dirt (a new tater) and NOW I have these teensy tiny bitsy little white things crawling on it! I threw the tater out this am, and put a fresh one in again.
I did scoop up some soil and put in water, a LOT of these little white things floated right to the top! I couldn't take a pic b/c of course the battery in my cam is dead! I have not gotten anymore of the 'seed' bugs so far (sorry) but we will see what happens with the water method.

If you are really this interested in these critters I will be happy to mail you a soil sample for you to do some experimenting on! LOL

I only have one plant left in the old dirt, and my gnats seem to be getting less by the day.

Oh, and I did water with a 10% bleach water.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 4:38PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Those tiny darkish spots. Mites, but not the nasty spider mites.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 10:21PM
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vic_zn5

So Jean are they bad mites? Is dirt really supposed to have this many bugs in it? I mean, I know there is supposed to be "life", but I didn't think it was anything I could see with the naked eye, at least not in houseplant soil.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 10:40PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Nope. Not a problem at all.

As it turns out, soil -- and potting mix -- has a number of tiny residents we seldom realize are there.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 11:43PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yay, Jean!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 11:53AM
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vic_zn5

Thanks Jean! That does make me feel better! But now everytime I stick my finger in the soil to see if it needs water I think about all the bugs! LOL

So Rhizo, ummm, what would you like me to do with my jar of drowned critters? LOL

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 12:14PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've read that these exceedingly rare soil-mites can survive months of floating in the ocean, years of being frozen solid, exposure to triple XXX rays, hours of being pulsed in the food processor, being set afire with a blow torch, and anything you could possibly think to do with them with gasoline or Texas hot sauce.

SO! I really don't have any idea what you should do with them, but I can promise you that they are not drowned....but simply resting.

Oh, one more little thing that you should be warned about before you

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 12:21PM
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vic_zn5

Before I WHAT????
(you think you're soooo funny don't you!)
LOL

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:47PM
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sewnmom7

rizo,vic, you guys are so funny,intertainin,you made me laugh out loud,and i promise you,i needed that. thanks again,molly

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:24PM
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vic_zn5

Molly, you think that's funny, wait till I send Rhizo some of my exceedingly rare soil-mites! hehehe

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:49PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

'Oh, one more thing you should be warned about before you SEND THEM TO ME'.

These are homing mites.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:11PM
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vic_zn5

Rhizo, just wait till you see my next post! I've got one scarey looking bug to get id'd

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:35PM
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vic_zn5

you have to go here to see it!

Here is a link that might be useful: what the hell is this?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Oh, goody! I'll go put on some Depends right now!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:44PM
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vic_zn5

I WISH I HAD THEM ON WHEN I FOUND THAT THING!!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You are just the luckiest thing, you! That's the friendly Sun Spider (aka Wind Scorpion, Camel Spider or Scorpion). They make great pets; I wish I had about a million of 'em. They're a bit ticklish, and may nibble just a little bit. Barely enough to break the skin.

Seriously, these creepy Arachnids aren't spiders or scorpions, though related. They have extremely powerful jaws, as you can probably tell from the picture! They are active predators of other critters.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:12PM
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vic_zn5

Well it's too bad I didn't know that before I KILLED it! I would have made a nice little pet out of it (NOT)
BUT, I would have sent him to you to care for! LOL

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:21PM
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steevec573_cobleskill_edu

I thought the same thing that i had fungus gnat larva. I put potatoes in my soil and see tons of small black bugs, VERY TINY, crawling all over the potatoes.

Anyone have any idea what they could be ? They are too small i think to even take a picture.

Someone with some knowledge please email me off this board as i see this board is dead.

Thank you thank you thank you.

Dying to know what these critters are.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 8:12PM
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LucindaC(4)

Rhizo, you seem experienced with soil. What type of soil would you recommend? I posted a post in my section but haven't heard from you so I figured I'd track you down again. I have used gnatrol and it is effective for a little while but not for too long. Since I have over 60 plants and some plants can't take too much water (some are dying because of the gnatrol drench) but I am considering replanting or buying beneficial nematodes. What do you think? Soil? What kind? or nematodes?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:38AM
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kp40836

Glad to see something works for gnats.. I've found a few on my plants (flying/hopping around the soil) and have done the BTi drenching. They are mostly geraniums and I always let them dry out before watering, so I suspect my new plants or the flowers my bf got me as the introduction of these guys. I also had them in miracle gro potting soil that was on sale and have now bought a different type and mixed with some perlite in the hopes of letting the soil dry faster. The weird thing is, I don't see any larvae in my soil, just a bunch of adult gnats climbing around. I'm hoping the BTi kills any eggs/larvae that are growing before they fully develop.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:46PM
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birdsnblooms

KP...adding Perlite was a good idea. Packaged soil is fine, if it's amended.
Some brands are a little too heavy...if soil stays continuously wet, and the air is dry, (or too humid, w/o air circulation,' Gnats will take over.

Maybe the potato works..lol. Toni

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:02PM
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