How To Kill Insects In Houseplant Soil

When Acree returns home with a fresh plant, she immediately disposes of any pests by placing it in the bathtub. She tops the soil with pet- and kid-safe food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, which dries out the insects and their larvae, after lightly misting them with a natural DIY bug repellent that you can prepare with 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil and 1 cup of water.

Spray your plants

Making an insecticidal soap to spray on your plants is your best option if you’re dealing with soft-bodied pests like mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. While you may purchase one at the shop, it’s simple to make a DIY version with organic ingredients. Simply combine 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap (free of bleach, degreaser, synthetic colours, and scents), 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap in a spray bottle, then top it off with warm water and shake. Once a week, you can spray your plants with the combination to get rid of pest problems.

Dry out your plants

By simply eliminating the moisture, pests like fungus gnats that prefer damp soil in houseplants can be controlled. (Excuse me, gnats.) The best course of action in these types of circumstances, according to Susan Spanger, a professional gardener and floral designer at Bloomful Floral Design, is to water your plants less frequently than usual in order to let the top few inches of soil totally dry up.

You eliminate the source of food for fungus gnats—fungi in the soil—by not maintaining damp soil. The Sill claims that by letting it dry up, that important food source will be eliminated, which will also eliminate the fungus gnats. According to Spanger, you can also cover the top of your soil with a half-inch of sand. She claims that mature fungus gnats find the rough surface unpleasant and that it dries off soon. Those pests on the houseplants will never return.

In potted soil, how can you get rid of bugs?

It’s crucial to get rid of any little, fuzzy gnats that are buzzing around your potted plants. Fungus gnats are bothersome, but it’s the larvae that feed on soil organic matter, including the roots of plants. One part hydrogen peroxide and four parts water are advised by Pistils Nursery. Incorporate the solution into the potting soil. Repeat as necessary at each watering to get rid of the eggs and larvae and get rid of the gnats.

Hydrogen peroxide treatment of soil and hydroponic solutions has also been discovered by growers to be effective in getting rid of root aphids. According to Weedmaps, hydrogen peroxide has had some success when used in conjunction with heat and cold treatments like heaters and water chillers. Exercise caution because severe heat and cold might harm some plants. Additionally, maintain good gardening hygiene by sanitizing spent containers, rotating your plants, and cleaning the hydroponic system and greenhouse.

Hydrogen peroxide therapy offers other advantages. Hydrogen peroxide, a potent oxygenator, decomposes and releases its oxygen into the soil. The roots of the plants receive oxygen and nutrients as a result. Additionally, it has a significant impact on bacteria and fungus, which are eliminated from the soil with every irrigation. Use a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water to hydrate the plant and control the fungi that cause root rot, and then wait until the soil is almost completely dry before continuing light watering if overwatering is harming your plants.

How can soil bugs be eliminated without harming plants?

According to Jeff Gillman, author of “The Truth About Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why,” commercial insecticidal soaps are safer for plants than homemade equivalents. Keep it mild if you want to try producing your own. 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap combined with 1 quart of water yields a 1 percent soap solution. Use a mild dish soap made for hand-washing dishes, not laundry or dishwasher detergent. Aphids, mealybugs, mites, and other soft-bodied pests respond well to soap spray. Additionally, Gillman adds that dish soap aids in preventing powdery mildew.

What are the little insects in my potting soil?

Many individuals have mistaken a fungus gnat infestation for a fruit fly infestation since fungus gnats and fruit flies have similar appearances.

They are not, however, the same kind of issue. In damp soil, fungus gnats deposit their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on fungus, tiny roots, and other organic matter in the soil. Fruit holds little appeal to them.

  • Fungus gnats are the tiny, black insects you may notice hovering around your plants and in the soil.
  • Fruit flies are the gnats that are buzzing about the fruit or the garbage disposal in your kitchen.

If you’re still unclear, read this article to learn how to distinguish between the two so you can always make a correct identification.

How is dirt sanitized?

Garden soil can be sterilised at home in a number of methods. They include of heating the soil in the oven or microwave as well as steaming (with or without a pressure cooker).

Sterilizing Soil with Steam

One of the finest methods for sterilizing potting soil is steaming, which should be carried out for at least 30 minutes or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees F. (82 C.). Using a pressure cooker or not, steaming is an option.

