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Old 10-06-2007, 11:27 PM   #1
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Phylloxera information - aka root mites aka root aphids

I have discovered yet another garden pest recently while talking with some icmag members and locals. There is very little to no information on this board so its high time we compile some information.

I had a mother plant just peel over a die recently and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it (perfectly healthy, just got a root trim). So I stared at the soil for a good 15 minutes (pretty blazed at this point.hehe) and noticed a couple very small aphid looking insects crawling around. My compost tea and watering containers have Bacillius thuringiensis subspecies israelensis mosquito dunks in them so I knew fungus gnats were under control. I also had yellow and blue sticky traps on top of some of the pots and didn't spot them.

Here's a page from UC Davis with some information:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r302300811.html

DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

Grape phylloxera is a tiny aphidlike insect that feeds on Vitis vinifera grape roots, stunting growth of vines or killing them. This pest prefers heavy clay soils that are found in the cooler grape-growing regions of the state such as Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, and Monterey counties, as well as the Sacramento Delta and the foothills. Although grape phylloxera is present in the heavier soils of the San Joaquin Valley, damage may not be as severe. It is not a pest on sandy soils.

The majority of grape phylloxera adults are wingless females. They are generally oval shaped, but those that lay eggs are pear shaped. They are small (0.04 inch long and 0.02 inch wide) and vary in color from yellow, yellowish green, olive green, to light brown, brown, or orange. Newly deposited eggs are yellow, oval, and about twice as long as wide. Nymphs resemble adults except they are smaller.

Grape phylloxera overwinter as small nymphs on roots. In spring when soil temperatures exceed 60°F, they start feeding and growing. First instar nymphs are active crawlers and may move from plant to plant in the ground, on the soil surface, or by blowing in the wind. They may also be moved between vineyards on cuttings, boots, or equipment. Established phylloxera feed externally in groups on roots. In fall when soil temperatures fall below 60°F, all life stages die except the small nymphs. There are three to five generations each year.

Occasionally, winged phylloxera are seen in V. vinifera vineyards, but they are believed to be sterile under California conditions.
DAMAGE

Grape phylloxera damage the root systems of grapevines by feeding on the root, either on growing rootlets, which then swell and turn yellowish, or on mature hardened roots where the swellings are often hard to see. Necrotic spots (areas of dead tissue) develop at the feeding sites on the roots. The necrotic spots are a result of secondary fungal infections that can girdle roots, killing large sections of the root system. Such root injury causes vines to become stunted and produce less fruit.

Severity of infestation will differ with the vigor of the grapevine as well as with soil texture and drainage. Leaf-galling forms of phylloxera that are common in eastern states are extremely rare in California vineyards.
MANAGEMENT

Resistant rootstocks are the only completely effective means for phylloxera control in the most severely affected areas. A pesticide treatment will not eradicate phylloxera populations; the chemical cannot easily penetrate the heavy soils that this pest prefers. Also, effectiveness of a treatment is difficult to evaluate because although many phylloxera may be killed, populations may rebound rapidly and resume feeding on the vines. Because it may take years of insecticide treatments to reverse severe damage, treatments to prevent damage may be a better strategy than curative treatments.

Biological Control
Little information on biological control of grape phylloxera is available; environmental and root conditions are more important than natural enemies.

Cultural Control
Avoid rootstocks that have V. vinifera parentage because virulent biotypes of phylloxera can be selected and may eventually damage these rootstocks (the biotype B damage of the rootstock AXR#1 in many counties in California is an example of this type of problem). It is necessary to use rootstocks that have strong resistance and no V. vinifera parentage for durable protection against phylloxera. Contact your farm advisor for the most recent information on local rootstock trials and suggestions on the best rootstock for specific agronomic conditions. When planting a new vineyard use only clean propagating material and do not hold clean material in infested areas before planting. Young resistant rootstock vines will support low phylloxera populations and may be stunted if replanting occurs in heavily infested soils. Contact your farm advisor for suggestions on replanting procedures.

In the hot Central Valley, phylloxera damage may be reduced by good water management, fertilization, and other cultural practices that help limit plant stress.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Resistant rootstocks are an organically acceptable management tool for this pest.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
Initial infestations of grape phylloxera appear as a few weakened vines. These insects are difficult to detect in an apparently healthy vineyard. Therefore, monitor vines at harvest in an area of the vineyard that has consistently displayed weaker growth, especially vines at the edges of the weak areas. Grape phylloxera are more readily identified on vines growing in poor soils because their impact is greater on these vines than on vigorously growing vines.

In North Coast vineyards infected vines may initially exhibit potassium deficiency symptoms. The infested area expands concentrically at a rate of two- to fourfold a year. Satellite infestations frequently establish downwind from larger infested areas. When searching for phylloxera, be aware that populations die out on declining vines. Therefore, concentrate monitoring efforts on the periphery of declining areas where damage symptoms are still minimal. Dig near the trunk of vines under the drip emitter and look for whitish yellow, hooked feeder roots that are galled. Examine the galls with a hand lens for the presence of phylloxera.


