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Offlinesaunter
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Bug Infestation... and the party that followed.
    #3890277 - 03/09/05 01:14 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

At first I suspected that I was dealing with fungus fly larvae. This is not the case. Several tiny(as small as the tip of a needle) white dots were moving around on the inside of my fish tank just above soil level. They were clustered above the sites where shrooms were pulled from the first flush. No evidence of adult flies.

Here is the odd part. I managed to capture a few on a piece of cellophane and examined them under my "kiddie" microscope that I nearly forgot I owned. I cannot stress how tiny these things are. Under 100x magnification one of the little bastards entire body was still completely in the viewable area.

They are colorless and have an soft exoskeleton, six legs, and an elongated rear thorax. No wings but the head was slightly triangular. Imagine a tiny clear Praying Mantis with no wings. Again the microscope is rudimentary at best and was a pain to position this tiny
creature properly. Their "skin" is so fragile that when I gentle folded the cellophane it easily crushed them. The one I focused on seemed quite unhappy about his guts spilling out of his ass.

They exhibit a strange whipping motion inside the fish tank which led me to believe that they have another stage of development ahead. They are reproducing at an alarming rate and as mentioned may be dining on weak mycelium and former abort sites. Another oddity is that I do not see any bacterial infections resulting from the infestation.

I wish I was one of them because they look like they are having a fucking party, or perhaps an orgy. I've scoured the internet to identify them but to no avail. I considered taking a sample to our university laboratory but I am not enthused about explaining their living environment to the professors :smile:

A second fish tank was confirmed to have the same problem. Possibly cross-contamination because they are less of them in tank #2 and the medium was prepared differently (if my memory serves me correctly). They crawl fast for their size and the whipping motion may be due to sliding on the moist glass. Due to their tiny size, conventional photographic equipment is useless otherwise I'd post pics. 

Pinning began early in both tanks before the mycelium could take over the medium completely. I believe someone let light enter the "darkroom" which encouraged the pinning. Upon seeing the pins I moved them to the area used for normal production (light, increased temp, etc). Out of curiosity I sprinkled a pinch of baking soda on a heavily populated area of them (including a portion of the glass wall). They stayed away for about six hours, the moisture dissipated the soda but is still visible. They are back partying right on top of it.

I know you guys love details :smile:

If another life cycle emerges I will post those findings. In the meantime I will sit back and see what your take is on this situation.


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OfflineCptnGarden
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: saunter]
    #3920710 - 03/15/05 01:19 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

er.... I think you've been eating too much of whats growing on those cakes. Or maybe you need help  :crazy:...

They could be mites?


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Offlinebaraka
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: saunter]
    #3922852 - 03/15/05 10:22 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

sounds like fruit fly larva or somthing.


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InvisibleMrMaddHatter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: saunter]
    #3926001 - 03/16/05 04:57 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I've had these same little white bastards come around as well. I use black trays so I see 'em easy. (and I don't eat shrooms so I ain't hallucinating)

Best I can tell, they like it hot and humid, so if you can get your temps down to about 70-75F they seem to stay in check. Also, they seem to attack trays that are past 3rd flush, like they're living on the dying mycellium.

I've yet to figure out what the hell they are. There are NO flying bugs around anywhere that I can see.

At one point in time, I had several quarts that were overcolonized and due to the crappy filter method I was using, the little white bastards found a way in and they had covered the jars. I mean everywhere all over the jars.

I don't like them very much.


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Offlinesaunter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: saunter]
    #3942579 - 03/20/05 03:36 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

So the consensus is that we are all stumped on
identification?

MrMaddHatter's post proves I'm not crazy... well..
at least in regards to the infestation  :crazy2:

...and yes he was correct about lowering the temps; it wiped
them out. Still no signs of bacterial infection after
over two weeks of their feasting. The shock of lower temps
and (possibly) the bugs halted all mycelium growth and did
not yield a second flush in either container.

I realized that their bodies also look a bit like
tiny termites, the white/pale type you find deep inside
a rotten log, etc. So they may belong to the mite
family. The body is certainly similar to a termite.

I guess we will never know for sure. Odd that I have not
seen this problem addressed elsewhere in the forum. I
appreciate everybody's input but I guess we will put this
issue to bed for now.


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InvisibleMrMaddHatter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: saunter]
    #3942618 - 03/20/05 04:01 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I've come to the conclusion that they're mites.


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Offlinenewton
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: MrMaddHatter]
    #3986140 - 03/29/05 06:32 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

these guys? i had two casings i was letting go and as i was picking lonely mushroom, i noticed the markings on its top where the universal veil had split (the little white chunks on the cap) look bigger and slightly more solid than usual, so i grabbed the camera. the top also looked a bit rotty... so here's some pics i shot. i took a few and than split the mushroom open and took some more, at which point i realized while repositioning the mush for the next shot, that the spots on the cap from the mushroom were also crawling around on my hand. at that point i did that shiver-dance 'oh god theirs bugs all over me' thing and tossed the mushie in the toilet and threw out my two casings. it was a pretty good BOO! :shocked: this happened 15 minutes ago.