Pour several cups of water into the pressure cooker if you’re using one, and then set shallow pans of flat soil on top of the rack that are no deeper than 4 inches (10 cm). Wrap foil around each pan. Close the lid, but keep the steam valve slightly ajar so that it can eventually be shut and heated at 10 pounds of pressure for 15 to 30 minutes.

It should be noted that nitrate-rich soil or manure should never be sterilized under pressure because doing so could result in an explosive mixture.

If a pressure cooker is not being used, add about an inch (2.5 cm) of water to the sterilizing vessel before setting the soil-filled pans (wrapped in foil) on a rack over the water. Just enough of the lid should be left open to minimize pressure buildup as you close the cover and bring the pot to a boil. After the steam escapes, let it boil for an additional 30 minutes. After the earth has cooled, remove it (for both methods). Till you are ready to use it, leave the foil on.

Sterilizing Soil with an Oven

The oven can also be used to sterilize soil. Put some soil in an oven-safe container, such as a glass or metal baking pan, covered with foil, about 4 inches (10 cm) deep. Bake for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil temperature reaches 180 degrees F, with a meat (or candy) thermometer inserted in the center (82 C.). Anything above that can release poisons. Take out of the oven, let cool, and keep the foil in place until you’re ready to use it.

Sterilizing Soil with a Microwave

The microwave can also be used to sterilize soil. For the microwave, damp soil should be placed in clean, lidded quart-sized containers that are microwave-safe (no foil). On the lid, drill a few ventilation holes. For every few pounds, heat the soil for roughly 90 seconds at maximum output. Note: Larger microwaves typically have room for multiple containers. Before using, let these cool while covering the vent holes with tape.

A polypropylene bag can also be filled with 2 pounds (1 kg) of moist soil as an alternative. Place this in a microwave and leave the top open to allow for ventilation. 2 to 2 1/2 minutes of full power heating the soil (650 watt oven). Before removing the bag, seal it and give it time to cool.

Does vinegar eliminate gnats from indoor plants?

She asked me to write about a true issue she was having with her indoor plants. Of course! I bet many of you are struggling with the same issue.

Have you ever purchased houseplants for your home or office with the intention of bringing some nature indoors but noticed after a week or so that obtrusive small black flies are darting in and out of your line of sight with your computer screen? Ugh! You have a problem with fungus gnats!

Although fungus gnats resemble tiny mosquitoes or fruit flies, they are unrelated and do not bite. They can be spread by cut flowers, especially those with stale vase water, or even by plants with unsterilized soil (poinsettias can be the worst).

In moist plant soil, residential drains, and sewage areas, fungus gnats can be found. In wet soil, fungus gnats lay their eggs. Prior to developing into adult gnats and flying out of the plant soil onto your face, their larvae, which are only one-hundredth of an inch long, are almost impossible to notice. They eat plant roots, soil-borne leaves, and decomposing plant matter. It takes them around 10 days to grow. Indoors, they can reproduce all year long.

This issue is being exacerbated by the gentle care you provide your indoor plants, including watering them. The fungus gnats will like staying in your home if the soil of your houseplants is continually moist. The growing medium used for houseplants is another factor. Numerous potting mixture types contain components that hold onto moisture, and everything that promotes moisture also promotes fungus gnats. To avoid potential pests, Good Earth Plant Company only purchases from nurseries that pre-treat the soil.

So what can you do to combat these annoying little gnats? You must approach the issue from many angles.

Start by starting to wait longer between waterings for your indoor plants. One to two inches of the surface ought to be entirely dry. Sub-irrigation functions well for this reason, among others.

2. Make careful to get rid of any fallen or decomposing plant materials (leaves and roots) as these serve as fungus gnat larvae’s feeding sources. Place a few slices of uncooked potatoes on the surface of the soil to see if you have them. Take a look at the bottom after a few days. Are they chewed-looking? Your plants contain fungus gnat larvae.

3. You can cover the soil with a quarter- to-half-inch layer of diatomaceous earth or horticultural sand (NOT playground sand) to control the larvae. If you water it, the plant will dry out more quickly and fool the fungus gnats into thinking it is not a good site to lay eggs. Additionally, they are actually cut to death if they crawl across the DE.

4. Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and one teaspoon of white vinegar to the water every other time you water. The fungus gnat larvae will eventually perish as a result.

5. You can remove the plant from the pot, remove as much soil as you can without harming the plant, and then repot it to expedite the process. Place all of the used soil in a sealed bag and discard it. It cannot be applied elsewhere because doing so will just exacerbate the issue.

