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Old 05-25-2010, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
70 posts, read 149,610 times
Reputation: 63

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Hello,
I've been searching for an answer, but have not been successful in finding one. I recently discovered some type of orange-red dirt on top of the soil that surrounds some potted plants of mine. The mounds do not appear to be very deep, but the orange soil is not loose and it almost resembles a fungus or something. Also, I noticed some tiny black bugs that almost appear to have wings crawling on the strange dirt.

What is this and is it harmful?! If it is harmful, how do I get rid of it for good? I scrapped it off the topsoil and threw it away, but I don't know if this will solve anything. It was near some sweet potato vine that was sickly looking, so did this stuff cause that?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Phelan
205 posts, read 642,894 times
Reputation: 165
can you take a picture and post it?
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
70 posts, read 149,610 times
Reputation: 63
Unfortunately, I can't since I scrapped it off and threw it away. Should have taken a picture before I did that!
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Phelan
205 posts, read 642,894 times
Reputation: 165
could have been the start of a termite hill.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
70 posts, read 149,610 times
Reputation: 63
Ah, thank you! I was wondering if that could be it since the lil black bugs seemed to have wings.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:54 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,705,273 times
Reputation: 2723
It's very possible that it is a form of slime mold, a hardened phase called a "sclerotium". The hint was that your sweet potato was wilting. The disease is called Sclerotial blight. Check out this link and see if it resembles your problem.

Sclerotial blight (http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/sweetpotato/key/sweetpotato%20diagnotes/media/html/TheProblems/DiseasesFungal/SclerotialBlight/Sclerotial%20blight.htm - broken link)

Insects are often attracted to the honeydew that is produced by the slime mold.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:42 PM
 
3 posts, read 45,779 times
Reputation: 38
[url=http://icwdm.org/inspection/gardengrass.asp]Identifying the Cause of Garden/Grass Damage[/url]

check this link out, I have something similar in my yard, little random piles of red dirt or clay, that pop up overnight, that look like the start of ant hills, but there are no ants present and they are not ant hlls. My dirt mounds look like the ones in this link. Mine, I believe, are earthworm scat. check photo and see if this is what you are seeing. Pretty nasty, I know, but so be it
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