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Wormie things!

Checking out the pot with my seeds, and I noticed something crawling beneath the surface.  Apparently there are tiny worms, about 2 mm long, thin, semi transparent, black heads, kinda whitish with a dark digestive track.

I found 4 of them and plucked them out.

What are they?  And are they harmful?  
I have no real idea, but they sound like they could be a species of soil Nematode.

" Nematodes are tiny, worm-like, multicellular animals adapted to living in water. The number of nematode species is estimated at half a million, many of which are "free-living" types found in the oceans, in freshwater habitats, and in soils. Parasitic species form a smaller group. Nematodes are common in soils all over the world "

One species common to the Southern US is the "The Lance Nematode", which seems to fit your description. (Yet I'm sure 1000's would match up without a microscope)

'Hoplolaiminae. Female: Body straight, large (1-2 mm long). Lip region offset form body, wide, anteriorly flattened, with clearly marked annuli, and with longitudinal striae. Lateral field with four lines or less, generally areolated at level of phasmids and anteriorly, sometimes with striae irregularly scattered over entire field, rarely not areolated. Labial framework and stylet massive; stylet knobs ancho or tulip-shaped. DGO 3-10 um from stylet base. Esophageal glands overlap intestine dorsally and laterally; sometimes gland nuclei duplicated to a total of six nuclei; intestine symmetrically arranged between outstretched, equally developed. Tail short, rounded, phasmids enlarged to scutella erratically situated on body, anteriorly to anus level, and sometimes anterior to vulva level, not opposite each other. Male: Caudal alae enveloping tail, regular. Secondary sexual dimorphism visible in labial region and esophageal structures smaller in males.'

"Hoplolaimus species
The Lance Nematode
* Damage to Corn. Hoplolaimus is very damaging to corn seedlings early in the growing season. Soil containing as few as 100 nematodes will cause symptoms in young plants.
* Biology. At least four species of lance nematodes affect corn. Hoplolaimus are rather stout, large nematodes, with stylet knobs projecting forward.
* Ecology. Lance nematodes are widely distributed in the United States, but large populations are found only in sandy or well-drained soils.
* Symptoms. Stunting can occur early in the growing season. Although affected plants can reach the same height as noninfected ones by the end of the season, they remain more spindly with greatly reduced yields.
* Damage to other crops. The lance nematode has a wide host range, and has been shown to parasitize many types of plants."

I am not 100% sure whether this is your problem. Please, keep us updated.

I threw them out, but I'll keep a vigilant watch for them in the upcoming days.  I was going to feed them to my older VFT, but I couldn't seemd to get enough dirt off of them, and I was afraid they'd crawl out.

I tried taking a picture but they were just too small to focus on.

Hmm, while I'm vaguely familiar with nematodes, I'm under the impression it may be an insect larvae form.  Nematodes don't seem to have the black spot on one end which I believe may be the 'brain/head.'  Also the bodies seemed a little fatter than the more worm like nematodes.  For those reasons I'm leaning toward some insect larvae, but I could be wrong.

I may take the seeds out and nuke the soil in the microwave!  That'll teach em!  
Sounds like fungus gnat larvae to me. If it's translucent with a line running down the center it most likely is. Hate the little buggers. In a big big way.
I was going to say the same as Vertigo. I feed them to my sundews. Yuummmmm

I wish I could get them all out of my pots.
Fungus gnats aren't a problem at all, but i've had their larvae cut leaves clean off of pings then devour them later.

Not to mention root damage if they gang up on you. They can be pretty darn vicious.
nematodes are microscopic. what you have is fungus nat larvea. use predatory nematodes to get rid of them.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Spectabilis73 @ Sep. 17 2003,11:54)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">nematodes are microscopic. what you have is fungus nat larvea. use predatory nematodes to get rid of them.
[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Yeah, but it's not like they come in a can and you spray them on.
Where can I get some of them Spec? And any clue which ones?
I know I was wrong, it was only as guess 'cause I was reading about them (Sorry) . But . . .

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">nematodes are microscopic[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
The original post described one species thats a bit bigger
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Hoplolaiminae. Female: Body straight, large (1-2 mm long).[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Yeah, but it's not like they come in a can and you spray them on. [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Well, here in the UK predator Nematodes do 'come in a can', so you can 'spray them on'
(Well, shake them on)

eg. The product 'Nemaslug Slug Killer' is a pack of 12 Million 'Phasmarhabditis Hermaphrodita' nematodes.

The company also sells predatory nematodes for Vine Weevels, Leatherjackets, Chafer Grubs etc

Again, sorry for the (wrong) guess about the wormie things. Maybe you can find a local company that can sell a useful species of nematode to you.


  • #10
Wow, i'm gonna start reading about something then make a joke.
I saw a place that you could spray them on.

The only thing is, do I really need that many? Anyone know a place that sells smaller lots of nematodes?
Hmm, it's for only say, 100 3-4" pots.