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Thrips?


Best Answer solid7, 29 June 2019 - 12:45 PM

I actually think that your first critter is booklice.

.

https://ento.psu.edu...sheets/booklice

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#1 chelicerae

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:08 PM

Hi

 

In a small balcony greenhouse I have a tomato plant and an Ethiopian brown. The latter has been there for around a month now, spent its days in a grow tent indoors before. It had wickedly upwards curving leafs indoors, may have had to do with too moist soil too often. It doesn't anymore but at the start of the week I noticed these small tan things running around on its leaves. Today there were more of them. Don't see them on the tomato leaves.

 

The greenhouse has direct sun between 14.30 and 17.30 in the afternoons (when there is sun). For this last month its relative humidity has varied between 35% and 70%, temps between 29C and 12C (Swedish summer). I drilled a couple of decimeter-diameter holes in the greenhouse toward the top sides as I cannot open its top for ventilation (the cats jump up and lie on top of it). The bottom is a "grille" or whatever it is called, anyway there's theoretically some air throughput. It has stopped curling its leaves, sits in a 6L square container with not mostly-peat-and-twigs-and-stones-soil and is producing rather lovely looking flowers (slightly white-tan) that produce pollen but unfortunately all fall off so far. (My collague with a house and garden started planting late, got too many, put some hot pepper plants out in the open in the garden and some in his greenhouse, pH8 water, and most of his plants are producing pods by now..well lets not get bitter, haha, I've no experience with the "outdoors" and know indoors can be hard. Apparently partially shaded balconies too)

 

What's this? Most "thrip" photos I see seem to show more elongated things but I'm not sure what else these might be. Will now spray the leaves with my soap spray.

 

(Sorry for the somewhat bad photo, I work during the day and this evening is cloudy. I know these aren't aphids anyway, at least they don't look or act like the clumps of aphids I got indoors once, they aren't green and stationary and so small, these)

 

DSC09209.jpg


Edited by chelicerae, 25 June 2019 - 01:24 PM.


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#2 nmlarson

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

Not certain exactly what it is, but it doesn't look like a thrip to me. 


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#3 chelicerae

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:07 PM

Okay. I'll try and get some better shots during the weekend, in brighter light that is.



#4 solid7

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:08 PM

Are they damaging your plants?

.

If they aren't, why would you be so quick to grab a spray bottle?  That's twitchy...  Could be beneficial.  Spraying for the sake of spraying isn't a great idea.  Soap sprays should be used sparingly.  Save it for when you actually have an infestation of something nasty.  Until you know what these things are, you don't know if they're preventing an infestation.  Logic says that where there's food...


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#5 solid7

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

Also... not a thrip.


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#6 chelicerae

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 03:40 PM

Are they damaging your plants?

.

If they aren't, why would you be so quick to grab a spray bottle?  That's twitchy...  Could be beneficial.  Spraying for the sake of spraying isn't a great idea.  Soap sprays should be used sparingly.  Save it for when you actually have an infestation of something nasty.  Until you know what these things are, you don't know if they're preventing an infestation.  Logic says that where there's food...

 

I mostly assumed that insects that aren't pollinators and start living on my plants aren't great news, haven't actually seen or read about such an example, except perhaps ladybugs? : ) Anyway, they've visibly propagated over a few days, that's why I reached for the spray bottle. Stopped reaching now though; you are implying that they might actually be beneficial, carnivorous insects? Hadn't thought of that, sure sounds better than the food being the annuum.

 

When I had aphids in the grow tent I was equally "employed with work" and didn't look closely and assumed it was pollen. When I finally did examine the affected plant, after a week or so, parts of it were rather covered in aphids. It was too late for that plant though spraying bits of the neighbouring plants helped save them.

 

Can't tell if these are damaging the plant yet. As per your advice I think I'll let them be until the weekend and then take a good look. Cheers


Edited by chelicerae, 25 June 2019 - 03:42 PM.


