I’ll be posting some information on my second WF hopefully by this weekend, but I wanted to throw this out to see what you think. I have peas on the bottom level and lettuce on the next level up. The peas are about 60 days old now and doing well, and these small bugs just showed up! They look like some type of borer. They have a white/clear body and a black head. Any ideas what they are and how they might get here? On the seeds? In my rock wool supply? In my rain water?
Am I the only one with bug problems? At least my spider mites are gone now…
A big THANKS to @samenrahmen for knowing what these little buggers were. Knowing what you are dealing with is half the battle and it all makes sense now.
To document this a bit more, I am adding a few more pictures to this post and changing the title. Here is an example of the adult that has been buzing around that I just smashed. I am surprised that my camera took a decent picture of it as it is only about 1 mm long.
This now explains the dying leaves on the plant. The lower leaves are drying out and dying and this symptom is slowly working its way up the vine. I assume this can be caused by them feeding on my roots. Hopefully, I have caught this in time as the upper part of the plant is flowering nicely and peas are starting to grow.
In reading up on these gnats, I see that they like really wet conditions so I am going to cut way back on the watering cycles. I had been thinking it was a bit too wet. I had gotten a new air pump when I started this second WF and have not gotten a good feel for how much water the peas and lettuce like.
I bought some fly paper type stuff from HomeDepot. It is the darker part of the image above. It is a long piece of sticky plastic and came all rolled up in a tube. It is incredibly sticky and does not want to straighten out. To make it easier to work with I cut it into smaller strips and put it on some yellow construction paper. It naturally wanted to curl up so I made in into a cylindar and put the tie on it. I quickly learned to use rubber gloves. In a matter of 24 hours, there were 12 flies stuck on it.
I am giving them less water and I have also taken out as much of the rockwool as possible to give them a smaller home. The majority of the roots on this one are actually in the resevoir below. It had turned itself into a deep water culture. I have also tried some hydrogen peroxide since that is what I had already in the house.
As a side note, everything I have been doing has been with rockwool. When I first started and went to the hydroponics store, they were out of the small bags of the clay pellets and I did not want to buy the big “life time” supply bag. So this is what the recommended instead. The one advantage has been that I can “accidentally” unplug the pump for a day and the plants don’t die.