PDA

View Full Version : Root Aphids : People should be aware of these bugs!


Tact
03-13-2010, 04:33 AM
Not springtails as originally thought.

Check out this thread regarding root aphids (the true plague of MJ), best on the web as of now, and for those in SoCal this is apparently becoming a common occurance lately, potentially due to tons of infected soil, I have FFOF personally, in the mid-west.

hXXp://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=159960

Subcool gave me some feedbank when I pointed him towards my intial thread in which I was speculating on having springtails in my soil (but they dont spring, so it wasn't adding up), yet look slightly like spider mites, but are not. Not a single insect in the plant above the soil, all leaves/branches/buds clear, they are in the soil, but not fungus gnats, or white fly larvae. Though the damage they can do can beckon opportunitistic fungus gnats due to the wound left on damaged roots.

The first sign of bugs being present were dead ones that were in the water runoff on thursday, after I watered 1G water per 5G pot the runoff collects in a tray under the plants which I then shop-vac up, when I came back 20m water to vac up all the runoff there was a ton of dead white specks, some were moving.

Upon closer inspection and churning the top few inches of soil they started to 'emerge'. I never would of known they ever existed much less by the 1000s apparently, absolutely writhing when you stop and look for a solid minute. I highly suggest anyone with any phantom nute lockout, or mag/cal defficiency that does not seem to improve completely as well as 'rust' spots check their soil by churning the top inch around a bit with a fork and looking for these visible-by-the-naked eye bugs. These are different then regular aphids, these are root aphids, they live completely under the soil by roots and in the top 2 inches of soil. They eventually can becoming winged black adults that look very similair to fungus gnats but are simply a late-stage metamorphisis of a stressed population of root aphids that are trying to expand. They can be any color from white to red (slight similairty to spider mites without 100x mag) in the pre-winged stage, not all infestations will produce 'winged' adults, it only occurs if there population can not be sustained by their present enviroment.

I was not at the adult winged phase, it appears they are almost all nymphs, though obviouslly adults are around as they exist right, so in short who knows how long I have had them? I treated them with Dia. Earth today, 4 pound bag with 2 cups of the powder spread evenly over the top soil of all pots, used all 4 pounds of one bag. Since I am only 13 days from harvest I may have to water them two-three more times, so I have another 4 pound bag but might try and take them the distance and not water them for a week and let the soil get really dry and hopefully they climb up to escape through the death trap of powdered razor blades. Typically I have had to water every 4 days due to them wilting badly at 5 days, my soil is FFOF with 4 cups per 5-gallon pot of FF chunky perlite, great drainage.

Link to original thread which was intially thought to be springtails:

http://www.marijuanapassion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53621

Link to dia earth applied:

http://www.marijuanapassion.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=156212&d=1268438014


I was surprised to not find any posts regarding root aphids specfically, so here you go. Within 12 months a few people have to google it, and this will get hit. So here is the knowledge. Apparently the best way to treat them is a combination of predatory nematodes, a few very specific insecticides, and luck, you can't eliminate them but you can slow them down potentially long enough to harvest, depending on your infection rate. The original link I posted above has a plethora of information, photos, and treatment results. Everyone check your soil just to be sure from time to time, they get flustered if you poke around with your finger or an object in the top soil.

jmansweed
03-13-2010, 07:04 AM
Tact,

I had root aphids - posted a thread - and it was removed by a moderator who determined there is no cure - not sure if that was this sight I guess - :confused: .

I defeated them, with proper chemical applications. In perpetual gardens it is nearly impossible to defeat them organically.

There are a few types that infest our plants typically, one a small black mite known as ? - can't remember. The other is an actual Aphid known as Phylloxera. :holysheep:

Phylloxera are the hardest to get rid of and by far the most destructive. They are hard shelled, and reproduce at the root zone. They are produced pre-fertilized. Mini versions ready to reproduce with-out a male. They can populate rapidly. :eek:

My first reaction was beneficial nematodes also, but to no avail. They out populated the Nematodes, and did it faster. I never had any fly on me and was unaware they would eventually. The DE didn't stop them from using drain holes as a means to surface and travel. It took Imadicloprid, available in Bayer, to eradicate them.

The pesticide was applied as a soil drench. once every 4 days - 3x total. With nutrients if they were needed. I found as the solution drains through the medium however, it weakens towards the bottom. The tough lil' s.o.b.'s can live through applications sometimes. I responded by dipping the pot in a small, 2 inch deep resi of the solution as well as apply it with water from above. After this, I applied double sided tape around the rim and drain holes, not covering them, just around them. This caught any stragglers.

I grow organically and despise recommending chemical pesticides but it's the only solution that killed them off in my experience. I would rather spider mites truthfully. The applications killed not just insects but microbial life. Organic, soluble applications help build this back rapidly. I found adding enzymes to sterilize any wounds the Aphids created, assisted greatly in getting things back to normal. I also followed with Nematodes after I believed the medium was rebounding and the bugs are gone - hopefully! This killed them off for me.

Root Aphids are not to be fooled with. They are persistent and hell bent on eating your roots - which will show in the plant itself. Those small pics you showed earlier were not Aphids imo. They have fat abdomens, 6 legs and some pronounced feelers. The nymphs look identical but are pale to white and mature individuals become darker, almost golden in color.

Here's a great thread I found on them when I researched some time ago. I hope you kill em all Tact - if they are the same Aphids I'm thinking.

Peace - Jman


hXXp://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=70503

jmansweed
03-13-2010, 07:05 AM
Those little specs are the Aphids - stuck and dead. I had no good camera at the time.

