Thin, clear worm in soil?

HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)December 11, 2011

First off, I'm kinda new to this forum, so spare me if this is the wrong section...

Just today, in my Thanksgiving cactus's pot, I notice there was a long sheet of silk. I assumed it was a spider until I saw one clear worm thing just underneath, I guess it was eating or making more web...it was segmented with a tiny reddish head. I promptly destroyed the web, but the worm quickly back into the soil. Will this thing harm my plant? I haven't changed the soil yet, so it mustve been there for a while. Any idea on what it is, also?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry, but I don't get a "long sheet of silk" in your post. Might you mean a long THREAD of silk?

Sorry, I don't know any worms, clear or otherwise.

Did you just buy the plant? Could it have come home w/ you in the pot?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 4:48PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

Oops, forgot to add that part! Yes, the plant was just bought. By a sheet, I don't mean a thread. It was like a layer of silk kind of like the funnel-web spiders, except without the funnel, and thinner...

The soil is kind of peaty, I guess. The worm hasn't come out again, but the flowers are dropping now... :(

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:25PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oh, well, if it were me, I'd be taking it right back to the store. I live in an apartment, can't risk unknown living creatures.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:46PM
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aviolet6(7)

If it was pretty tiny it might be a nematode worm. Not sure they make webbs but they do eat the plants' roots. I would take the plant out, examine the roots for webbs and / or rotting and perhaps you can catch the worm. You could rinse off the old soil and repot in new soil.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:28PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was said "If it was pretty tiny it might be a nematode worm."

Umm. Nematodes *not* visible to naked eye. Also don't have an obvious head. Also, they don't make webs.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 12:32AM
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ronalawn82(z9FL)

HelloPandaNF, I thought that I had posted this. See if the worm in the picture on the following site matches what you have.

http://www.opalexplorenature.org/Redheadworm

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 10:34AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

To fend off all the guessing, we need pictures. Pictures, puhleeeeze.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 11:28PM
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HelloPandaNF(Zone Five)

jean001a: I would have taken a picture, but it hasn't come back to the surface...should've snapped one when I had the chance!

Wouldn't changing the soil stress the plant? It doesn't look like there is any damage other than no flowers, and I don't want to change soil for a worm that may be harmless...

ronalawn82: From my memory, it was at least half an inch long, and looked nothing like the redheadworm. I appreciate your help, though!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 11:53AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Have no idea what it is but if you see no signs of distress on your plant than there's not likely any need for immediate concern.

There is a possibility that it is damaging the roots so you should pay attention to it for any signs that something is going wrong. You could re-pot it and be done with it and if your cactus is in good condition to begin with then it won't hurt it at all to give it new soil.

It's also possible that the web and the worm have nothing to do with each other and you have two different homesteaders living in there.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Caitlin82328

I also have the thin clear worms. They leave a slime trail on top of the soil in my basil pot. The slime looks like Christmas tinsel when you shine light on it. For this plant, I used organic soil and had been watering frequently when I started to notice the worms. I caught one, put it in a ziploc bag, and photgraphed it next to a penny and a paperclip. You'll see that they are completely transparent except for their black head and their intestines. Does anyone know what kind of worm this is? Is it harmful or helpful?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:23AM
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rina_

Caitlin

You said:
For this plant, I used organic soil and had been watering frequently when I started to notice the worms

I think that you can see, in organic soil there is more 'life' - they have lots to feed on, so no surprise - together with plenty of organic matter & moisture, you always get some 'bugs' - good or bad.
Your photos look like a larvae I would not want to have in the pots. Just my opinion.

Panda

I would either take the plant back, or change all of the soil. As dellis mentioned, there could be couple of different creatures there.

Rina

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:16AM
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