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Old 10-06-2007, 11:44 PM   #2
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The only organic control methods I have come across are neem oil, pyrethium, and nematodes. BTI doesn't work and I'm waiting on an email back from cutting edge solutions to see if Beauveria bassiania kills phylloxera and nematodes.

I keep my rooms as clean as possible so it really confused me how they got into my room in the first place. I think they can hide out in soil bags that have been sitting outside and are damp. From now on I'm going to sterilize my soil by either leaving bags wrapped up in a tarp in the hot sun for a few days, or when its gets cold using H202 to sterilize the soil of any threats.

Feel free to share your experiences with this insect and successful control methods. Anyone that knows of any chemical control methods feel free to share. Personally, I'm 100% organic minded unless absolutely necessary no other solution.



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Old 10-07-2007, 05:42 AM   #3
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Hey sbz. Just sent you a pm. Here's some info that was sent to me via
email after I enquired about different control for these things.

Quote:
Subj:

root aphids

Hello xx- There are many different options for you to use that
will not affect the micro-beasties. (Nice name by the way!) Nematodes
will likely work very well (I’d use the S. feltiae) but your other
options are neem (in a water extract like the “BioNeem”) or another
type of micro-beastie—Beauveria bassiana (Mycotrol O) which will
probably work even better than the nematodes. The neem has the advantage
of being inexpensive while also being easy on the micros. The nematodes
and Beauveria have the advantage of being able to delight and multiply
in your houseplants but have the disadvantage of being more expensive.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance!
As I said in my pm the neem option didn't go to well for me. I have no
experience with the nematodes and mycontrol so I can't say much about
those at the moment. What I've used in the past with 100% success is Bug
Buster O. I use this at about 40% of the rec dosage and I get results.
Basically I dunk the cuttings in the mix, come back an hour or so later,
and dunk the cuts in pure water. Lotta casualties after that. Another
time a friend of mines dunked plants with small pots (peat/coco) into
the mix for a few seconds, then dunked em in pure water. Same results. I
DO NOT recommend anybody just take my word and do this but
anybody willing to try this needs to be aware of a few things:
pyrethrins (sp) will kill your microlife. And I heard bugbuster
uses petroleum distillates. Dunno how this affects your plants or your
health. Also I hear dutchmaster's Zone works well but it nothing for me
the first time I tried it

Two people I know of online have had these - Dusty and Nspecta.
Hopefully they'll help out. I think dusty hurt his plants pretty bad but
it was never really explained what exactly happened
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:03 AM   #4
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Also props for finding out exactly what these pests are (Phylloxera). Now i have a name to find some real info with. I'll let you know how it goes. As of right now i have two different groups of "Root Aphids" The ones that i grabbed from sr71 are white and for some reason are staying small it seems like they're constantly at the nymph stage. In addition to being on the roots they seem to be in the medium which is kinda unusual in my experience. "Root Aphids" that i usually deal with seem to dwell on the outsides of pots and inside the wrappers of rw cubes - never burrowed in the medium. . IF there's a difference between actual Root eating aphids and Phylloxera, i'd say these are Phylloxera.

I have some other ones that i assume i grabbed from my friends mothers that i'm babysitting. They're 2 -toned (Red that turns to green), and they do the usual damage and go for my roots. I hope we figure something out before i nuke em with ol faithful
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
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Couple of good Ed Rosenthal articles:

http://cannabisculture.com/articles/4519.html
http://www.hempbc.com/articles/2967.html

I found this under the FAQ of zero tolerance product webpage:

Q: Root aphids and root rot: how to apply?

A: Apply to roots after testing try one part ZT to two or three parts water. Beneficial nematodes are more effective than ZT and they need to be used only once to solve the problem. That's because they are living organisms and reproduce.


Got to respect someone who's honest and not out to sell as much of their product as possible.


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Old 10-08-2007, 11:40 AM   #6
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I used a lot of bugbuster O and stunted the crap out of my plants I didnt know I could get away with 40% of the recommended rate so i think I used 120% to make sure I'd kill the ****ers I was getting pretty mad and didnt care if I lost it all...

it worked but stunted my garden extremly badly but liquid pyrethrins are the only way to remove these unless you go back to cutting and remove every microdot of soil from all your garden areas...if you find ants crawling in to your dirt you probably will get them sooner or later also.

root aphids are the worst. im so glad my gardens are pest free damn
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:55 AM   #7
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Im pretty sure I remember reading on OG where someone got rid of these buggers by gassing them with co2. He couldnt seem to get rid of them with any method and that was what he found to work. Unfortunately, this likely wont help much in soil, but in other mediums may be effective. His were in his hydroton from what I remember. I dont know what he used in the res if that was needed.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Ignore Ed's BS just like I usually do.

