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Bugs in the ground around the Chive

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Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 2/10/2011, 5:17 am

Hi, I have some bugs in the ground around my chive on the windowsill. I'll try to describe them because they are so tiny that it would be really hard to take a picture from them.

I noticed these insects today, because I was watering my chive and they came out of their hiding places in the ground. I think they are approximatly 1-2 mm long and look like a really tiny caterpillar/ larve of some kind of insect. They are a bith of greyish and can walk very fast (so they are not creeping or crawling). Some even jumped a bit when they noticed the water in their hiding place.

I tryed to find some website to identify these insects, but I could not find a good one. I have some suspision though.

My first option is that it might be a fish moth. I have seen them here in the house, but according to the discriptions I found, my chive does not really look like an environment that they might like. And apperently the baby fish moth already looks like its parents, only smaller and these insects don't look like it. Besides this, you would suspect that if I water my thyme, these insects sould be there aswell (it stands in another jar next to it), but for now, there is noting to be seen.

My second option is that it is a larvea of a fly. During the summer I saw some really tiny flies flying around it. I looked for some information, but it does not look like a larvea of a fruitfly. And like I said, sould my thyme not be equally effected in that case?

My last option is that the eggs of this insect where already present last year around this time but dormant. I got my chive by separating it from the mother plant that was growing outdoors. It could be possible that there where some eggs in the ground that transfered from the ground outside into the jar where it is standing now.

The point is, I still do not know what these bugs are and as long as I don't know, I can not do anything about it. So if you got some suggestions or know a good website which can help me to identify them please let me know.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  dizzygardener on 2/10/2011, 9:05 am

I've had that problem before. Those are Thrips. It's a small black flying insect that lays its eggs in the ground.

Seems you've noticed them before they've reached adulthood. Now is definitely the time to wipe them out. If you don't they will suck the life out of your Chives.

There are several pesticides that will deal with thrips. If you are looking for organic solutions try an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil.

More info and pictures here: http://www.weekendgardener.net/garden-pests/thrips-020802.htm

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 2/11/2011, 3:40 am

Well, Mell says that your garden should be somewhere in your face, so that you notice as fast as possible when something is going wrong. And I like to look at them every day to see how they grow and develop. In that case you notice is very quickly when some kind of bug is invading. Even if you only see them when you water the plant. And I really don't like my chive to die, because although he is really thiny and not so bushy as it sould be (due to negelect by the previous owner) I was really looking forward to make him bushy again. Now I have to make him healty too.

But as I understand from the website it is better not to use dishwash soap as insecticidal soap, so what kind of soap can I use for it? Or is it better to go to the gardencenter and buy commercial made insecticidal soap?

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Icemaiden on 2/11/2011, 4:27 am

Would it be possible to gently rinse away all visible soil from the chives, and then repot them in sterile soil and pot? Chives are fairly tough and if they droop a bit or even lose the green growth then I think they would come back.

It is always risky bringing in herbs from outdoors. I had a new mint in a pot which was doing wonderfully in a pot outside. I decided to split it and put half in my SFG under a cover, and the other half indoors - the indoors half was quickly bug-infested and almost died. In this case the bugs were on the leaves and I managed to get the off by showering the plant a few times!

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 2/11/2011, 5:28 am

Maybe I could do this. I think it might be an advantage now that there are only a few leaves in the jar. Less chance of damaging the roots too much. Maybe I can treat the roots with insecticide soap to be sure I get rid of everything, before planting them back. But maybe that would damage the plant more. I've got to think about this. If there are more suggestions, I would like to hear them. When I've done something I will let you know.

Is there anyone that knows how long the life cycle of these Thrips take? Then I know when to expect them back when I didn't get rid of everything.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  dizzygardener on 2/11/2011, 9:36 am

You can't use dish soap because it is actually a detergent and contains some harsh chemicals that could several damage the plant.

You can use an all-natural type of soap like castile soap. I'm not sure that is available in the Netherlands, but imagine there is an all-natural soap available some place.

Otherwise, you should be able to find an organic insecticidal soap at the local garden center.

I wouldn't spray it on the roots though. You should just spray the leaves of the plant. I'd think spraying once a week for two to three weeks should take care of it.

I agree that you should rinse the soil away and repot it. Make sure you get some good sterile potting mix. While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to rinse the leaves as well. Thrips hide deep down in the crevices of the plant.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  quill33 on 2/11/2011, 10:14 am

an easy solution to try is use diatomaceous earth - feed grade. just gently sprinkle a little on each plant's soil and work in a bit. it will dehydrate the bugs and kill them. Smile

I'm actually in process of transplanting a bunch of new lettuce seedlings into yogurt containers with mel's mix to grow larger before spring planting outside in march and i am doing that today to all my soil before i put the new baby seedlings in each cup.

it's a pretty easy thing to do and won't hurt you - but i'd suggest wearing gloves as it is dryiing on the hands.

