Ask a Question forum: Are these insect eggs??

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Boston, MA
LME79
Feb 13, 2018 5:18 PM CST
hello. please see pics. i found what seems to be some sort of eggs right under the top layer of my ficus soil. any idea?? i exploded one and it had liquid inside... are these eggs of some animal? or seeds? or part of the soil?



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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 13, 2018 5:53 PM CST
Probably large pieces of Perlite, which is a soil additive to aid in drainage but they could possibly be some type of insect eggs and I guess the only way to know for sure is to crush them. Wearing a glove, gently squish one with your fingers or gently smoosh it with a garden trowel and see what happens. Perlite will just crush into tiny styrofoam like pieces but if it's insect eggs, it will probably have a bit of a different interior. Smiling

They remind me somewhat of the eggs of the little Anole Lizards that we have here in Florida which I have at times mistaken for perlite. I sometimes find their eggs in my potted plants out on the porch and if I'm emptying or repotting a plant I always move any found eggs to another pot to give them a chance to hatch. The winter of 2008, I put one of the eggs in a terrarium and when it hatched, I named it "Lucy". My husband kept the porch light on at night and caught little moths to feed it. Once the weather warmed up, I released the little lizard outside. They are great to have around because they eat bugs like ants, roaches (even huge roaches that southerners call palmetto bugs!) Green Grin!

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~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Boston, MA
LME79
Feb 13, 2018 6:09 PM CST
Not perlite. I crushed one, and some liquid came out...
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Feb 13, 2018 6:27 PM CST
LME79 said:Not perlite. I crushed one, and some liquid came out...

Might very well be insect eggs of some sort if they contained liquid ... or perhaps those moisture control beads that are now added to some potting soils?


~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 13, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Probably timed-release fertilizer pellets.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Feb 13, 2018 8:53 PM CST
I also vote - fertilizer pellets
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 20, 2018 7:57 PM CST
I have exactly the same thing, but I'm in north Florida. Because these things are in soil they could be transported to very different regions in potted plants.
I have about 20 of them in a ventilated jar - in soil, of course - and am hoping that whatever they are they'll hatch, answering the question.
They aren't like any fertilizer balls I've ever seen. They're irregular in shape - lumpy, and grayish with a matte finish that sometimes looks slightly pearlescent. When pinched they burst with a distinct crunchy feeling, and a pale brown goo comes out. Ick.
It sure looks like some stage of a living creature. What throws me off is the irregular shape. Nature usually makes things that appear more planned than these lumps.
I'll update you on what happens to my captive sample. I'd squash one and photo it but don't want to kill something gratuitously.


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