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Concerned about possible pest

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by schmiggle, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnolord Active Member

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    I noticed a huge number of these desperately trying to crawl out of the soil when I watered my sundew (D. filiformis):
    IMG_6606.jpg
    I know the picture is bad, but it's the best I could get for now. The head is reddish brown, the body is grayish brown, and the entire insect is about 1/2" long. It seems to be some sort of larva, and I think it produces silk at least occasionally (did so when hanging off of my hand, unless that was just sundew glue). Any ideas? Also, should I post this in the insect forum instead?
     
  2. brolloks

    brolloks Arachnobaron

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    I have no idea what that is, but I would not take any chances. If you have not already, repot the plant and try to remove as much of the old substrate as possible without harming the roots.
     
  3. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnolord Active Member

    I'm pretty sure they were harmless after all...somebody in the insect section on arachnoboards suggested they were lepidopteran larvae that had been trying to overwinter, and I haven't seen one in weeks. I suppose they all drowned or starved.
     
  4. The Snark

    The Snark Extremely jaded cynical yet optomistic Old Timer

    Not lepidoptera. Some form of grub. My guess is elateridae, click beetle larvae. Both click beetles and that shape and color larvae were very common where I grew up.
     
  5. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnolord Active Member

    I really hope it's not click beetle larvae, at least not the kind that eat roots...although again, I haven't seen any in a while. I think I sort of drowned them all--whenever I would water, some larvae would climb out, and I would grab them and throw them out after killing them. Which seems to have been quite effective...
     
  6. The Snark

    The Snark Extremely jaded cynical yet optomistic Old Timer

    Most grubs eat roots.
     
  7. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnolord Active Member

    Well, last night I found a moth sitting on top of the soil...which could, of course, quite easily be coincidence, but I haven't seen any in the room before. It was small and grey, which I know is totally unhelpful. I should have gotten a picture, but sadly have none, if I find one I'll post it.

    The plant does seem to be doing ok, but if I find another similar moth, I will probably repot and use some pesticides for good measure.
     
  8. The Snark

    The Snark Extremely jaded cynical yet optomistic Old Timer

    Well, your critter is definitely not Lepidoptera larvae. But a single or just a few grubs are of little concern. It takes a pretty severe infestation to harm a plants root system.
     
  9. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnolord Active Member

    Oh right, you said that. That is a relief. I'm so not used to having bugs in soil, especially soil that has literally no nutrients. :/