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by kathi corbett
(edgewater florida)

Im about to have a heart attack.I just went outside to check on my plumaria with the seed pod on it and I saw fast moving knat looking bugs that seem to be white and brown or black.

They were very tiny like a large flea. Then I was fertilizing all my plants and noticed they all had it.I lost my desert rose of 15 yrs and now I’m starting to think that is why.

I have repotted all my plants last month because of the desert rose.

I honestly dont know what to do.I just totally freaked out and pulled all my habenaros off an put them in a blender and sprinkled on each plant but I see they are all still moving.

The closest nursery is 40 minutes away.I thought maybe taking one of my little plants and wrapping it somehow I don’t know is there any suggestions you have for me please.

I dont know what I would do if I lost all my baby desert roses I started from seed they are in the house under an aqarium light.Please help

Hi Kathi, first of all – take a deep breath and I’ll try and help.

The description of your bugs isn’t very helpful to me to try and identify them.

If you can see these bugs, they are most likely not mites, which are microscopic. In that case, usually the plant dies, and that’s the first sign of an infestation.

Fast moving insects quite often are not plant pests, but predators. See if you can look at what they’re doing – do you have a magnifying glass? – it’s possible that they are after some other insect such as aphids, so you will have to get rid of the aphids first, before you can tackle the other insects.

If they look like tiny alligators, they could be the larvae of ladybugs.

However, what I would do is start your plants on a regimen of pest control, starting right now. Use my favorite and non toxic insect repellent, Safers insecticidal soap, or dish soap (not detergent) or in a pinch, some hand soap mixed into lots of warm water. Add a bit of cooking oil to smother the pests.

If you have landscaping around where your plants are, have a quick check to see if that’s where the bugs are coming from. If so, then you would be best to try and put your plants in a screened room or porch to deal with them – you’ll be pulling your hair out if you treat them, just to get re-infected by outside populations.

The soap will take care of the aphids, and we’ll go from there.

Hope this helps,