I buy mine at the local feed mill. Costs under $15 for a good sized bottle - been using the same bottle for 2 years now actually - as a little goes a long way.


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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Old Hippie on 2/11/2011, 8:14 pm

Not supposed to use dish soap????? Wow! I have always put just a tiny bit of dish soap in all the water I water my plants with. I read in more than one gardening book that it acts as a wetting agent and helps the soil absorb the water better and keeps bugs away. Dang! I have never had a problem. Mind you, I use biodegradable soap without bleach in it so maybe that makes a difference. I don't know. But it always seemed to work good.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  dizzygardener on 2/11/2011, 10:30 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:Not supposed to use dish soap????? Wow! I have always put just a tiny bit of dish soap in all the water I water my plants with. I read in more than one gardening book that it acts as a wetting agent and helps the soil absorb the water better and keeps bugs away. Dang! I have never had a problem. Mind you, I use biodegradable soap without bleach in it so maybe that makes a difference. I don't know. But it always seemed to work good.

Gwynn


I'd imagine that if you are using one of the environmentally friendly soaps you wouldn't have much problem. Also, it sounds like you are using a relatively small amount. The Insecticide recipes call for a large portion of soap.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  camprn on 2/12/2011, 7:40 am

@Old Hippie wrote:Not supposed to use dish soap????? Wow! I have always put just a tiny bit of dish soap in all the water I water my plants with. I read in more than one gardening book that it acts as a wetting agent and helps the soil absorb the water better and keeps bugs away. Dang! I have never had a problem. Mind you, I use biodegradable soap without bleach in it so maybe that makes a difference. I don't know. But it always seemed to work good.

Gwynn
+1

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 2/13/2011, 5:09 am

I've done some research on the internet about using (home made) insecticidal soap. As you might know, soap consists partly from faty acids. These faty acid chains can have different lengts. Accoring to what I found (this is the website) long faty acid chains help you to kill insects, however short faty chains are more used as herbicide. So you have to be very carefull if you make home made insecticidal soap, because you can have made a herbicide without knowing. Unfortunatly, they don't mention the kinds of soap that are used for both.

an easy solution to try is use diatomaceous earth - feed grade.

I tried to look in the dictionary to see what the dutch equivalent was. Unfortunatly they gave a whole list of meanings, so I am not entirely sure about what to look for.

So what about my Chive? Yesterday I took it out of its bucket, removed all the soil and washed them gently in hand warm water (thought that was the best thing to do, I don't want them to get a temperature shock). Then I took a completly new bucket, did some new soil in it and put my chive in the ground. I saw noting moving on the chive when I did this, so hopefully I will not get an other plague. Although, I don't know how the eggs look like and where they put them, so I will carefully watch my chive to be sure. Yesterday the leaves where lying a bit flat, but they are more standing straight now. So I guess that is a good sign.

I trashed the old bucket. Just to be sure. Because you will never know when you put something else in it. I also had a jar around the bucket (you know, the ones that makes it pretty when you put them on a widowsill or something). I put it in the dishwasher. If these bugs survive that than I don't know what else to do. But I put the chive in another jar, because the new bucket did not fit into my old jar.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  LaFee on 2/13/2011, 5:31 am

Zephyros, I have no idea on the translation, but diatomaceous earth is made from the calcified bodies of microscopic plants and animals. It's bright white, and looks like a very fine sand.

Don't know if that helps, but it might at least point you the right direction!

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 2/13/2011, 6:16 am

That will help at least when I go to the garden center. If I give them that description, they probably know the right word.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  Zephyros on 4/20/2011, 9:58 am

I thought, I will tell you something about my chive now. It looks pretty okay. The bugs are not back (yet), so it looks like it helped so far. Technically he's looking better then before. It looks like it has more leaves then last year. But that might just be an impression, since I put the leaves a bit more together after replanting. Even so, he looks a lot healthier/ stronger.

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  camprn on 4/20/2011, 10:07 am

@Zephyros wrote:I thought, I will tell you something about my chive now. It looks pretty okay. The bugs are not back (yet), so it looks like it helped so far. Technically he's looking better then before. It looks like it has more leaves then last year. But that might just be an impression, since I put the leaves a bit more together after replanting. Even so, he looks a lot healthier/ stronger.
HOORAY! cheers

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

Post  dizzygardener on 4/20/2011, 7:32 pm

So glad they have recovered! Very Happy

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Re: Bugs in the ground around the Chive

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