Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

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Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

Post  apro1977 on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:50 am

Hello,

I posted a few weeks back about my leaves dying off on my Gardenia. Today while I was removing the still dying leaves that had dropped onto my soil I noticed at least 4 or 5 small silver colored bugs. They are no bigger than a fruit fly but don't seem to be flying - and as I mentioned they are silver. They are NOT silverfish. They are not on the bark or leaves - ONLY in the soil - they also are not noticeable until I move the soil around. If anyone knows what they are, if they are dangerous, and/or how to get rid of them PLEASE respond. I am desperately trying to make and keep this plant healthy.

I found a few references about fungus gnats - but I have a hard time believing I am over-watering as I always check the soil near the root ball about 3/4" - 1" below surface of the soil. However, I am not an expert so I may be wrong. Maybe the edges of the soil around the ceramic are too moist?

Also - I did not pot this plant- while the soil is much less soft than regular potting soil - maybe it is not the right type?? Just a thought.
Thank you for reading!
Aimee


Last edited by apro1977 on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional info)

apro1977
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Silver Colored Bugs in Gardenia Soil

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:46 am

I believe you probably have psocids. Google on them to be sure. They are harmless, as they live on mold. However, like fungus gnats, they are an indication of excessively damp conditions.
Iris

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Re: Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

Post  Nina on Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:28 am

You don't mention them hopping, which I think you would have if they were springtails. Springtails eat decaying organic material and are harmless, although they do indicate a moist soil (a moist soil is not necessarily a bad thing for a gardenia, incidentally). I'll make a wild surmise that nothing silvery is harmful to plants. At least, I can't think of anything at the moment. Fungus gnat larvae are white.

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Re: Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

Post  zuchinno on Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:41 am

These aren't springtails; nor are they larval fungus gnats! I have these little buggers on my jade bonsai AND an orchid and I'm going back to everywhere I went in my research and answering your same question. These guys are totally Thrips! Specifically, Thrips Palmi or "Melon Thrips."
Thrips are less than 1mm and they have a silver, white, or yellow almond shaped body. They move around the top layer of soil very quickly by scuttling.
The thrips themselves do minimal damage even in large numbers but can stunt or warp growth by feeding on terminal shoots, the undersides of leaves, and buddling flowers or fruits. The thrips carries Watermelon silver mottle virus that makes your leaves turn silver and shrivel up, as well as Ground nut bud necrosis.
This kind of thrips (yea, thrips is pl. and sing.) generally hosts on tropical plants like jade, orchids, gardenia etc.

Here is an article on them:
http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/faculty/parrella/rose%20pma%20thrips.html
Hope this helps!

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Re: Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

Post  Nina on Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:16 am

Thrips won't be in the soil; thrips eat the outer epidermis of leaves. They are whitish or transparent, and are most easily seen by their excreta, which are droplets of deep green liquid. An affected leaf will be stippled with silvery specks where the epidermis has been eaten away, and will also have dark green flecks.

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Re: Silver colored bugs in Gardenia Soil

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