Ask a Question forum→What are the tiny brown balls that have formed in my houseplant?

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New York
ASmyth83
Oct 17, 2018 7:44 AM CST
I recently moved a palm plant indoors and have noticed tiny chocolate brown balls in the soil. I vaccumed them up because I was afraid they were bug eggs. They have since returned. What could they be?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 17, 2018 10:36 AM CST
Is your palm blooming?
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Oct 17, 2018 11:33 AM CST
Could be spent flowers from the palm. Or could be slow release palm fertilizer pellets.
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WillC
Oct 17, 2018 1:21 PM CST
It may also be fungus fruiting bodies, especially if they return. It is hard to get a perspective on size and texture.

If it is a fungus, allow the soil to dry a bit deeper into the pot before watering.
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New York
ASmyth83
Oct 17, 2018 1:39 PM CST
Some leaves of the palm are turning yellowish in color, others are still blooming. It seems to have come back in the exact same spot as it was before I vacuumed it before. I was afraid they were mosquito eggs!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Oct 17, 2018 1:40 PM CST
Can you post a photo that shows the entire plant?
Will Creed
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New York
ASmyth83
Oct 17, 2018 2:25 PM CST
The whole plant
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Oct 17, 2018 2:27 PM CST
I think that you have an infestation of spider mites!!
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New York
ASmyth83
Oct 17, 2018 2:36 PM CST
Spider mites?? 😩😩😳😳 ok that's enough to just put the plant back outside!!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Oct 17, 2018 3:03 PM CST
It will not survive NYC winters.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 17, 2018 4:03 PM CST
Mosquitoes lay eggs in water, not soil. Spider mites would be on the plant, not the soil, and most people can not see them without magnification.

Agree with some type of soil fungus. Some are pathogenic, some are symbiotic.

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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Oct 17, 2018 4:34 PM CST
That is not true. In Florida I had 13 different species of mosquitoes and a few laid eggs in grass. One was fairly small, extremely numerous but the bite never itched! Go figure?
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Oct 17, 2018 6:13 PM CST
I thought the little balls looked like caviar - but that seems unlikely...
Porkpal
New York
ASmyth83
Oct 17, 2018 6:35 PM CST
I have two dogs and a toddler. I don't want to risk it being some kind of bug eggs, let alone mosquito eggs. Thank you all for your input! Your comments were helpful and very prompt. I appreciate it. Thank you! 😊
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 19, 2018 10:08 AM CST
Bill, I think you must be calling other insects mosquitoes.

https://eu.biogents.com/life-c...
https://www.epa.gov/mosquitoco...
https://www.mosquito.org/page/...
https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/res...

Mosquito larvae must develop in water. That is why there are constant news stories asking everyone to please dump-out standing water on their property, out of buckets, flower pot drip trays, tires, anywhere water can collect.
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Oct 19, 2018 10:43 AM CST
I just reread my information about Florida mosquitoes. "While most mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, some lay their eggs with water NEARBY, not directly in the water."
No definition of " nearby" was given. I would assume it could be fairly close though. It did not say, "eggs can be laid on vegetation directly over water"
I know from experience that some species utilize Bromeliads in which to lay their eggs or some thing like a styrofoam cup. Since the life cycle from egg to larva to adult can be a week to ten days.
This web site claimed that there were over 80 species of them identified as nuisances in Florida. That's a lot.
I agree that most utilize water but the way it was worded with vegetation nearby, not every single species need water. At least it seems that way to me.
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[Last edited by BigBill - Oct 19, 2018 10:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Oct 19, 2018 11:47 AM CST
All mosquito larvae need water but not all eggs have to be layed in water. Those not deposited in water will only hatch after a rain but can survive a long time while waiting.
Porkpal
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 19, 2018 12:36 PM CST
TY, Porkpal. I did realize that from reading quite a bit (more) about mosquitoes today. (In the links I pasted.) I'd assumed all are laid in water since they require water to develop through the larval stage but that is not true of the "flood mosquitoes" that lay eggs in a spot where standing water is likely to occur after a rain/flood. Fascinating!

I could find no info to indicate that mosquito eggs could not be as big and in such a large, visible patch as seen in the asked-about photo of this discussion. Anyone could do their own image search for mosquito eggs.

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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Oct 19, 2018 12:49 PM CST
Gee, when I lived on Long Island I had two types of skeeters that wanted to bite me, the common mosquito and the salt marsh mosquito. That's it.
I get to Florida and it's like, oh my goodness. I thought it was 13, now I read today it is at least 80! I itch just thinking about it.
Then I wonder why were they even put on this planet? Yuck. And I worked as a Naturalist running a Nature Preserve for 38 years! I know, food for birds and dragonflies and such but man, mosquitoes the itching! Yuck.
But in being in Florida for 9 years and seeing all of the odd stuff that used to turn up all the time, mosquitoes not needing water would not surprise me one bit. Neither did a 16' python underneath a car in the dentists parking lot shock me with several people from the office holding it up for the news photographer!!
I guess Florida is used as a vacation spot by all kinds of creatures, not just humans.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Foliage Fan
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purpleinopp
Oct 19, 2018 1:00 PM CST
LOL, Bill! I wonder about that too, WHY??!! And what numbers of which of their predators would it take to show any reduction in population?!

I'm 18 miles from FL border but IDK how many kinds of mosquitoes are around. The mosquitoes I knew in OH were only an evening/night-time concern, in very low numbers. There is no time of day or time of year when one can go outside here without getting bit. The only time I get a good look @ one is when I've smashed it while biting me, but then it's usually not in any condition to ID.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
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