Pill Bugs and Gnats in the Fall

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Pill Bugs and Gnats in the Fall

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:09 pm

I guess this is a two part thread. Last year I had a bonsai that my wife had moved to the ground (not sure why), I really didn't mess with it until the time to bring it to work for the winter. After a day or two in the office window I had a co-worker tell me there were bugs in my pot. They were concerned about infesting their plants. I got to looking and discovered I had what we call Rolly Pollies, or pill bugs. Too make a long story longer, I tried first submerging the pot only to find there were hundreds of them quietly residing in my pot. They began surfacing and floating in the water. I had to finally treat the pot with a pesticide drench.

Needless to say, they were a royal pain in the arse!

So, I guess part deux, as we approach the time to bring trees and plants that are not cold tolerant into our homes, offices and tropical-like settings, it would be best to check and treat for infestations a week or two BEFORE bringing them in and then again right after getting them inside.

Another pest problem brought into our office was fungus gnats. They can be a real pain inside and not really noticeable outside, so attention to details and pre-treatment before moving is a great help. I found the only treatment that works for gnats is a drenchmade of Bacillus thuringensis isrealensis (Bti). (I use a product calle Gnatrol.) It's kind of expensive but works great. Bti, for those not familliar with it, is a biological pesticide made up of microscopic nematodes that, when ingested by the gnat larvae, gets into their digestive tract and eats all their food causing them to starve to death.

Good luck with your Fall plant migrations and hope they are all pest free!

Jay

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Re: Pill Bugs and Gnats in the Fall

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:05 pm

Both pillbugs and fungus gnats are strong indicators that your soil is too wet. Simply changing your watering regime a bit before you bring them in probably will help.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Pill Bugs and Gnats in the Fall

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:47 pm

Thanks, Jim. THe issue of soggy feet was brought up last year maybe in tis forum. The plants in question had been potted primarily in commercial potting soil. Those plant have all been repotted into a faster draining mix and, just to be on the safe side, I still plan on a vigorous anti critter approach before bringing htem back in.

Jay

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Re: Pill Bugs and Gnats in the Fall

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