Ask a Question forum: What bugs are these?

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Name: Javabee
Oregon Valley (Zone 8a)
Dec 26, 2014 1:13 PM CST
I'm very new here, but I've already got a bug problem question. They're a light, shiny brown, live right under the soil and are so small they're almost microscopic (about 1/3 the size of a flea). They're not spider mites, they're not mealy or scale or aphids to my knowledge. They don't seem to be harming the infested plants at all. In fact, they could even be helping the plants by aerating the soil! They just look gross. When I water my quarantined plants they come rushing out from the soil and crawl all over the pot. I can get the same reaction if I gently blow on the top soil or tap the sides of the pots. They're currently infesting two Hoyas, two cacti (Xmas and moon cactus) and two shamrock oxalis. I wish I could get a decent pic of them, but they're just too small!
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Dec 26, 2014 2:15 PM CST
Could be thrips or fungus gnats if they can fly.
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Dec 26, 2014 2:23 PM CST
I don't know what they might be, but it sounds like you could remove the bulk of them by submerging the pots in water. At least the adults will float out.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dec 26, 2014 3:06 PM CST
Welcome! javabee; if they are fungus gnats they will disappear if you drench your pots with a solution of Hydrogen peroxide, a few times will kill the larvae.
Name: Javabee
Oregon Valley (Zone 8a)
Dec 26, 2014 3:27 PM CST
Thank you everyone for extremely fast responses! The bugs look like they could be a part of the beetle family and are flightless. I have never seen them on the leaves of any plants other than when I disturb them from the soil. Their bodies are round/teardrop shape. The first time I ever saw them, they were in a Wandering Jew at my office. The plant never lost leaves or turned unhealthy colors or showed any signs it was unhappy. I'm just curious as to what on Earth they are, I don't see them anywhere on the internet.

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