Root Aphids?

I’ve been spending the last month trying to figure out why my seedlings are dying. I’ve only had a couple ofseeds out of around 30 fail to take off ever before this. At first I thought it was damping off due to cold temperature, so begrudgingly popped 2 more with extra perlite, only bottom watering etc.

Those fell victim again with dry top of soil, warm climate, plenty of light blah blah blah. The stem and roots of the plants didn’t really look rotted, so I started examining the peat I was growing them in, dumped out one of the freshly murdered plants and saw this:


times 10000. I have a couple videos of these fuckers running around in the peat moss but can’t upload here. They’re very difficult to take a picture of. They started showing up last grow and I have a sneaking suspicion they may have been the cause for the early fade I experienced. The roots of the seedling I pulled up were just a taproot until like 4 inches down. Smooth with no hairs or branching when I know the whole pot was wet enough to grow roots everywhere Then underneath the long skinny taproot there was minimal sickly root hair branching.

I thought these little beetle looking dickheads were just harmless decomposers when they first showed up months ago, but now by the sheer numbers of them in the dead seedling pots I’m thinking it’s more serious.

Anyone have experience with these pieces of rat garbage? I can upload the video somehow I’m sure if more info is needed.


took me quite some time get rid of root aphids, if they are root aphids they have wings and will be everywhere before you know it, I eradicated using fabric pots with sand in the bottom and couple of inches of sand on the top of compost


Root aphids, from the family Phylloxera, are a close cousin of aphids and leave behind a white waxy substance on the roots, root crown and bottom of stem where they congregate and feed. This white waxy substance is a telltale sign that you have root aphids.

The easiest remedy to kill these hidden bastards is to use 3% H2O2 and soak the top couple of inches of the soil with it. The H2O2 used this way won’t harm plants and acts as an insecticide and will kill all root aphids it comes into contact with.


Difficult to ID at that magnification but it looks like RA’s. Have you confirmed ID?

Fought root aphids a couple times. First time we tried several different organic approaches. From dunking the root mass for an extended soak in hot water, azamax, azatrol, pure neem, OG BioWar root drench and foliar along with a couple other high dollar organic approaches that I can’t recall the names of.

Every treatment helped to some degree but required repeated treatments to keep them under control. No matter how much we cleaned and tossed out…they always reappeared over time. At one point those little buggers nearly took the joy out of the garden.

I know that many are against it but one application of avid did the trick.

Started by killing all flowering plants and mothers, thoroughly cleaned entire space and all tools/equipment.

For ppe i used a tyvek suit, gloves and a full face respirator. Applied avid to all unrooted cuts, media and entire grow space. The following day the area was rinsed in an attempt to remove residue.

They did not re appear until a couple years later when I introduced an infected clone. The second time it was the RA’s with the red ass.

By that time I had done a little more homework on avid and was comfortable with a 90 day window from application to harvest. Only killed off the flowering plants.

Avid proved itself again with a single application to foliage and a root drench. Was told foliar wasn’t necessary as avid is systemic, but I wanted to be sure to get all the flyers. To my surprise it kills on contact within a minute or so.

It seems that by the time you see flyers…you are infested. They seem to be able to sense when their population exceeds the plant’s ability to sustain them. Never saw flyers unless the roots were crawling with them.

Have seen a couple bayer products used with success as well but I have never used them.

This has been my experience with RA’s. Your mileage may very. If you go nuclear, do some homework, use proper ppe. Protect yourself and others.

If you go organic, develop an IPM program and stick to it. Organic didn’t work for me as a fix all possibly due to user error. Hydrogen peroxide wasn’t something we used and may be the organic magic bullet. I’ll give it a try if they ever reappear. If you go that route please do let us know how it goes.

Good luck!


Imidacloprid kills em dead. Available everywhere in many forms, often a 21% solution in bulk. I like Temprid SC or FX because it contains another pesticide with longer action that also helps defeat potential resistance.

Don’t fight an infestation the hard way. Been there, done that.

Apply the product at recommended levels and sleep knowing you ain’t got bugs anymore.

Organic guys will tell you to ferment some rice and nettles or somesuch and spray it on your plants and the aphids will get upset and leave. This will not alleviate your problem.


Why do you have to be like that? Why do you always have to throw digs? You’re always name calling and belittling organic methods of growing.

I would make sure it is in fact root aphids. That tends to look more like a springtail to me. If by some chance it did turn out to be root aphids I would suggest Beauveria bassiana. My 2¢.


B. bassiana is a natural mycoinsecticide fungus and it’s spores cause what is known as white muscardine disease in insects.
Once these spores come into contact with the insects cuticle (skin) the spores germinate and penetrate the cuticle and grow into their body, killing them.


Because I am tired of watching people struggling when the cure is widely available.

Guys be like “I sprayed comfrey extract and beneficials and predator mites why do I still have bugs after 3 months?”

What name did I call you?

Literally the post above me is a guy saying it took the joy out of growing trying everything but then he used Avid and they all died. Although depending on how you look at it, Avid is organic, as its a bacterial derived product. If you have a problem, I am going to tell you how to eliminate it. I don’t care about feelings or positive vibes, only what works. This isn’t large scale outdoor pest management, this is a grow room where even a couple aphids left over from your Beauveria treatments will survive and reinfest.

