Which insects etc. should I EXPECT to have in my organic soil/soil-less mix?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by VillageIdiott, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Hi Everyone!

    I wanted to start a thread because I was doing some observation with some of my org. soil and a viewing lens with about 15x mag.

    I was amazed at what I saw... I think both good and bad.

    I am sure I saw a large number of 'hypoaspis miles' (though how they got there I have no idea... its an indoor grow)

    I also saw a bunch of fungus gnat larvae.. not so good and the reason I was looking in the first place.

    I also saw what looks like either 'blind springtail' larvae (which isn't dangerous i think) OR 'symphalids' (which are very dangerous)...

    So can anyone please help me to figure out what a GOOD, HEALTHY organic soil or soil-less mix will USUALLY or OFTEN have in it... I mean the good guys.

    AND, how do I kill off the bad guys while allowing the good guys to live (it seems the good guys rarely have a ability to wipe out the bad guys without help)


    The Idiott.
  2. I think I see lots of these.

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  3. I've (personally) only ever had to actually worry about one type of insect in my garden - spider mites. They are the only type that have ever given me trouble. While I do see other insects they don't give me trouble. Gnats can be a nuisance but have never actually hurt anything - at least for me.

    I think that there's a slew of microscopic and just tiny insects that live in organic gardens and are simply part of the whole ecosystem. Unless I saw something negative happening I (personally) wouldn't worry about them.

    I'm not sure what the one in your picture is.

  4. that thing in the pic looks like a blind springtail
  5. Re Jerry and w89...

    THanks for the replies... I have been having old fan leaves dropping and although one of my plants is pretty sativa-like... still the buds look, after a month of flowering, a little airy. It is hard to tell if what is going on is normal in the flowering process (ie fan leaves yellowing and dropping off and airy buds with sativas) or if it is critters.

    Should fan leaves be yellowing in a good organic soil?

    The Idiott.
  6. I was thinking of making a post like this.
    During my last grow I had a lot of worms in my soil and ants.
    The ants were annoying some got stuck on my buds.
    The plants were healthy but I always wondered if they caused any issues
    or held the plans back.
  7. I repotted some youngsters a while back. I checked yesterday and noticed mites crawling onto my hand as I held the pot checking for branches to use for cuttings. Today I checked some new mix I've been cooking and was horrified to see these guys all over it. Are they Spider Mites?

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  8. Hi Jumbo...

    Don't worry, I have LOADS of those bugs as well. As far as I can tell, they are called "hypoaspis miles" and are very GOOD for soil. But its hard to tell the difference between the good and the bad sometimes.

    BTW... I found this site which explains some of the good and bad bugs pretty well. For me its just hard to ID them as I only have a pretty weak viewing microscope.

    The Bug Factory - Commercial Insectary
  9. The other question I have is... is it the case that a good healthy WON'T have bugs (but may be fine with some of the beneficials)? or Will GOOD organic soil always/expect to have beneficial bugs (as in its part of a system and without them the organic soil is not really showing signs of being truly healthy organic soil)?

    Any of the long-time organic blades want to chime in and help with this?
    The Idiott.
  10. Looking by eye, I usually see 3-4 different types of mites.
    There's white ones
    Light brown/white ones (probably hypoaspis miles)
    Light brown/red ones....ok (might be adult hypoaspis miles)
    Two different kinds of red ones...one looks similar to the rest...
    while the other one is a tad different. The odd ball resembles a spider more than the rest. Looking closely, it's back legs come from it's body a little further towards the center/front. Not in the center or front, just closer, where as the good ones legs come from the back or near.

    I've witness a few times all the good ones attacking the bad red ones and running them off/fuckin'm up.

    As well as hypoaspis miles, there's a very tiny white mite that I can't identify by eye cause it looks like a spec of dust, but you see them move. Usually only around the edges of the pots. But I've seen them in the top soil, and every now and then, I'll see the mites attack one/eat it. They appear long and slender as apposed to round.

    The Bug Factory link someone posted turned out to be the best read with visuals and descriptions I've seen. Something more in depth would be better though. However, thanks for that.
  11. Hey StayLow... Thanks for chiming in.

    I would really love to see some really die hard organic growers post some pictures of their soil/soil-less mixes here (macros). It would allow me and others like me (as in people like me with only very little experience with organic growing) to compare what our soil and it's critters look like relative to proven organic mediums.
  12. Other things I've found are a couple of silverfish in mine. I don't think they're much to worry about, though. I've read they eat starch, book bindings, and decaying things. I've never seen them in my house anywhere else.

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