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Little black bugs and fungus spores

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Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  janetgouvas on 4/24/2011, 11:37 am

I bought 2 bags of Kellogg Outdoor Potting Soil at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago to add to MM in some of my garden areas. (I find that we need a little more heft to hold the moisture in the beds.) I used one bag right away to plant an heirloom tomato in a large pot with about 2/3 MM, and about the same ratio in another large container for my sweet potatoe sets. A few days ago I noticed the tomatoe wasn't doing so well and took a close look. The container was full of little, black things that look like fleas or baby flies. They stay in the dirt unless disturbed, so are easy to overlook. They are also infecting the other pot with the sweet potato sets. The sweet potatos seem to be doing fine but the tomato is not. This morning both pots had mushrooms popping up in them. (Not, of course, the good kind!) I took samples of the dirt w/fungus and bugs and will return it to HD along with the second, unopened bag.

In the meantime---does anyone know what these little bugs are? They do fly, but mostly crawl around in the dirt. Thought I'd try an ant bait. Don't want to resort to chemicals if I don't have to. Sure glad I didn't need that soil any place else, as my garden is doing very well so far.

Thanks for any suggestions, Janet

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Re: Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  Old Hippie on 4/24/2011, 4:09 pm

I am not sure what those are but I have sometimes gotten flies that sound like that in my house plants. The plant just starts looking sick and fails to thrive and finally just dies. Seems if I add a bit of soap to the water, it does help to get rid of them. I also throw the pulp from my garlic press in the plant pots as well. The soap might help with the mushrooms too.

I would definitely take the unopened bag back as well as the remainder of the first if you have any. Even if you don't, take bag the empty bag. Perhaps you can get a refund for both. It is worth a try.

Great that the rest of your garden is doing good.

Gwynn
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Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  janetgouvas on 4/24/2011, 7:43 pm

Thanks, I'll try that right away. I've seen the houseplant type too. Whenever they show up on my houseplants I take them outside and remove the plant, wash its roots bare and repot in new dirt. Have saved many that way, but you have to get it early and dispose of the old dirt.
Thanks again, Janet

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Re: Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  SFG in Chicago on 4/24/2011, 9:15 pm

Sounds like fungus gnats maybe?

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Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  janetgouvas on 4/25/2011, 10:43 am

Fungus gnats? EEEEW! LOL! I never heard of fungus gnats before, but why not? I doused both containers last night with soapy water. I mean I really doused them good. Didn't want a single inch of soil to stay dry. I figure if I'm going to lose them anyway, why not. This morning I did it again. Hoping for the best. I didn't see any bugs but there were 2 more fungus.

Am going back to HD to return that contaminated soil this morning and to get some yellow enamel paint for cans. I have enough saved up for at least two cans for every container I have planted and one for every square in my 2' by 8' bed. I am ready for the white flies this year but I really hope they don't show up.

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Re: Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  Old Hippie on 4/25/2011, 1:19 pm

@janetgouvas wrote:Fungus gnats? EEEEW! LOL! I never heard of fungus gnats before, but why not? I doused both containers last night with soapy water. I mean I really doused them good. Didn't want a single inch of soil to stay dry. I figure if I'm going to lose them anyway, why not. This morning I did it again. Hoping for the best. I didn't see any bugs but there were 2 more fungus.

Am going back to HD to return that contaminated soil this morning and to get some yellow enamel paint for cans. I have enough saved up for at least two cans for every container I have planted and one for every square in my 2' by 8' bed. I am ready for the white flies this year but I really hope they don't show up.

Can you explain about the yellow enamel paint for cans?

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Little black bugs and fungus spores/yellow cans

Post  janetgouvas on 4/25/2011, 4:47 pm

Paint tin cans bright yellow, smear them with caster oil and then put them in the garden on stakes next to, or a little bit higher than your plants. It attracts the white flies and works like fly paper. You can rinse them off when they need renewing, re-oil them and set them out again. I tried it last year using yellow plastic lids with some success but was too late to save my garden. This year I am ready for war! Twisted Evil

Took the infected garden soil back to HD and they gave me 3 bags of Miracle Grow in exchange. I was very happy with their service. I wasn't sure if they would since I didn't keep the reciepts. Now the question is what to do with the infected soil in the pots? Will the hot, 105+ desert temperatures kill the spores and bug eggs if I spread it out on a tarp to bake? Or should I play it safe and dispose of it?

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Re: Little black bugs and fungus spores

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/25/2011, 8:33 pm

Love the idea of bright yellow tin cans. It absolutely makes sense to use them as traps for white flies and other flying buggers.
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