FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

little black bugs..

hello everyone. im new to taking care of bonsais and i got some wonderful help already from this forum. =) i have another concern.. i noticed little black bugs hiding under my bonsai's leaves.. soo gross.. my sister bought a bonsai at the same place and hers has the bugs too..they are super tiny and kinda long.. any ideas on what they are and how to safely get rid of them? thanks soo much. take care Jeanine

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Jeanine,

Hello and welcome back, how has your Ficus been doing other than the bugs. Sorry I can't identify the culprit but here is some information that may help. I always start with the least offensive measures first. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oils are two of the most common.

[url]https://www.care2.com/greenliving/homemade-insecticidal-soap.html[/url]

[url]https://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/insect/05569.html[/url]

Any decent nursery should be able to help you with these, or as in the first link you can make your own. More than one application is usually necessary to get the problem under control.

Norm

FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

thanks norm :) i will be sure to look at the links you sent.. those bugs are going down! lol other then the bugs my ficus is doing great! all new baby leaves everwhere.. and there is grass growing in my pot.. i should probably take that out. ..any ideas on where they came from? thanks so much!

alexinoklahoma
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Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

The grass has to come from seed...could it be *moss*, which is windblown for the most part?? Any pics? The soil could have had seed in it from a bird or a bag of feed-seed nearby maybe? I sometimes inadvertently placed a pot under a bird-feeder and the birds would drop seed into pot without me knowing. Weeks later, I'd have a field-day picking tiny sprouts out :( At least the *birds* were happy, I guess. Now, I look up before I set stuff down, LOL.

Its never a bad idea to 'blast' stuff off with water before applying 'poisons', fwiw. Just careful to not blow out dirt or whatever. Friction of some sort is always preferred, but nothing wrong with poisons when used properly and appropriately.

I use the term poison very loosely here - I do NOT mean stuff like diazinon or such, LOL ;)

Are these bugs within soil, too? Do they crawl around, yet fly when disturbed? (fungus gnats? organic-based soil?) Just curious...

Alex

FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

they don't fly and they just hang out under the leaves..i have yet to explore the soil.. it has glued rocks on top which im going to take out tomorrow.. i just tapped the leaves they are on.. and they don't move.. some leaves are falling off my ficus.. thats ok right? i was reading that they tend to loose leaves sometimes.. it has new leaves everwhere though. thanks.. and those bugs have about 24 hrs left.. (im off work tomrrow) the they are going down.. battle on! ;)

alexinoklahoma
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Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Jeanine: have you repotted the ficus since posting the pic back when you first inquired?? Are those rocks still upon your soil?

If so, there are likely other things affecting tree even though it is sprouting new leaves ;) That is assuming that the earlier post in 'Firefly' name is referring to the same plant as *this* post..... Did you make sense of the links others gave then? I know, I know - more ?'s for ya, haha - but seriously asked :) The bugs *could* be a sign of much worse issue(s) hiding from your sight, ma'am ;) Like soggy soil or clay-like soil...possibilities abound here....

Inquiring minds wanna know!,
Alex

FireFly
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Location: New Jersey

dammit.. ok i promise to take out the rocks tomorrow.. already im horrible at taking care of bonsai's.. it seemed to be doing ok with the new leaves.. ewe.. i hope the bugs arent in the soil.. if they are.. should i still use the insect soap idea mentioned earlier?

FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

i just noticed too the leaves are kinda of dusty.. not like dust on funiture but like powder.. maybe calcium build up from hard water (like on fish tanks.. those im good at ;)) .. any ideas.. sorry for all the q's though its muchly appreciated

FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

so im bored at work and i cracked open the inner pot.. and there is soil in there.. barley any.. its mostly the rocks.. and there is no bugs in it.. it looks like any other soil with foam ball things in there.. its really dark and smells like dirt.. i forgot my digital camera so i will post a picture of the soil tomorrow.should i get a bigger pot for it? its says its a 1.4q.. it seems kinda tight.. there are lots of roots in there...i hope this helps in finding out what i should do to help my bonsai live a long and healthy life...

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

FireFly wrote:so im bored at work
FireFly wrote:I hope this helps in finding out what I should do to help my bonsai live a long and healthy life...
As I said in your other thread:
ynot wrote:One more thing, You should know that an office is not an appropriate environment for long term bonsai health [& ultimately survival]
I will put it more strongly this time:

Get it out of your office.
.. That would be a first step wrt the green quote above.

Otherwise I am predicting a long slow decline, It just seems to be the way the story goes in these cases.

I am not saying is is impossible [Far from it], I AM saying it will do far better and have a better shot at recovering from its current issues and conquering any care mistakes if it were living somewhere more appropriate than an office environment.

ynot

FireFly
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

i thought my bonsai would be ok for the winter months in the office untill it gets warmer out then i will put it on my balcony..

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

FireFly wrote:I thought my bonsai would be ok for the winter months in the office untill it gets warmer out then I will put it on my balcony..
The balcony is fine for weather that is ^50F.

It may be 'ok', But it has infestation issues already and for it to remain healthy it needs all the help it can get, I assure you that at home you will be better able to provide an environment that it will be happier in. [Read: Thrive as opposed to simply surviving.]

The more closely you can approximate it's natural growing conditions [Tropical IE: Thailand, N. Australia, Etc] the happier it will be.

ynot

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

'Fly: if you were to put a very-bright grow-light over the plant, it *might* be happier at the office... ynot is totally correct here...I fully concur and agree with the remarks. A 'bright' window is acceptable and usually works well, but most ficus indoors nowhere near a window get replaced every few months (right??)... something to think about there, OK? I do not think you wish to care for 'disposable' bonsai...

Things to read up on sooner rather than later - repotting, watering, and soil-mix(es). Begin with those, pop-quiz later maybe, LOL. That *is* a nice tree, honestly! I wish I had one like it, honestly. I'd love to see it well taken care of, honestly. It likely could benefit from repotting with better soil (?) - but lets wait and see what ya got in there (please). This stuff is not difficult, and there is a bit of leeway in most of it - however, you chose one of the 'ways in which there is no lee', LOL. Make room in car for the tree to spend T-giving with ya, and the rest of its life as well.

The one bad thing about bonsai is that it is difficult to show them off to folks away from the home as they gotta stay in one general place and (usually) out in-the-weather, with a few species such as ficus being indoors (w/ bright light, of course). Resist the temptation to keep plant at work and it'll reward you - promise!

Are you spraying water on leaves? If so, use only distilled to keep the minerals off them...and don't use 'leaf-shine' ever...justa dmap cloth/towel if/when needed...

HTH,
Alex

FireFly
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Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: New Jersey

thanks for everyones help. i will be sure to take my ficus home.. somewhere bright of course :) but not next to a window ;)thanks for the compliment on the tree. i hope i can make it say nice looking. i wll post a picture of the soil tomorrow. take care Jeanine

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