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.

  • Do you really think the flies are related? If so, what do they look like?
    – Ed Staub
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 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
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 4:06
  • @LucasKauffman What color are the flies? And, can you get a picture of the larva and/or the flies? Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 3:55
  • @Shule a question asked almost 4 years ago, so the answer would be no :P Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 5:22

3 Answers 3

  • 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

  • I pour water with soap through the plant's soil ? Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 8:49

enter image description here
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.


Are they Aphids?

Your plant is not in immediate danger, but if left unchecked they will feed on the new growth 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.

  • I added a description to my question, they are actually very very small white worms in the soil. Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 13:24
  • is this plant growing indoors? Is it in a soil less mix or is it planted in soil from outside?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 14:24
  • I bought the soil from a shop, it's regular planting soil. Any ideas :7 ? Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 1:30
  • Aphids can multiply very quickly though - I treat them as soon as I see them.
    – winwaed
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 13:35

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