Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Small white bugs in soil

Posted by nicandross (My Page) on
Sat, May 26, 07 at 8:24

We have a potted avocado tree which has an infestation in the soil of some sort of small, white bug. They are less than 1mm in size (very small) and appear white against the soil. They crawl quite fast and can be seen when you look closely crawling all over the surface of the soil. Our avocado (which is only a small sapling) has leaves which are starting to go brown and curl/shrivel, and some leaves which have grown (been eaten?) into an unusual shape. Can anyone help identify these bugs and tell us how to get rid of them?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Small white bugs in soil

COuld be anything at that stage, they're usually white because they haven't developed thier outer membrane shells. But it could be anything.
Termites maybe? I have a bug book so post a close up and I'll get on trying to ID it for you.
Otherwise, use pesticides as a last resort.

Know anyone who smokes? Take cigarette butts( 15 or so) or three fresh cigarettes and break them up and soak them in a couple gallons of water( in the sun for a couple days)
then, pour into the earth.
But before you pour the nicotine, pour gallons of water with 5 or so drops of dishwasher soap into the soil and let it sit.

The soap will break the membranes and kill the eggs/younglings, and the nicotine will finish the job. ( This method is safe and organic.

RE: Small white bugs in soil

Nicotene, in any form, is no longer recognized by any one as an acceptable pesticide.
The single best thing you can do is totally replace the potting soil you currently have with some other potting soil. Clean the plants roots of all the old soil and look closely to see if any of these larva may have bored into the roots.

RE: Small white bugs in soil

They might be springtails but I don't think those would cause the other symptoms you describe. You can look at the Vermicomposting Formum or to see if those are the bugs you have. I have what I am almost sure are springtails all over the place now, they come and go and I think I got them from a friend's compost and they are in my worm bin, but when you read further you can see if that's them. Let us know!

RE: Small white bugs in soil

Can someone please tell me why nicotine is no longer accepted?

RE: Small white bugs in soil

that is only one persons opinion but be forewarned it is a broad spectrum killer. so be sure they are not baby earthworms or something beneficial. some here think they speak for everyone.

ask him to see pics of his garden, ha!!!

RE: Small white bugs in soil

This is not simply one persons opinion, it is a generally accepted opinion of many organic growers because of the known carcinogenic properties of nicotine. Nicotine is a broad spectrum poison also and for that reason alone should not be used but that known carcinogenic property should be enough to stop anyone from using it.
Arsenic, Paris Green, used to be a common garden pesticde that not many people use today for many of the same reasons.

RE: Small white bugs in soil

certainly it is...yours.
"no longer recognized by any one as an acceptable pesticide. "

you failed to mention that many still use nictone effectively and there are many things much worse. some know only 1way to garden &think everyone should garden their way or noway. i be waitin for the book

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here