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Oct 25, 2015
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A while back (over a year ago) I noticed some "pitting" on the leaves of my plants in compots. I bought a mix of biologicals to target what I thought was causing the pitting, broad mites.

I haven't noticed any progression of the "pitting" on the new growth and even in newly introduced compots since then appear to be fine.

Recently, I soaked a few plants in a bucket of water and noticed a high number of black bugs that sort of resemble thrips. I've seen them before but figured they were sacrophytes eating the bark. However, I noticed a lot of these guys on plants only in spagnum moss.

Attached is a picture of the "pitting" on some older leaves. I also tried to take a picture of the dark bugs I've been seeing (though being tiny and not staying still made the image difficult to capture).

Any thoughts about these dark bugs? They don't "seem" to be causing problems, I hardly see them on the leaves of the plants.


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I think they look and sound like springtails. They aren't plant pests, but as you figured, they're munching away on dead and decaying matter. They're very common, practically ubiquitous and unless you routinely use pesticides, if you have mixes with organic matter that get regularly hydrated, there are going to be springtails.

The pits on the leaves may be from mites, but honestly, the photo doesn't look definitively like mite damage. Perhaps it's just a minor bit of dehydration?
Thanks for your help!

I think you are right about them being springtails.

Eric, have you had problems with them? For me, they don't seem to cause harm (I don't think they are causing the pitting symptoms) and in my experience spraying insecticide will cause more harm than good if it is not needed.

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