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The Evil Woodlovers!


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#1 waylitjim

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 03:46 PM

One of my best producing azure tubs from last year is COMPLETELY infested with small white crawling insects. There's literally thousands of them, but they're so small so I can't get a good picture.

After some visual inspection and pondering...I finally figured it out!

Who can guess what they are?

... it's really obvious.

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#2 dial8

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:06 PM

I have no clue. Aphids? Maggots?

#3 rockawayrooms

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:17 PM

Thirps or mealybugs?

#4 waylitjim

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:33 PM

I have Termites! (decaying alder chips and soil...what a perfect habitat!)

I bought some Diatomaceous Earth today. This stuff is like small pieces of glass. It scratches up their waxy outer coating, causing them to die from dehydration. It's also non-toxic.

http://mycotopia.net...03&d=1161293554

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#5 Hippie3

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:09 PM

yep, the mandibles were a dead give-away. and i mean, hey, it's wood...

#6 Hippie3

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:10 PM

really a copy of this needs to go in the pests section in the vaults...
;)

#7 waylitjim

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:34 PM

The Diatomaceous Earth says it should kill the colony within 48 hrs.
I added 1 Tbsp in a quart of water and watered the tub.
We'll see what happens.

#8 python

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:19 PM

pretty knarley jim.....


diatomaceous earth is cool when viewed under the scope......imo

#9 golly

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:37 PM

Hopefully they were just munching the wood...Gluk....

#10 Lazlo

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:45 PM

Is that the same tub with the fat flush you shared with us? That thing will flush again? Or I guess you were seeing if it would?

Bummer none the less. Hopefully the DE will do the trick.

#11 waylitjim

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:00 PM

Is that the same tub with the fat flush you shared with us? That thing will flush again?


Oh yeah, woodlover tubs & beds will flush every year for many years. After 3 seasons, it's best to add some fresh woodchips on top. That's the beauty of woodlovers. Once the bed is established... you've got yourself a life-long friend. With a little maintainence of course. But what relationships don't require a little maintainence. :)

#12 dial8

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:55 AM

Well, hell, that was aobvious. :lol:

Oh, btw, relationships here have the biggest reward margin that I know of. I love you guys! :heartbeat

#13 Hippie3

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:57 AM

the termites may not be interested in the mycellia,
do you see any signs of damage, jim ?

#14 waylitjim

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:13 PM

Most of the damage they've done is thru their tunneling. The tub had a tightly knit mycelial matrix. They've been busy, it looks like a animal was digging in there, a good part of the top layer is completely overturned.

The damage doesn't appear to be permanent. If the tub recovers, it'll need to be replenished with new woodchips sooner than most tubs. Termites feed primarily on the cellulose and lignin found in plant cell walls. This is also what the mycelium is consuming, hypha releases enzymes which breaks down the cell's wall. Woodloving fungi devour wood from the inside out.


Each termite lives in a nest or colony with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of its brothers and sisters. In fact, the termite colony is really a large, extended family. Within this family, various groups of individuals have different functional roles according to a "caste system". The worker caste is the largest group. It consists entirely of immatures, both males and females. These soft-bodied, wingless individuals perform all of the hard labor in the colony: they clean, maintain, and repair the nest, gather food and water, care for the young, and construct new tunnels and galleries as the colony grows. These juveniles all have the genetic capacity to undergo additional molts and become soldiers or reproductives, but most will spend their entire lives as workers.

Members of the soldier caste are larger in size but fewer in number than the workers. They are also wingless, but they have large heads with powerful jaws. Their job is to guard the nest site and protect it from attacks by ants or other invaders. In some species the soldiers lack jaws but have a large gland in the head that shoots defensive chemicals through a nozzle at the front of the head. The soldiers are unable to care for themselves so they must be fed and groomed by the workers.

The reproductive caste always includes a king (male) and a queen (female) who are the parents of the termite family and founders of the colony. Some species also have a few supplemental reproductives who share the egg laying duties. These are the only adult insects in the colony. The queen lays large numbers of eggs which develop into more workers and soldiers as the family grows. In every mature colony, there also develops an annual population of young winged reproductives that swarm from the parent nest for a short mating flight. After flight, the delicate wings break off, and the new king and queen set out to find another nest site and start a new colony. Large colonies with multiple reproductives may also split into two or more daughter colonies, a process known as "budding".

The termite's caste system is regulated by pheromones. The king and queen each produce special pheromones that circulate throughout the colony and inhibit workers of the same sex from molting into reproductive adults. A death in the royal family (or an increase in the size of the colony) results in a lower concentration of the corresponding pheromone and, subsequently, one or more workers will molt into replacement reproductives. Likewise, the concentration of sex-specific soldier pheromones regulate the numbers of male and female soldiers to fall within an optimal range based on colony size. Excess numbers of soldiers or reproductives may be killed and eaten by the workers.

About 2750 different species of termites are known. These can be divided into two groups: those that live entirely within wood, and more advanced species that tunnel and nest in the soil. In terms of their ecology and behavior, the most primitive species are similar to certain wood-dwelling cockroaches with whom they may share a common ancestor. These primitive species often have specialized habitat requirements, nesting only in rotten wood, damp wood, or dry wood. Their colonies are rather small and persist only as long as the food resource lasts. All wood-dwelling termites produce distinctive waste pellets which are often the first sign of an active infestation.

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#15 waylitjim

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:37 PM

Diatomaceous earth (also known as DE, diatomite, diahydro, and Celite) is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from microscopic skeletal remains of unicellular algae-like plants called diatoms. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times. 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide. DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural (not calcined or flux calcined) compound. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural grade diatomite. However, the continual breathing of any dust should he absolutely avoided.

Applications

Filtration
The most common use (68%) of diatomaceous earth is as a filter medium, especially for swimming pools. It has a high porosity, because it is composed of microscopically-small, coffin-like, hollow particles. It is used in chemistry, as a filtration aid, to filter very fine particles that would otherwise pass or clog filter paper. It is also used to filter water and other liquids, such as beer. It can also filter syrups and sugar. Other industries such as paper, paints, ceramics, soap and detergents use it as a fulling material.

Abrasive
The oldest use of diatomite is as a very mild abrasive and, for this purpose, it has been used both in toothpaste and in metal polishes.

Pest control
Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect's protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted with DE or if it applied as a wettable powder spray. If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.

Diatomaceous Earth may be used as a barrier to control adult flea beetles, sawfly, coddling moth, twig borer, thrips, termites, cockroach, slugs, snails and many other insects such as: Aphids, thrips, earwigs, silverfish, and ants. Can be used for bedbugs, cabbage root flies, carrot root flies, fleas, pillbugs, ticks and is helpful in dealing with fungus gnats.

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#16 Lazlo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:02 PM

Yikes! Sounds like some heavy shit.

#17 rocketman

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:11 PM

i have noticed many many anthills popping up in my yard this past summer. do you guys think this stuff will work or is there a more effective means of getting rid of the ants.

#18 waylitjim

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:12 PM

Yikes! Sounds like some heavy shit.


It is non-toxic to humans and other warm blooded animals.
I just rubbed some into my dogs coat to help control her fleas.
It won't hurt ya, just don't want to breathe in too much dust.

#19 waylitjim

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:15 PM

Rocket, if the ants are getting out of control, DE will help control the population.
Just sprinkle some directly on the hills.

#20 Hippie3

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:20 PM

i find a mix of boric acid & karo works wonders on ants




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