Since we bought some soil from Tescos recently, we've suddenly had an influx of lots of tiny white bugs in our soil.

We have had spider-mites and aphids before, but these don't look like either (as far as I can tell).

Below are the best images I could get (with the best zoom I could muster).

They are building webs, but they have more structure than those we've seen of spider-mites we've had before (such as seen in this picture: https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/houseplant-pests/spider-mite-control/ ). They are also far whiter.

Could someone help me identify them and tell me how to get rid of them?

First picture of bugs in soil Second picture of bugs in soil Some bugs on a web Bugs on web Bugs on courgette leaf

  • 1
    I don't think you need to get rid of them. Trippy, white spiders. Could you please add some scale? These guys look like baby spiders not spider mite. All spiders are good spiders. I am amazed at the webbing! These are an orb spider of some sort! Orb spiders are not a poisonous, danger problem at all. These, I think, are baby spiders practicing their orb making skills. From what I've read these are very excellent to have in your garden!
    – stormy
    Jun 26, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    Amazing pictures Michal. I am counting 6 legs, not eight? Might not be spiders at all and the webbing is from another animal, a spider. These look almost ant like? Grasshopper like? Jumping something or other? So bright white. I don't think they are liking the disruption from their nice cuddly dark world to be dumped in yours? I am transfixed! Ugh, more pictures for sure.
    – stormy
    Jun 26, 2018 at 20:17
  • These bugs are all about 1mm in size, some maybe slightly bigger. They were just covering half of my veg. Very considerable amounts of webbing, but tonnes of these seem to just rest in the soil - I've sprayed them off with a hose, but I haven't resorted to any pesticides... yet. Jun 26, 2018 at 20:22
  • 1
    Well, now I am into a possibility they might be termites. Hang on for just a bit. I hate using pesticide...the commercial stuff anyway. And I am Commercial Pesticide Applicator. Grins. Those that know don't use pesticides unless ABSOLUTELY a must. This webbing is amazing...could you please send a few more pictures? Do you have a friend with even better micro capability?
    – stormy
    Jun 26, 2018 at 20:26
  • 1
    Those are not spiders. They clearly have 3 body segments and 6 legs. They are some kind of insect (which would fit with termites).
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 27, 2018 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


Long post..apologies in advance

Question #1:
Are they moving? Specifically, are they jumping? {{shivers down spine}}

Jumping = Springtails (below)

Springtail Nymphs

No Movement = could be the caste exosteleton of aphids (below)

Potato Aphid Exo

Question #2
If moving, have they made it to any vegetation and have you seen any damage or frass?

Conclusion: Neither Springtails or Aphid nymphs create webs. However one particular aphid (Wooly aphid) do produce white strands that are attached their bodies. Just from eyeballing it, I do not think that these are termites.
Will await your response and go from there!

  • I think these are probably the closest lookalikes so far - I haven't marked this as correct yet, as I want to take some specimens and get a much better close-up picture so I can identify them properly. Jul 2, 2018 at 11:04
  • I believe they were indeed aphid exoskeletons Jul 3, 2019 at 6:15

I agree. aphid exoskeletons. I have a 30x microscope and have been wondering what they were also. I did find adult aphids on the hibiscus buds and a ton of white skeletons on the leaves. So the white spots are skeletons and there are hundreds, but only find adults by the tens. Using mild soap and water spray every two days to see if that works.

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