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Re: soil bugs & anole lunch

>Are these the same as fruit flies?  These look like they are coming out of
>the soil of my plants.  Fly all over the place, like to head towards the
>windows, computer screen, etc.

>>I think these may be algae gnats, fly real slow, breed in the algae/soil,
>>acn be a pest.   Don`t think they will be enough for any self-respecting
>>Anole, not enough in them.

Susan, Les, Julius, et al.

	It sounds from Les' description like what he's got are the fairly
common springtails.  One possible way to check this is to lift the pot up
and see if there are some flitting around underneath.  Fungus knats (algae
knats?) are much more inclined to do at least some limited flying, and
Susan, are more likely to be what you have, unless you've been working on
breeding fruit flies and/or have lots of stuff around for them to eat and
mature ones to lay eggs in.  Fruit flies generally are not soil dwellers at
any stage of their life cycle.

	Beneficial nematodes applied to the soil in a water drench really
help cut down on the fungus knats, and many other pesky little bugs which
have part of their normal life cycle in the soil.  I'm not familiar with
the common name "algae knats," but suspect that it may be another common
name for fungus knats.

	Les, whether what you've got are springtails or fungus knats,
that's not enough to keep anoles happy for long.  However, if you're ever
plagued by any ants, or if you see occasional roaches, the anoles will have
a field day.  I think that anoles are a great idea, and Don, if you're
reading this and would be willing to supply a few, I'd be real interested
up here in Nashville.  No, they don't need to be able to play guitar or
write songs, good or otherwise.  I tend away from pesticides except soap,
oil, and alcohol, so I generally have some representatives of most pest
groups, as well as some beneficials doing their work as well.

Hope all this help.


Jonathan Ertelt
Greenhouse Manager
Vanderbilt University Biology Department
Box 1812, Sta. B
Nashville, TN  37235

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