Ask a Question forum→Seeking Remedy for Unidentified Microscopic Bugs in Indoor Palm Tree

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Name: Joy
Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7b)
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JoyDivine
Dec 10, 2018 2:43 PM CST
Dear National Gardening Association,

I'm curious and concerned regarding a growing number of tiny, white, unidentified bugs in my indoor Palm Tree's soil. (They appear to be multiplying, and seem to be more active, the more I water my plant.)

I've attached a photo, although they're small, they're difficult to see. They are white, and incredibly small, ranging from microscopic, to a few hair's width long. They appear to be shaped like an elongated football, with two antennae.

I'd love to know how to get rid of them, and would like to know how to do so without damaging my 50 year old palm tree.

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Joy
Thumb of 2018-12-10/JoyDivine/ae24b4


Thumb of 2018-12-10/JoyDivine/96225d

Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Dec 10, 2018 4:07 PM CST
I see a lot of white dots but can't really make out any bugs. I know sometimes there is a mold that can grow on potting soil. Could it be that?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 10, 2018 4:21 PM CST
Welcome!

Do they jump? If so check out springtails:

https://www.google.com/search?...
Name: Joy
Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7b)
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JoyDivine
Dec 10, 2018 4:31 PM CST
seilMI said:I see a lot of white dots but can't really make out any bugs. I know sometimes there is a mold that can grow on potting soil. Could it be that?


Thanks for your feedback, seilMl. They are so small, they're difficult to photograph, but they're indeed alive, as in moving, and from what I can see, they also jump.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 10, 2018 4:48 PM CST
I agree with Sooby - they are springtails. You could water your palm tree with a solution of Insecticidal Soap. Make sure you drench all the soil as the Insecticidal Soap kills only on contact. It is also organic (made from potassium fatty acids) - and kills insects by disolving their outer shells.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Dec 11, 2018 10:04 AM CST
A variety of tiny critters live in non-sterile soil. Most are harmless to the plant and can be left untreated unless they start flying about or leaving the pot.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Joy
Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7b)
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JoyDivine
Dec 11, 2018 12:01 PM CST
DaisyI said:I agree with Sooby - they are springtails. You could water your palm tree with a solution of Insecticidal Soap. Make sure you drench all the soil as the Insecticidal Soap kills only on contact. It is also organic (made from potassium fatty acids) - and kills insects by disolving their outer shells.


Thanks, DaisyI! I agree, after researching them, that my pests in question are springtails. Thanks for the tip on treating them!

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