Deteriorating succulent roots. Help?!!

Kalamazoo, MI

My succulents keep losing their roots and I don't know why! I notices them not taking any water in and saw that there were a lot of little black flies around. I pulled them out of their soil, washed the roots completely free of dirt and then had to pinch off dead roots. Of the ones I pinched off, some were mushy and hollow while others were dry and hollow, both very obviously dead. I repotted all of my cacti and succulents in a cactus/succulent soil and put about a half inch of sand on top just to see if that might help keep pests and fungi off...some of my succulents had a few roots still that I could plant but others had no roots left. One of the succulents that still had some roots just collapsed (pictured below). The roots completely deteriorated in the new, flie free pot. All that was left was a lump of crispy, hollow root shells. I thought maybe the flie larvae were eating the roots in the old soil but now I am unsure. There are a few succulents that have little to no root system in the soil. Do I treat those plants as if I was propagating and simply set them sit on top of the soil with very little to no water until roots form? And any clue about why my roots continue to deteriorate and how I can stop/prevent it from continuing?

Thumbnail by lizy32
Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

It looks like over-watering or watering too frequently. The pot may also be too large for the plant. Most succulents like to fit fairly snugly in their pots and only be moved to a larger pot when they outgrow the one they're in.

Kalamazoo, MI

I only water once a week but maybe that's too much for a smaller succulent? The pot it was in came from the store and fit snuggly in the current put but I repotted due to the flies.

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