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Invisibleagar
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: newton]
    #3988576 - 03/30/05 02:41 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Look like Tyroglyphid mites (Tyrophagus spp)at first blush.

These mites can be identified as they are slow moving, translucent, with long hairs on their bodies.

If these mites are present in abundance they eat small pits in the caps and stalks. These pits then suffer from bacterial decomposition, which breaks down tissues just below the surface. This results in the skin collapsing which leaves an open pit. Tyroglyphids may also feed on mushroom mycelium, where they are present in large numbers, crop reductions can be caused.


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InvisibleMrMaddHatter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: agar]
    #3988910 - 03/30/05 04:41 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Yea newton, thats those bastards. Never had em that bad though.

I knew they had to be some sort of mite! Theres not one single fly of anykind in the grow area.

They always seem to hit mine right after second flush, going into the third, and most of the caps have them on them (which I suppose makes them no good to print :confused:) but never bad enough to cause any visual damage to the fruitbodies.

I've also noticed they go away when you dry the mushrooms.


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Don't be a fool, this is a war on drugs. Act like. The government sure does!


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Offlinekraj
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: MrMaddHatter]
    #3991805 - 03/30/05 08:21 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Fuckin ew. I hate coming to the contam forums :P


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InvisibleMrMaddHatter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: MrMaddHatter]
    #4004313 - 04/02/05 11:32 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Anybody know of a way to control or exterminate these pests?

Its getting warmer on this side of the u.s. and they're taking over.

Can't even get a second flush done without them hitting it. :mad2:


--------------------
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

It's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles.

Don't be a fool, this is a war on drugs. Act like. The government sure does!


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: MrMaddHatter]
    #4005880 - 04/02/05 07:48 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

MrMaddHatter said:
Anybody know of a way to control or exterminate these pests?

Its getting warmer on this side of the u.s. and they're taking over.

Can't even get a second flush done without them hitting it. :mad2:




You have to have an entry vector somwhere, that either isnt killing the eggs, or allows them in.

Might be low temp pasturization of bulk sub is not killing the eggs. Go a bit (few degree's) higher temp & longer time.

Look for any weakness in fresh air exchange, that may allow them in.

Good luck. I had gnats once. Had to dumpster tek the casings, clean & sanitize EVERYTHING & start over.

Still got the BASTARDS.

Went to positive pressure ventilation through a hepa filter, with bug zapper in front of hepa & UV sterilizer in metal ductwork behind hepa.

That stopped that annoying gnat BS.


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Invisiblewinelover
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: MrMaddHatter]
    #4005939 - 04/02/05 08:02 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Neempowder or neem sprayed onto the casing ,better if the neem is mixed wth the casing at the start after sterilizing as this might change the activity, use at makers dilution rates . spray between flushes as necessary. neem has been used as an organic spray for thousands of years in india. :crazy2:


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InvisibleMrMaddHatter
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: agar]
    #4007164 - 04/03/05 01:33 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

agar said:
Went to positive pressure ventilation through a hepa filter, with bug zapper in front of hepa & UV sterilizer in metal ductwork behind hepa.




Working on that now.

I think it was from stagnant water setting in the fruiting area around the trays. Breeding grounds. :thumbdown:

Quote:

Neempowder or neem sprayed onto the casing ,better if the neem is mixed wth the casing at the start after sterilizing as this might change the activity, use at makers dilution rates . spray between flushes as necessary. neem has been used as an organic spray for thousands of years in india. 




Will have to look into this.

Thanks for the tips guys :cool:


--------------------
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

It's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles.

Don't be a fool, this is a war on drugs. Act like. The government sure does!


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: winelover]
    #4007705 - 04/03/05 05:56 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

winelover said:
Neempowder or neem sprayed onto the casing ,better if the neem is mixed wth the casing at the start after sterilizing as this might change the activity, use at makers dilution rates . spray between flushes as necessary. neem has been used as an organic spray for thousands of years in india. :crazy2:




:eek:NEEN also functions as an  :mad2:FUNGICIDE. :mad2:

So your advice isnt wise. At least on mushroom (fungi) substrates.


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Invisiblewinelover
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Re: Bug Infestation... and the party that followed. [Re: agar]
    #4008626 - 04/03/05 03:37 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

neem coir exported from india is used and recomended for use on organic mushroom farms as a perfect casing material. Having used it to cultivate cuttings in a nursery over many years I have found that it stops the breeding and feeding cycles of larva and nats while not interfereing with the benificial fungi that I use to protect my cuttings, in fact I do get problems with weed fungi lol. :thumbup:


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