Most people are offended by the idea of bugs swarming around in their terrarium. They have no idea that the majority of tiny insects are harmless. They can be extremely beneficial to a thriving terrarium with vibrant green, healthy moss. Springtails are one of the most popular Terrarium Workshop creatures.
These tiny insects come in various colors, but they're usually white or tan and difficult to spot. They may be visible, but they prefer to stay in the soil during daylight hours. They aid in the fight against and elimination of the most common terrarium issue: mold. They feed on mold and dead vegetation, making them an excellent cleanup crew. Springtail cultures are also available for purchase on many vivarium-related websites. Here are some beneficial insects which are available in a terrarium.
Millipedes: Do not be alarmed if you find a tiny millipede (an arthropod) in your terrarium. They're useful little scavengers who eat decaying wood, leaves, and other unwanted materials.
Isopods (Pill Bugs): These scavengers eat decaying plant matter as well. They aren't dangerous, but they may be too big for some people's tastes.
Worms: While worms are useful for breaking down decaying matter and aerating the soil, most species are too large for a decorative terrarium.
Although it doesn't happen often, some critters will snag a ride bottomless within the moss and may be missed during the cleaning process. Tiny spiders, fungus gnats, moths, beetles, and many more insects are among them. The good news is that none of those are harmful to moss and are thus only unwanted in the sense of being an annoyance, or uncultured as some might put it.
Fungus bugs are the most bothersome because they can reproduce quickly after hatching from microscopic eggs hidden in the soil. Fungus gnats, which feed on the roots of plants, are not harmful to your moss terrarium because it requires a root system. However, they can be unsightly and take several weeks to die (due to starvation). They can be wiped away with a paper towel if they get stuck in the condensation on the glass. Otherwise, they should go away on their own after a few weeks.
If your terrarium is infested with gnats and you want to get rid of them quickly, the most effective method is to use small yellow sticky traps. The gnat will fall into the trap and become stuck, eventually dying. You should be able to find them in the houseplant section of any plant nursery, as well as some hardware stores and big box stores. The traps only need to be left in the terrarium for a short time, perhaps a week or so, before being removed.
Other insects, such as spiders, moths, beetles, and others can be manually removed or will starve to death if they don't have enough food. Snails and slugs are also unaffected by moss and can be removed and relocated outside.
Use pesticides sparingly in your terrarium because they will kill both the insects and the moss.