Hydroponic Root Pest Problem

by Paul
(San Diego)

I have noticed some mite like bugs on my DWC roots. The look dark to the naked eye, and under the 30x the appear to be green with redish dark behinds. The look like 4 legged, but may be 6. How can I kill them asap and not damage my roots? And what did I do to cause this? I have never had this problem before. Thanks for any help asap.

Answer: Paul- The most common hydroponic root problems by far are caused by fungus gnat larvae. However, your description pretty much eliminates this as the culprit, and I have not been able to find any garden pest that matches what you describe. I learned the hard way how important proper identification can be sometimes....you can read about my bug woes here.

That said, there are a couple things you can do. First of all, consider buying some good 35% Hydrogen Peroxide solution from a hydroponic shop. There are directions on the bottle for diluting the Hydrogen Peroxide for use in your nutrient reservoir (on living plants). Follow these directions very carefully. A proper dose could bring your bug problem in check very quickly, but a wrong dose can kill your entire crop just as quickly. Be sure to read my Using Hydrogen Peroxide page for all of the most important information.

The other thing you need to do is keep trying to properly identify the little pest. Sometimes the best way is to go to Google images and search for "garden pest", "hydroponic garden pest", "indoor garden pest", or other similar search terms. Including the word "roots" or "root pest" might get you somewhere. Compare the pictures carefully to what you remember seeing....this is exactly how I identified my thrip problem.

Once you identify the pest, the website hosing that particular image will often have information on how to get rid of it (or, at the very least, should be able to provide you the name of the pest, which you can then use to do additional research). Once you know the name of your foe, it is just a matter of time before you find the cure. I hope this helps Paul....I know how frustrating bug problems can be! Good luck, and Happy Growing!

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Jul 16, 2010
Bugs on DWC Roots
by: Paul

Thanks for the 35% hydrogen-peroxide tip. I would of never thought of using this for bug control on my roots. It seems that it will only benefit my root zone regardless of the type of bugs. Nutrient uptake is vital to all plant health and it sounds like this may assist in that too.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I will let you know how it turns out. Great web page you have, lot's of great information to help us hobby gardeners be successful.

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