I talked with someone from cutting edge solutions today and they said they have spent much time observing this insect under a microscope. Beauveria bassiana will only slow them down and it does kill beneficial nematodes. They also said that the insect doesn't necessarily spend all its time in the soil and can breed on the plant itself. So nematodes are not a complete control method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Bowls
unless you go back to cutting and remove every microdot of soil from all your garden areas.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sterilizing the cuttings and cutting medium is also necessary to prevent reinfection. Also something to kill the flying insects while the cutting are rooted. No pests strips are the only non-organic thing that I use in my house and they work very well and I've had no breathing or allergy problems because of them.

I'm going to take cuttings of everything, sterilize, and move them to another location. In the meantime, I'm going to use a light dose of bugbuster O and possibly neem as well and see if I can salvage the plants. If not, I'll kill the plants and move new moms over. It sure pays to play nice because friends can make problems way easier to solve.


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Old 10-11-2007, 03:03 AM   #9
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So... did cutting edge have a practical solution to kill em?
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:19 AM   #10
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I am confused by this, enlighten me folks.....nowhere on the above quoted article or anywhere that i found online does it make mention of these being a pest for anything other than grapes. One site even stated roughly: don't worry about your houseplants becoming infested if you visit an infested vineyard, worry rather about spreading the pest around that vineyard or another. Another site stated that after a few days of being away from grape rootstock, the phylloxera should die in abscence of it's foodsource. There are many colors in aphids as well, maybe you just have aphids?
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeric
I am confused by this, enlighten me folks.....nowhere on the above quoted article or anywhere that i found online does it make mention of these being a pest for anything other than grapes. One site even stated roughly: don't worry about your houseplants becoming infested if you visit an infested vineyard, worry rather about spreading the pest around that vineyard or another. Another site stated that after a few days of being away from grape rootstock, the phylloxera should die in abscence of it's foodsource. There are many colors in aphids as well, maybe you just have aphids?
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:33 AM   #12
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aeric: I'm not sure if you are the cali-o man but thanks for your reply regardless. Root aphids are different from regular aphids. There are some unique pests as well as plants to the PNW. Psyllids are another one that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else that my friends that own a garden store often mention. I've never seen regular aphids make galls as described in wikipedia (yes, a very questionable source of info). Other than galls there are no other marks on the leaves. There are also no insects on my sticky traps and no pests strips hanging. Do you think this is a correct insect identification?

I have root dunked my veg room with bug buster o (1.4% pyrethrum) and about to do the flowering room tonight. Thank goodness for sativas. Before I drenched anything, I tested 50% and 75% on some very sensitive clones and even root trimmed two of them and watered with the bug buster o. No problems and the plants leaves are not even dropping.


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Old 10-13-2007, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scay Beez
aeric: I'm not sure if you are the cali-o man but thanks for your reply regardless. Root aphids are different from regular aphids. There are some unique pests as well as plants to the PNW. Psyllids are another one that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else that my friends that own a garden store often mention. I've never seen regular aphids make galls as described in wikipedia (yes, a very questionable source of info). Other than galls there are no other marks on the leaves. There are also no insects on my sticky traps and no pests strips hanging. Do you think this is a correct insect identification?

I have root dunked my veg room with bug buster o (1.4% pyrethrum) and about to do the flowering room tonight. Thank goodness for sativas. Before I drenched anything, I tested 50% and 75% on some very sensitive clones and even root trimmed two of them and watered with the bug buster o. No problems and the plants leaves are not even dropping.


- sbz

Good to hear things are goin ok with the Bugbuster. I was paranoid to even offer it as a solution because i was afraid it would mess peoples gardens up. I still stand by my disclaimer: Use at your own risk

So when you dipped the plants did you noticed the casualties floating in the pure water? I have one friend who says bugbuster won't work on his root aphids
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:26 AM   #14
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That's another aeric but thank you

Yeah it certainly sounds like phylloxera, don't get me wrong, i just find it odd that this supposedly very specific pest has decided to change its' host, if infact that is what is happening. The bottom line is that u can get rid of them, and a root drench sounds much more attractive than spraying. Keep us updated.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scay Beez
It sure pays to play nice because friends can make problems way easier to solve.


- sbz
thats so true when i had to deal with this crap, it was a nightmare. I tried:

Neem
SM90
Bassinia
Pyrethrins
Rotenone

All of em worked as a partial aide. I basically just took cuttings and dipped them in bug buster and floramite and put them in to a brand new out of the box ziplock and immediately closed it(this was done outside of the garden area) took em to my friends house opened em up and planted in to a brand new tray/insert set dome and supergrow plugs, rooted them there and then took them to my brand new and thankfully sterile room. That, that and not really taking any new shit on is the only way ive been able to keep them out.

SBZ the first thing they were noticed on was an Abusive Kush that I got from Sparkle.

Also the guys at cutting edge are right. They come up and nymph and start flying plant to plant, this is how they spread. If you got em flying stop ****in around and go back to clone you aint going to win. like with any other bug, population increases exponentially except none of our usual controls really do shit on these super bugs.

Look up Green Peach Aphids also..

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