#7 Takanotsume

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 05:03 PM

The body shape honestly reminds me of some kind of ant.

 

Getting a top down picture for a clearer perspective on its structure might help with identification, though.



#8 Bicycle808

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 05:20 PM

I've had both predators and pollinators as welcome long-term residents of my plants.

Try to figure out what they are before you panic, and before you spray. Also, try to whip their azz manually before moving towards chemical means.

If it is an ant, look again for Aphids bc ants are notorious for "farming" Aphids, and they tend to keep them clustered on just one or two leaves.

But I don't think ol boy is an ant, nor a thrip, neither.

Edited by Bicycle808, 25 June 2019 - 05:20 PM.

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#9 chelicerae

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:15 PM

Hi all, thanks again for all the replies. I tried today to take some new shots of these things, there aren't a lot of them really and I don't see any other damage to the plant other than the jagged remains of a few of the outer leaves that the cats got to in an unguarded moment. No better shots though, they are shy and fast and like to run to the backside of the leaves.

 

A couple of empty pots have been standing on the balcony next to this little greenhouse for a month or two and I now saw a number of instances of what I believe to be the same species. The other, slightly larger leap of faith, is that maybe this second shot is  of their mama? I haven't the foggiest, that is pure conjecture at best : P

 

DSC09239.jpg
DSC09236.jpg

 

 


Edited by chelicerae, 29 June 2019 - 12:16 PM.


#10 simp3204

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:25 PM

Hi all, thanks again for all the replies. I tried today to take some new shots of these things, there aren't a lot of them really and I don't see any other damage to the plant other than the jagged remains of a few of the outer leaves that the cats got to in an unguarded moment. No better shots though, they are shy and fast and like to run to the backside of the leaves.
 
A couple of empty pots have been standing on the balcony next to this little greenhouse for a month or two and I now saw a number of instances of what I believe to be the same species. The other, slightly larger leap of faith, is that maybe this second shot is  of their mama? I haven't the foggiest, that is pure conjecture at best : P
 
DSC09239.jpg
DSC09236.jpg
 
 


The last picture appears to be what we call, “earwigs”, in Southern California. I’ve been dealing with an infestation of them in my garden. If I’m correct and that’s what I’m seeing, they can and will destroy your plants. If they don’t have enough food they will eat your plants. Unfortunately, they do eat aphids and have kept my garden clear of them, but they get very destructive.


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#11 solid7

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:42 PM

Those are definitely not baby earwigs in the first picture.  If it weren't for the long antennae, I'd tell you that they were termites.  That's not to say that they're not some sort of termite.  But they have unusually long antennae.


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#12 solid7

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 12:45 PM   Best Answer

I actually think that your first critter is booklice.

.

https://ento.psu.edu...sheets/booklice


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#13 chelicerae

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 01:02 PM

The last picture appears to be what we call, “earwigs”, in Southern California. I’ve been dealing with an infestation of them in my garden. If I’m correct and that’s what I’m seeing, they can and will destroy your plants. If they don’t have enough food they will eat your plants. Unfortunately, they do eat aphids and have kept my garden clear of them, but they get very destructive.


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Thanks for the info, if more turn up I will start removing things from the balcony.

 

Those are definitely not baby earwigs in the first picture.  If it weren't for the long antennae, I'd tell you that they were termites.  That's not to say that they're not some sort of termite.  But they have unusually long antennae.

I don't think there are termites in Sweden and as for earwigs I see what you mean after having googled for earwig nymphs. They have baby rear pincers when nymphs.

 

I actually think that your first critter is booklice.

.

https://ento.psu.edu...sheets/booklice

 

That might be it. The description, that they like to run around rather quickly, fit these. They're also in the two pots that have some rainwater in them and in the greenhouse that has a rather high relative humidity, usually above 50%. (I haven't seen them climb on the tomato plant that's also in the greenhouse). Thanks
 






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