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Pest ID and Treatment


This little guy has been suffering from an unknown pest for a couple weeks now:


It's been able to continue growing, but I fear it will die soon if I cannot treat for the pests. I have quarantined the plant and I don't think any others in my setup were infected. Here are the symptoms:

  • Leaves turning a brown-bronze color
  • Tiny red dots on the leaves (these dots do not appear to be insects, but they are too small to know for sure)
  • Smaller than usual pitchers or no pitchering at all

Could it be rust mold? Aphids? How should I treat the plant?

Thanks for you input.
Looks like it could be thrip damage. Have you noticed any tiny red or black spotting anywhere on the leaves ? I've found that isolating the plant in a completely sealed terrarium and treating with a piece of Nuvan or Hot Shot "no pest strip" for a few days works extremely well on thrips.


Didn't notice your comment about the red spots. That is likely thrip feces.
It actually looks like root rot to me, or at least some kind of problem with the roots.

What I'm noticing that suggests this:

1) Your plant seems to be dying from the bottom up
2) leaves appear wrinkled (from dehydration due to malfunctioning/damaged roots)
3) I doubt thrips because by the time the infestation was enough to change the leaf color you would physically see hordes and hordes of them. I've never seen that kind of damage from thrips and I grow plants from many different families. Usually thrips cause small streaks on the newest growth only, because they prefer soft tissues.

I would advise a repot, and check and see what the root system looks like--if brown or mushy then it may not make it. Get it into clean sphag and a clean pot, and definitely keep it quarantined like you've got it already.

If you are seeing small red dots, this could be spider mites. I doubt it because this plant does not look like the typical damage from mites. If they are mites, the dots will move. Breathe on them, and they'll scurry around. Also can tap them lightly with a fingernail or prod them verrrry gently with something like tweezers.

What are your conditions? (light, humidity, watering frequency, do you fertilize, etc.?)
I checked the root system today, and it looked fine. Black and no mushiness, so I doubt it is root rot. I tried to move the little red dots, and they did no "moving" or "scurrying around." They did move though, I could actually remove them from the plant quite easily. As for my conditions the plant is in about 65% humidity under t5s. I don't water with a specific frequency, I just wait until the media looks a little less moist then I would like and then water. I do not fertilize this plant. I think I am going to treat for thrips, as Johnny's description of their damages matches what I am seeing.
Spider mites move very slowly if at all. How big are the red specks? If they are about the size of a period (.) on your monitor mites would be a possibility. Spider mites prefer the undersides of the leaves so check there too. Do yourself a favor and invest in a 20x magnifier. They come in all price ranges. Even the cheapest ones will let you see enough detail (legs, eyes, antennae etc.) that you can better ID what it is you are looking at.

Imidacloprid is not recommended for use on spider mites - in some species it can stimulate egg production and make the problem worse.
Looks like spider mite damage. You should be able to see them if you look close.
Get a pesticide with orthene in it, stinky but it works. I think Lowes sells orthonex or if you have a horticultural supply store you can get straight orthene for about 12 bucks. Its a systemic pesticide with residual action for 30 days