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TOPIC: What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them?

What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42836

Hi there!

I have already some experience with bonsai trees and been growing mine pretty successfully, however today I decided to increase my tiny collection and I have purchased 3 new trees. The place I live at has pretty terrible selection of bonsai trees (I live abroad now) and it seems that people here really don't know how to take care of the plants in the shop. So... not so surprisingly after I brought the trees home I noticed that two of those bonsai trees have some pests crawling in the soil - I noticed it when I started to pick all the old leaves that were left on the surface of the soil.

Both bonsais were clearly waaay too over-watered but I hoped that with good care I can nurse them back to good health. But since there are some pests as well, I think I have to address that too. It's so hard to say what those little bugs can be, but one looks a bit like a tick - for lack of better word, and has dark brown "linseed" color. And the second one looks also similarly, but is green/yellowish. I finally managed to capture them on camera as well : streamable.com/ezwrv and streamable.com/fns19 . Just an disclaimer - usually those pests stay buried in the soil but basically they emerge to the surface only when I lightly tapped the outer layer of the soil (when picking old leaves) but then they tried to go immediately back. They are very spooked and smart when approached by some object and wouldn’t climb onto it.

Any idea what those bugs might be and how to get rid of them in a way that wouldn't kill the bonsai as well? Internet search mostly pointed to fungus gnats, however those small bugs seemingly don't look anything like "ants" - the way fungus gnats seem to look like.

Anyway, hope that someone might maybe have the answer to this here, thanks a lot for any kind of tips! :)
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Last edit: by Barush_x.

What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42838

I don't see any of the pictures you have posted, so it's a lot more difficult helping you.
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What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42840

Just click on the video links : streamable.com/ezwrv and streamable.com/fns19 . :) Thanks!
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Last edit: by Barush_x.

What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42841

There are at least two (perhaps three) different insects in your VERY WET soil.
The smaller one is fast moving, but I don't think they are fungus gnats (do they fly?)
It's surely a bad infestation.
When you say "abroad", what do you mean exactly?
I am Brazilian, but when I lived in the USA or the UK, I lived abroad. WHERE is "abroad" for you?

There are many products that kill insects and are not harmful for the trees. Some work by contact, others are systemic. You need to get rid of those pests.
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Last edit: by Clicio.

What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42842

I saw maybe a Ptininae ssp. , but it’s hard to identify from those vids. Most of them eating decaying materials. Next time shoot some macro to find out the specs :)
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Last edit: by Felidae.

What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42848

Hard to tell what is in the soil. However.. Impossible to tell whether they are actually causing damage. Why don;t you start off by giving your new trees proper care, and see whether the tree stays healthy (As, you would not have bought trees that are clearly unhealthy). In general insects are no problem. There are small animals everywhere, and only a fraction of those are really a problem for your plants. These look more link hunting insects than something feeding of your rooots.
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What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42861

leatherback wrote: ..These look more link hunting insects than something feeding of your rooots.

Watched the first video, which I didn’t find before.. Me too, I can clearly see a spider, feasting on the livestock.
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What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42873

Clicio wrote: There are at least two (perhaps three) different insects in your VERY WET soil.
The smaller one is fast moving, but I don't think they are fungus gnats (do they fly?)
It's surely a bad infestation.
When you say "abroad", what do you mean exactly?
I am Brazilian, but when I lived in the USA or the UK, I lived abroad. WHERE is "abroad" for you?

There are many products that kill insects and are not harmful for the trees. Some work by contact, others are systemic. You need to get rid of those pests.


I live in Finland now but originally I'm from Central Europe where there are many different great nurseries and variety is good. Unfortunately there aren't many bonsai trees for sale in here and even those few that you can buy aren't in the best shape they could be.
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What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42874

Felidae wrote: I saw maybe a Ptininae ssp. , but it’s hard to identify from those vids. Most of them eating decaying materials. Next time shoot some macro to find out the specs :)


This is sadly the best I can get on my phone, I really tried.
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What are these bonsai pests & how to get rid of them? 1 year 3 months ago #42875

Felidae wrote:

leatherback wrote: ..These look more link hunting insects than something feeding of your rooots.

Watched the first video, which I didn’t find before.. Me too, I can clearly see a spider, feasting on the livestock.


Just an disclaimer... it might be true, however, I just chased them to the surface and it more seemed to me like those two bugs have bumped to each other
when they tried to escape and so they reacted aggressively. Otherwise they don't mind each other, however I really can't be sure what's really going on underneath. :D So not sure if this changes anything. They were two of the same kind as well, which might be plausible too as spiders are sometimes known to be cannibalistic but not sure if this was just an reaction or normal behavior. Anyway, thanks for a tip and also for that Ptininae ssp tip. :)
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