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QUESTION: Insect Issues

comments (2) August 14th, 2010

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samlongchef samlongchef, member
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Webbing Photo II
Soil Granules = issue ?
WebbingClick To Enlarge


What insect makes these webs?  They are far too fine for a spider--they are like sheer pantyhose.  Sometimes I cannot even see them until the fine spray from my hose highlights their presence. The webs aren't located on the tops of plants like spidermite webs.  Close examination of the webs does not reveal any visible insects.  However, something is hard at work at making them, because I keep knocking them down with sticks, my feet, the full blast of the hose, and next day they are back.  I've read somewhere that whiteflies can make webs, but fortunately, I think I have severely reduced my whitefly population this year through organic means.  A cocktail of neem, pyrethrins, safer soap, water washing, and kelp/compost tea foliar spray seems to have done the trick.  At the beginning of the summer, the whiteflies were unbeliveably overwhelming.

Also, I have just noticed something amiss in my front bed.  The ground under the plants, which used to be mulched, has taken on the appearance of a granular-textured dark soil, as if someone chewed up a chocolate bar and then spit it back out.  The majority of the bed is like this, and several small groundcovers (brunnera) that have done quite well all summer have up and died in a matter of days.  Ants?  Something else?

All comments are appreciated, as I aim to learn!

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Comments (2)

kristenclif writes: Just wonderful
Posted: 1:19 am on August 23rd
Loosiana writes: Webbing? What webbing?? It's so fine I can't see it! Most probably made by very fine spiders! Nothing to worry about if so.

As for the soil that is appearing which looks as if it had been "chewed up and spit out" - you are exactly correct! This is wormcasts, and means that you have a healthy earthworm population in your soil!

Those busy little guys turn the soil over tirelessly even when we can't be bothered, as long as there is enough moisture, a mild temperature and a source of organic food on top of the ground. The amount of soil they can bring to the surface, and the organic matter they can take down into their burrows, is phenomenal. When they make their way to the top like this, they are opening channels which aerate the soil and allow rain to soak in better, as well.

When digging in bits of my garden that have been neglected for some years, I keep coming across plastic plant tags that are buried several inches under the soil. I didn't bury them; those industrious worms have done it! These wormcasts are a good sign of a healthy soil.

Sorry about your dead plants, but I don't believe the worms could have caused this. Must be some other problem there.
Posted: 6:56 pm on October 4th
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