Tact
03-13-2010, 07:29 AM
Great post jman!

Bastards go through the drain holes and up, ahh, I was reading on one site that people who chemically treated them had to 'block' the retreat because they would rush out of the drainage holes and even up the main stalk all the way to leaves when until they sensed the soil as being 'less saturated' with what they must perceive a liquid threat/environment threat. So unless people DE the top soil and blocked off the drain holes they simply would escape, then return, geez.

So what do you think they are if you are not leaning towards root aphids because of an earlier pic I posted? I could not get any of them to 'spring' and they were just writhing, 1000s must be, per pot.

jmansweed
03-13-2010, 07:42 AM
I forgot to mention taping around the main stem Tact, they will run up it when flooded out for sure...........

HippyInEngland
03-13-2010, 08:32 AM
Root Aphids.

:peace:

mojavemama
06-10-2011, 04:02 PM
thanks for that link, Bumping this up, more and more growers are telling me this is happening to them now. Bad, bad news. I got 'em big time in veg and grow.

woodydude
06-10-2011, 05:27 PM
I take it this pest is not a problem in hydro?

emuman
06-10-2011, 08:05 PM
I cant tell if your being informative or asking for help but this is what worked for me, put about an inch of fine sand in your pots on top of your soil, this will smother them preventing them feeding, reproducing, living and so on

you might even say this is an "organic" method, I do know that it works, at least it did for me :D

Hick
06-11-2011, 10:41 AM
I had root aphids - posted a thread - and it was removed by a moderator who determined there is no cure - not sure if that was this sight I guess

Don't believe it was here. That isn't how we do things.
Threads are removed for rule violations and/or spam, not because we don't have an answer...;)

Wetdog
06-14-2011, 03:14 PM
thanks for that link, Bumping this up, more and more growers are telling me this is happening to them now. Bad, bad news. I got 'em big time in veg and grow.

FF mixes seem to be the common link here, for the most part, no?

Wet

Rosebud
06-14-2011, 03:23 PM
Not for me, wasnt until I used Roots organic that I got thrip and a little gnats. Although I did have the gnats w? FFoF a few grows ago.
Not everyone can make their own. How do you mix it? The thing that is stopping me from making my own, I could store it inside, but i am not physically strong enough to mix it up. I can't turn the compost in my back yard and that ticks me off. I will start lifting weights I guess.

Wetdog
06-14-2011, 05:53 PM
You can do it! I have a bad back, so all I mix up at once is 2cf, which is a nice wheelbarrow full. You could also do 1cf at a pop, which would be less than the 1.5cf bags of roots or ffof, or the like. Most of the recipe's are in 1cf increments.

The three main ingredients are, peat moss, perlite, and EWC. The rest of the amendments are measured out by the cup full.

It's really easier than you think. Sourcing the 4cf bags of perlite locally was the hardest part.

Wet

Rosebud
06-14-2011, 06:47 PM
Ewc?

nouvellechef
06-16-2011, 03:15 AM
Not for me, wasnt until I used Roots organic that I got thrip and a little gnats. Although I did have the gnats w? FFoF a few grows ago.
Not everyone can make their own. How do you mix it? The thing that is stopping me from making my own, I could store it inside, but i am not physically strong enough to mix it up. I can't turn the compost in my back yard and that ticks me off. I will start lifting weights I guess.

Costco is your answer. Get the tumbling compost thing. I know a few folks that use them when only needing a few cf. I would, but need it more in concrete truck scale (:

Rosebud
06-16-2011, 10:57 AM
Thanks NC, i have looked at that and wondered how it would turn when it is full? We run two piles in small 3x3 boxes. It is great stuff though. black gold. I will look at that again. I will start w. 2lb weights. ha. i would like to be able to make your mix. I will give it more thought.
We need tractors. you probably have one.

Wetdog
06-16-2011, 06:23 PM
Ewc?

EWC=Earth Worm Castings

Not a necessity, unless you are going organic. Even if not organic, plants go nuts with castings.

Wet

Zumie
12-10-2011, 03:48 AM
I noticed someone mentioned that they assumed these little bastards were not a problem with hydro...dont be fooled. I was scratching my head for over 2 weeks as to why things seemed so off. Symptoms include
- Stunted growth
- some new growth deformity
- leaves becoming a deep deep green
- basically looking like a case of lockout but everything was in order and it should not have been that....

then I decided to yank one of the girls from her home. I was using 6" RW cubes, you'd think these things were not able to get into these, however the point of attack was in the hole where the plugs are put if you are cloning in RW plugs or rapid rooters. they chow down hard on any and all exposed roots leaving them dead to rot away. So keep an eye out...ESPECIALLY if you are using something like a soilless medium like Cocoa in an ebb & flow type setup. This is where mine came from. the one lousy stranger plant I took in from a friend, this one was more mature and larger by almost 50%, when I yanked this sucker up....I think I puked in my mouth then swallowed it I was so grossed out. MILLIONS...literally.

I am 10 days into my reset cycle, I scrapped everything and started over instead of fighting till the end (was only 3 weeks in so not the end of the world, but still cost me the time to take down and then take cuttings...vegg etc etc) I spotted an occasional solo straggler or two and freaked out...then I heard about this stuff Mallot (Mallet?) dont have the bottle here...its about as expensive as Floramite (which kicks all mite ***....hard) but leaves em dead and rottin...just use in the ressy for about 24 hours then drain and make sure to flush the **** out of it. no harm to the plants...one shot...one kill.

Take no prisoners, kill em all

Good luck