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Small insects using my indoor plants as nesting ground?

  1. profile image0
    klarawieckposted 7 years ago

    I have very small flying bugs sharing the living room space with me. Not cool at all! I tried spraying the plants with soap and water and it's not working. My house is very clean and I do the dishes right after eating, so they are not attracted to food. I already moved some of my house plants to the backyard, but I'd hate to put them all on time out. I'm thinking a bugspray might kill them. Any other suggestions?

    1. Beelzedad profile image55
      Beelzedadposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Oh oh, they have made homes in the dirt of your plants, laying eggs that will eventually hatch providing you with an endless chain of those little winged devils flying around your house forever. It's really hard getting rid of them without literally ripping out your plants and replacing all the dirt. Even then, there might be eggs all over the plants ready to hatch.

      The best thing is to check all your plants and begin separating those that have been affected by those that haven't. Usually, after a time they will all be infected and you may have to start from scratch. Sorry, it wasn't better news. smile

  2. IzzyM profile image89
    IzzyMposted 7 years ago

    That sounds familiar - would I be correct in thinking that the insects are actually coming from the compost in the pots? Choice of either replacing the infecting compost or using bug spray that is safe for plants, and as you are likely not going to eat your houseplants I would go with the spray.

  3. Hestia DeVoto profile image60
    Hestia DeVotoposted 7 years ago

    See if you can trap a bug or two (in a jar or baggie) and take it to your local garden center.  Quite often they can identify just what your infestation is and offer a remedy.

    1. lorlie6 profile image82
      lorlie6posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Great suggestion by DeVoto.  If that's done, awesome, then check out if they fly.  Are they tiny?  I used to work in a nursery and we recommended around a half a cup of bleach (or whatever amount is appropriate) put in a jar lid somewhere near the plant that's affected.  For some reason they're attracted to the bleach, ingest it, then perish!

  4. profile image0
    klarawieckposted 7 years ago

    Yes, they fly! They seem to be in all my plants except the orchids. I'm going to have to take them all outside. sad My herbs too! sad So, so sad!

    1. Tony Locicero profile image79
      Tony Lociceroposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I usually end up with these flies if I misguidedly put plants outside for a bit to help the plants out or buy started plants from a market or nursery.  I have my best luck starting from seed.

  5. Sally's Trove profile image79
    Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago

    Your flies are most likely fungus gnats. The gnats themselves don't cause any harm, it's their larva that feed on roots and tender ground-level shoots or sprouts.

    This should give you all the help you need:


  6. IN2Deep profile image73
    IN2Deepposted 7 years ago

    Try putting a cup of equal parts "white vinegar" and water-near the plant -this should attract and take care of most of them- I would probably change the soil to fresh- I actually mix equal parts white vinegar and water and spray the soil only once a week-

  7. profile image0
    klarawieckposted 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the advice. I had to put some of them outside, and I'll try to spray them tomorrow to see if I can bring them back in the house soon.

  8. cat on a soapbox profile image95
    cat on a soapboxposted 7 years ago

    It sounds like fungus gnats which breed on and in damp soil.
    The best control is to water more deeply but less often. Yellow sticky traps placed nearby will take care of the flying bug problem.

  9. classicalgeek profile image84
    classicalgeekposted 7 years ago

    You can also trap them with a dish of water with a little wine or beer in it. They love that stuff. Their eggs remain viable for up to four months.

    If you buy produce from a farmers' market or organic produce, put a bucket near the door where you bring in the groceries. When you unload the car, fill the bucket with fresh, filtered water and submerge the produce for about 30 seconds. Those little fungus gnats can be carried in on produce without your ever noticing.

  10. Hortophile profile image78
    Hortophileposted 7 years ago

    There's lots of good advice here, I would suggest a combination of baiting with liquids (beer is good as long as your dog or cat doesn't drink it!), sticky traps, isolation of infested plants (difficult with flying insects though), and soil replacement to address larvae.  Remember though, to evaluate the cost of just replacing infected plants - no sense spending $20 to save a $3 plant!  Avoid overwatering once you've got the situation under control - fungus gnats love moist conditions.