6. You can create organic traps on your own to get rid of the adult fungus gnats. You can pour a few drops of liquid dish soap to the bottom of a deep bowl after adding apple cider vinegar or red wine. Put it close to the infected indoor plants. The gnats adore it and will suffocate in it if they fall in. Every couple of days, replace it.

7. You can either buy or manufacture some sticky insect traps. Use cardboard pieces that are a vibrant yellow color, and cover them with Vaseline. For optimal effects, place them horizontally over your plants. Use a card holder from your florist, or one that comes with a plant. Put the card holder with the sticky trap inside, then affix it to your plant.

8. Some backyard gardeners fervently advocate adding three percent hydrogen peroxide directly to the soil of your plants. I wouldn’t advise this as your first option if you have a plant that is very priceless or sensitive.

It could be extremely difficult to entirely eradicate fungus gnats on your own if they frequently infest your plants, especially those in your office. In one instance, the gnats were entering through the ventilation system from another office, as I’ve seen!

We only utilize plants from reputable growers, and our experts take great care to prevent conditions from becoming such that fungus gnats can easily reproduce. We quickly remove any infected plants from our care (which doesn’t happen very often) to prevent fungus gnats from spreading to the rest of your plants.

Why are there bugs on my houseplant?

Numerous little flying insects that resemble gnats have been seen all over a few of my houseplants. How can I get rid of them and what are they?

Most likely, they are fungus gnats. These naughty little creatures are a very frequent pest throughout the winter, and they are more drawn to the damp soil in houseplant containers than to the actual plants.

Most of the time, fungus gnats are an annoyance. The adults can occasionally hover around your face or at the very least give the impression that you live in a greenhouse overrun with insects.

Although the adults resemble little mosquitoes, they don’t bite, sting, or harm plants despite their appearance.

Actually, the larval stage of this bug—the two to three weeks of its life that you cannot see—poses a greater risk to plants.

Can cinnamon eliminate soil mites?

Cinnamon is another natural method for killing soil mites. This technique not only successfully eliminates insects in the topsoil, but also doesn’t hurt plants and has a lovely scent.

Cinnamon Soil Mite Killer

  • 4 cups of liquid
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • aerosol can

Shake the spray bottle while adding the cinnamon and water to the container until the cinnamon is dissolved. If the plants have a lot of mites, you might want to add a few drops of dish soap.

To soak the top layer of soil, spritz the mite-killing solution into the soil surrounding the base of the plant. Use this spray to treat all of your sick plants, and repeat as necessary.

Use cinnamon essential oils instead of cinnamon powder if you want to get rid of fungus gnats. The process is the same.

Perhaps you’ve also heard of utilizing coffee in the garden. Do coffee grinds benefit soil in gardens?

Yes, coffee grounds can deter a variety of insects, eliminate termites and ants, and give both indoor and outdoor plants essential nutrients.

Getting Rid of Soil Mites with Hydrogen Peroxide

Bugs in potting soil are the worst, especially for succulents and other houseplants. Fortunately, utilizing hydrogen peroxide to get rid of bugs in houseplant soil is not difficult.

DIY Hydrogen Peroxide Killer

  • 2 glasses of water
  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in a half-cup
  • Container

Pour the water and hydrogen peroxide into a bottle and thoroughly combine it before using it on plants. To soak the soil, pour the liquid into the plant’s pot.

If it starts bubbling, don’t panic. This is a typical response that passes quickly. Until the pests are gone, repeat this method once per week or two.

Killing Soil Mites with a Garlic-Based Spray

More than just the bad guys from horror movies can be kept at bay by garlic. It is an excellent soil mite killer and repellant, despite not being pleasant if you don’t like the smell.

Garlic Mite Killer Spray

  • a quart of water
  • Four garlic cloves
  • enormous container

The garlic cloves should soak for at least four days in a big container of water that has been filled with water. Pour the mixture into a sizable spray bottle after stirring it.

Spray the garlic water over the surface of the soil around the plants to soak it in, which will naturally kill spider mites and get rid of soil mites. Repeat as necessary to ward off soil mites.

Soil mites and their larvae do not harm plants, in contrast to mealybugs and other garden pests. To get rid of mites in and around your home since they are dangerous to people, adopt the right pest control methods.

We sincerely hope that knowing how to get rid of soil mites from your favorite plants will be helpful to you, and we’d appreciate it if you shared our advice on how to get rid of soil mites with your Facebook and Pinterest friends and family.