And, they will. Because best case scenario Beauveria just provides a little knockdown, no elimination.

If your methods are as effective as mine, then what do you care what I think?

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Ok, well I’m tired of you recommending nasty poisons for unknowing people to spray on their medicine. I can’t believe you even smoke weed - can’t big pharma provide some other chemicals that better suit your needs? I mean cannabis is hippie shit right?

Imidicloprid… Really? Bout as safe as your hot shot strips, eagle 20 and all the other crap you recommend. I feel sorry for anyone smoking your weed. Yes, avid is soil bacterium derived - so is anthrax - your point?

Have you even tried Beauveria? And do you even know what that bug is? Sure doesn’t look like a root aphid to me. But you’re gonna tell someone to use imidicloprid? Brilliant.

Guys be like I sprayed eagle 20, drenched with imidacloprid, and hung a few hot shots strips – that’s how we get that great ‘chemmy’ taste. :roll_eyes:

These are cannabis root aphids:


Imidacloprid is safe. I’ll use it when the fungus gnats come 'round every few months. The picture OP posted is likely a springtail, but it’s hard to tell since he’s a foot away from it. Frankly, since imidacloprid is so safe, I’d do it anyway as a prophylactic.

I got root aphids from an outside clone. Had imidacloprid already. Used imidacloprid. Root aphids dead in an hour. If only I had used more LABS haha!

Trace pesticides don’t taste like anyting? Sulfur burners sure do, though.

Hippies don’t own Cannabis. It’s bigger than that.

Uh…yeah Big Pharma makes all kinds of shit that’d make me feel better…they’re called opiates, sedatives and stimulants.

Look OP I don’t wanna clog up your thread with this, if you have a problem, the fix is there. DM me if you need any assistance. I can recommend a product to get rid of infestations the first time, in one shot.


Thanks for the input and interest everyone. A couple of things:

I don’t currently have anything growing right now, I’m only popping 1 to 2 seedlings at a time to test things out. I’ve noticed a chalky white residue developing that clumps the peat together which I think is their honeydew. I’ve done literally hours of reading, these look darker but root aphids are not all white. I’ll have to stick one to a sticky trap or something so I can get a better pic. I took that picture 4-6 inches away. Any closer or more zoom and I couldn’t focus on them as they’re moving so fast.

I definitely have white springtails but am not worried about those. These guys are a hair bigger and don’t spring. I’m going to figure out how to upload my video on YouTube and I’ll share a link. I did a big spray with neem oil and soap nut today and haven’t seen any around since. I also haven’t seen any fliers, but absentmindedly could’ve seen and killed one thinking it was a fungus gnat.

As far as the organic debate, I think that’s just personal preference. Since I don’t have a run going, I’d personally rather scrap/sterilize anything possibly infected and replace it rather than nuke but I’m going to experiment with worm compost full of good mites and neem oil etc. for a bit as I’m not really in a rush to get more product and would hate to scrap my no-till pots.

Cheers and thanks again for the input :v:


I’ve cropped your image to show the detail using online tool:


Thanks Joe I’ll familiarize myself with that tool.

Just uploaded the video to YouTube:

Again not the greatest but enough to get the point across, I’m no master micro photographer


Well if you don’t have anything growing and they keep showing up when you try I’d recommend tossing whatever soil you’re trying to use and getting something else. Barring that toss is in the oven for a while to kill anything off before trying it again. Also clean everything in and around your area in the meantime before trying again.

Never had these bastards before thankfully, good luck!


No desire to get into the drama around pesticide chemicals…

What you show above OP is not a Root Aphid imo.

Best of luck.


Well that made me itchy!

I like the “True Living Organics” school but that’s too far for me. I’d suggest running your soil through a solar oven and cook the ‘wee beasties’.:bug:

I’m still scratching…



Any educated guesses on what they might be? I haven’t found any grubs or larva which led me to believe it might be aphids as I read they birth a smaller final versions of themselves rather than larvae.

Good news is I can’t even find them after the neem and soapnut bomb so I’ll keep up an eye out and keep up with treatment. The 2 seedlings I started a week ago are doing just fine but all the other seedlings from the last round started dropping at about a week and a half so I don’t feel like I’m out of the clear yet

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Lol. Thankfully that’s not one of my big pots, I just poured one of my nursery bags that had a dying seedling and some starter peat mix I whipped up in it. There’s some of them in the big pots, but no where near as many as that and none since the neem oil treatment. I guess they prefer the young seedlings.

I’ll sterilize my starter mix if these 2 don’t work out. I have one in a small nursery bag and one in one of the not-till pots. I will wait and try a few other things before I scrap the no-tills, they are full of plenty of good life and root systems.


I was impressed with the results you got with the oil.
I need to stock something that good.

Thanx & Cheers

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Imidacloprid is SO safe, it’s banned in commercial cannabis. No, the OP is not getting their product tested. Does that mean they should use banned chemicals on springtails? No wonder you get called into the shark tank so often. :roll_eyes:

OP - You don’t have root aphids. Use what you would like. They are most likely soil decomposers.