I have these little white bugs on my eggplant, not many of them yet. What are they? How do i get rid of them? I'm a first year indoor organic gardener. It is important to note they are in pots.

I noticed these things on my eggplants. What are they and how can I safely get rid of them?

enter image description here

enter image description here


I am in the prairies of Canada. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  • 1
    Are they Springtails? That is the closest thing I could find in resemblance anywhere. I'm such a newbie. – Logan Legiehn Jun 2 '15 at 5:51
  • 2
    Are they eating your plant, sucking sap from it, or something? Or, are they just crawling on it? Where in the world is this? – Shule Jun 3 '15 at 0:28
  • Newbies are awesome! It's nice to meet you :) – Sue Jun 7 '15 at 19:35
  • Yes I've been battling aphids all summer, but i just take my time after work and inspect each leaf of each plant and squish them. Thank you kindly for your replies, I do appreciate it! – Logan Legiehn Jul 22 '15 at 3:14
  • Please use the edit link under the question to add information to it, and the 'add a comment' link to add a comment. Thanks! – Niall C. Jul 22 '15 at 3:36

It looks a lot like an aphid cast/skin.

It certainly does look like a springtail. Those are great pictures, not easy to get due to their size!

The springtail is very common and has been found on every continent. They live in dark, moist places, and feed on microorganisms found at the base of plants, in mulch beds, and piles of wet leaves.

If the weather gets hot and dry, they frequently find their way into the house, often through drain pipes, which is why the first place we see them is in sinks or bathtubs. While hard to prevent, they can be diverted by putting dishes of warm, wet soil outside near downspouts or drains.

As you've found, some will settle into houseplants, where conditions mimic their natural habitat. They can't hurt the plant, though, and pose no danger to people or pets.

Management is best accomplished by picking off the ones you see, and letting your soil dry out as frequently as possible. Also, since they like to burrow, keep your soil smooth, tamped down, and free of pieces of mulch, leaves or other debris.

There are pesticides available, but springtails are very hardy, and tend to be pesticide-resistant. Also, since you're growing a food crop, chemicals are a less desirable choice. You said you're an organic gardener, so I assume you're not interested in pesticides anyway!

The good news is that the life cycle is generally only a few weeks, and some of those that survive will make their way outside, so they're more of a nuisance than anything else.

  • 1
    I don't know. It looks different to me. The antenae extend way back behind it and the end of it goes further past its back legs. It has white eyes, too. Is this common in springtails, too? – Shule Jul 8 '15 at 22:07
  • 1
    @Shule That's an Interesting point, thanks. I'll do some more research tomorrow, unless you have a specific critter in mind. – Sue Jul 9 '15 at 2:53
  • I don't have anything in mind at this time. I searched on it a while back and came up with nothing. If it's so uncommon, though, it's probably less likely to be a pest, at least. If it's not a springtail, though, it's probably pretty similar. – Shule Jul 9 '15 at 18:11

The original picture posted here is the only one on the internet I could find that looks like the bugs I found suddenly all over my tomato plants in my outside container garden. I have no idea what these are, nymph crickets kind of look like this, they are not whiteflies, or the little white bugs that look like white fuzzy rolly polly bugs called mealy bugs, as these seem to have the hinged back legs, no wings... would love to know what they arr and if they are bad for the plants. I blasted my tomato plants with my power washer and appears that got rid of them (it was dusk when I blasted them, will know tomorrow if it really worked) I live in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, USA.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.