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Mites in seeds

I first noticed mites in a paper bag of lavender heads I'd collected from the garden years ago & I think I ended up throwing it away.

Yesterday I looked in my tin of veg seeds & saw something that is probably similar. They are really, really tiny, possibly almost beetle shaped & very fast running.

Does anyone know what they are & how to clean seed I collect from the garden to get rid of them. Also if anyone has any ideas how to get rid of the ones in the tin of bought veg seeds, peas etc. They are in old biscuit tins in the unheated, dry garage. 

I wanted to give a friend lots of seed packets that I may not use, but don't want to infest her collection too.....


  • LokelaniLokelani Posts: 112

    No ideas anyone?

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I saw you post -not sure there is anything other than spraying them in the container-I am not sure these beetles will infect the germination of the seeds-the other alternative is to throw them away-not what you want to do?

    Could they be flea beetles?

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Would freeziing for a while help? I've no idea if it would but I know it's advised as a way to kill house dust mites so mite (he hee) work and a lot of seeds can stand freezing.
    Just a thought.

  • daituomdaituom Posts: 83

    If they are red in colour I would say spider mites, if greyish, they could possibly be pollen mites

  • LokelaniLokelani Posts: 112

    Too tiny to be flea beetle I'd say, not red at all, I'll look up pollen mites. I often see them in seed heads when I'm collecting them. I often wish my eyes were less sharp! I'll look up pollen mites. 

    I wonder if all seed is okay frozen, mind you I'm not sure I could put creepy crawlies in my freezer, however well sealed the tub they were in! 

    I think it's going to be more about how to clean seed I collect from the garden to avoid getting them in the future. 

  • I opened a kilner jar with seeds stored inside for several months and I had a heavy infestation of these tiny creatures. I think they are booklice but I don't really know for sure. I have had this problem before, I stored the seed packets in a plastic container which I thought was secure but these creatures got inside and they were all over the container. I decided to check all the packets of seed and emptied them out spending a lot of time squashing any lice that I could see. I have been doing this for a few years now, I have used a magnifying glass as they are really tiny to see when they are young, some are clear in colour and the larger creatures seem to be brown. I have thrown away the seeds that were in the small paper bags I made by stapling together but the seeds that are in the packaged paper as sold are now in the freezer in a freezer bag. I shall leave them there for a few days and if I still find any alive I shall throw the lot in an external bin.

    I would love to know what they are, why I get them and even better still how to kill them and protect my seeds 100 percent during storage.

    Does anyone else have these problems and how have they dealt with them?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695

    Some seeds will be infected on the plant.  Granary weevils bore into fruits and seeds and lay an egg in the seed. The larvae develop and pupate within the seeds. It only needs one infected seed in a batch, in an enclosed area, the new weevil will then lay eggs on further seeds, etc. A sack of seed, put away in a dry encosed place can be totally destroyed.

     If you put one of the slow release insectides, such as those used to kill wardrobe moths, in the tin,with stored seed,  this should prevent further infestation.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695

    There are other insects that infest stored seed. Some are mites, some are moth larvae. They will all be killed by an insecticide, even a good squirt with a fly killer spray containing permethrin.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695

    This website has some pictures of pests of stored seed. Do any of them match?


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