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I have a fatalii pepper plant and today I discovered some very small larva in my plant's soil. I already saw that there were more flies than usual.

Is there any danger for my plant ? Should I kill them ? How do I kill them ?

They are white and very small, I can only see them when I water my plants. They start to move in the water then.

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Do you really think the flies are related? If so, what do they look like? –  Ed Staub Jan 28 '12 at 21:17
    
Despite being a big pepper grower I hadn't heard of it, so I looked it up. Fatalii are a variety of C.chinense - ie. similar to habanero. –  winwaed Jan 29 '12 at 4:06

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • If they are worm like then they are not root mealy bug. Those guys are white, largish and round. You normally don't see them until you re-pot the plant or it is a terminal infestation.
  • Aphids live on the plant not in the soil
  • soil dwelling insects like fungus gnats (dark, mobile) and springtails (brown or black and jump around) and others can usually be controlled with soap and water.

Put a tablespoon of dish soap in a quart of water. Put the plant in the sink, pour mixture through. Wait five or ten minutes and flush with clean water.

If that doesn't work you can try what I call the "big hammer" approach: one tablespoon of bleach, one quart of water, pour in, wait and flush with clean water. Be warned that this is a last resort as many plants respond poorly to this treatment

Edit: water mixed with soap will clog the breathing holes (spiracles) of insects. A few minutes not being able to breathe is sufficient to kill most insects. Eggs, however, will survive and hatch again. A second application of soap mixed with water after another five to seven days might be required

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I pour water with soap through the plant's soil ? –  Lucas Kauffman Jan 29 '12 at 8:49

Are they Aphids?

Your plant is not in immediate danger, but if left unchecked they will feed on the new grow of the plant and over time they could eventually kill the plant.

You really have two options, use some form of spray (chemical will be the most effective) or buy/attract Ladybirds.

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I added a description to my question, they are actually very very small white worms in the soil. –  Lucas Kauffman Jan 28 '12 at 13:24
    
is this plant growing indoors? Is it in a soil less mix or is it planted in soil from outside? –  kevinsky Jan 28 '12 at 14:24
    
I bought the soil from a shop, it's regular planting soil. Any ideas :7 ? –  Lucas Kauffman Jan 29 '12 at 1:30
    
Aphids can multiply very quickly though - I treat them as soon as I see them. –  winwaed Feb 22 '12 at 13:35

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It sounds like you have root mealybugs. These insects are sucking sap from your plant roots. They can eventually kill plants if left uncontrolled. The easiest way to control them is to take the plant out of its pot, wash the roots clean, spray the entire plant with pesticide, and replant in a new pot with fresh potting soil. Water it well and then resume normal care. This picture is close up. I sometimes have problems with these, but if properly controlled, The plants always survive. They fit the description of larvae but not of worms.

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