Sciarra fly & mites.

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tonyironscacti
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Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by tonyironscacti » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:58 am

This year I have been plagued with more than the usual number of both these pests on the new seedlings sown late February 2019.
I understand that others have also had a worst experience of this so far this year, but that does not help in the high number of casualties I have had.
Can anyone advise on how they deal with these pests ?
SB plant invigorator does help but it also makes the label details run !
As I sow 90 quarter trays of mostly mesembs each year [ approx 9,000 seed ], it is painful watching the plants keel over and die !
All advice listened to !
Terry S.
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by Terry S. » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:06 am

If by mite, you are talking about red spider mite, then SB Plant Invigorator is the only control available to the amateur. I use masses of it as a spray using the concentrate diluted 1:100 with water as recommended and I do not have any problems with label ink running - I use Staedtler Lumocolor pens. Certain aerosols with organic solvents will destroy your writing.
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by Herts Mike » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:24 pm

Or dot insectivorous plants about the place. My Drosera hoovers up a lot of flies.
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by Eric Williams » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:42 pm

I second Herts Mike here. I have 3 bowls of Pingquicula all around, and as Mike says they love sciara fly. Plants thrive on the flies as they grow big and fast, and the only thing they get of me is water. Cheers. ps, I have read, small ex computer fans have been used to blow the flies off the seed pans.
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by rodsmith » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:31 pm

I run a vacuum cleaner over my plants every few days. Not too close to vacuum up the soil or gravel but sciarids have such a weak flight that the cleaner is powerful enough to suck up a lot of these pests. I also manage to kill some by squashing them against the windows or by clapping my hands when I see one circling (taking care not to catch my hands on a cactus!). I have used the yellow sticky plastic strips for several years but have discontinued these as they have been catching bees and hover flies.
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tonyironscacti
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by tonyironscacti » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:07 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I have already ordered a tray of Drosera plants to place round the propagation area. I am also trying out labels written with pencil & also printed by laser printer to see how they react to SB plant invigorator.
I like the idea of hoovering up the insects periodically.

All of these I will try.

Cheers

Tony.
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ralphrmartin
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by ralphrmartin » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:54 pm

You can avoid sciara fly by using a purely mineral compost. In my experience, the larvae are present in commercial composts.
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el48tel
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by el48tel » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:28 pm

ralphrmartin wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:54 pm
You can avoid sciara fly by using a purely mineral compost. In my experience, the larvae are present in commercial composts.
Not a surprise!
Attempting to grow Echinopsis, Lithops, Aeoniums, Gymnocalycium, Rebutia, Sulcorebutia and Aylostera.
Just discovered Echinocereus.
tonyironscacti
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by tonyironscacti » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:39 am

ralphrmartin wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:54 pm
You can avoid sciara fly by using a purely mineral compost. In my experience, the larvae are present in commercial composts.
So if I use vermiculite, expanded clay etc for seed raising would you need to use some type of feed ?

At present I do not add anything to my water and let the natural elements within my soil mix supply nourishment......in fact only water up till 2 years of age .
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Re: Sciarra fly & mites.

Post by daydreamer » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:02 am

In my experience sciarid flies are attracted to any compost containing peat, but also to any peat-free compost based on composted garden waste. I use a mix of coir(from blocks), moler clay (the Euro Car Parts version is a good size for seeds) and very coarse sand. I water with half strength Chempak C&S before seed sowing and every watering thereafter. I've never had any problem with sciarids.
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