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Flying Bugs on Houseplants

How can I enjoy my house plants without those pesky little flies? I don't want to spray anything on the plants, because I'm afraid it may harm them, but the bugs are driving me crazy. Any suggestions? Please help.

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Serena from Austin, TX

Answers:

Flying Bugs on Houseplants

I just discovered that a dilute solution of Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap (Heath Food Stores) is used as a soil drench in killing fungus gnats. (01/12/2009)

Flying Bugs on Houseplants

Here's two tonics that can help. The first one uses items found in every kitchen. The second feeds your plants while controlling pests. Both control a wide range of house plant pests.

  • 1/3 cup of cooking oil
  • 1tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup of water

Place in a hand held sprayer and spray pests away.

  • 1 Tbsp of dish washing liquid
  • 1 Tbsp of seaweed extract
  • 1qt of lukewarm water

Place mixture in a hand held sprayer and spray. You'll feed your plants while sending pests packing.

Word of caution, fuzzy leaf house plants like the African Violet don't like their leaves wet, so don't spray them. Dip a Q-tip in your solutions and touch any pest on the leaves carefully. Results then in undamaged leaf and a pest running for its life. (01/16/2009)

Flying Bugs on Houseplants

If they are black fruit fly-type bugs, and they also seem to be everywhere in your home. I had them too. I always empty and wash my pots, rinse the plant roots and put fresh soil in before bringing plants inside for winter.

This year I did not use a "soiless potting mix", just the regular, and had a fiesta of bugs after a few weeks. Overly wet soil seemed to boost populations, but then I sprayed with a Rose Pesticide with Pyrethrin, saturating the soil. Then I placed a thick layer of sand on top of the soil. The bugs are gone. Give it a day or two. It may take a second application of spray. I think that the sand prevents the fungus gnats from having a place to lay their eggs. You may not even need the spray. Try the sand alone first. Why use dangerous chemicals? (02/09/2009)

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By Paula

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