Root aphid ID on red pine?

Forestcat

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I acquired a small red pine earlier this summer at a bonsai show. It didn't look healthy but the vendor gave it to me for free. Today, I was removing the loose soil from the top in order to replace it with fresh soil in order to tide it over until January's repot. As I got father down, I saw white "nits" attached to the end of many fine root fibers throughout the root system. I figured that these were probably root aphids. Since the tree was not in great shape anyway, so I freed it from the pot and threw soil and tree into the trash, of course, bagging up everything.

Did I overreact? The white bodies were very tiny, similar to head lice and they came off the root ends very easily.
 
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You may have overreacted, are you certain it wasn't mycorrhizae?

If it was root aphids insecticidal soap or neem oil will kill them.
 

Forestcat

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Mike - thanks for the response.

No, definitely not mycorrhizae. There weren't masses of them, just tiny white dots at the end of each rootlet. I didn't want whatever it was to infect the rest of the pines. I'll give the Neem Oil a try - it's time to for the fall application and will also look into nematodes. Can't hurt.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Root aphids are about the most sensitive aphids that exist. Most insecticides do a good number on them.
I found root aphids recently, and just sprayed the soil with pyrethrin based stuff. A day later they were dead.
 

Bnana

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Doesn't sound like root aphids to me. It's crucial to know what's wrong with a tree before starting to throw chemicals at it. Make some photos for a start.
 

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