Soil Bug Infestation
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Amanda Schumacher
Posted on: January 20, 2009

I transplanted most of my indoor plants last October and used Schulz Fertilized soil. I am now experiencing a major bug infestation that is living in the soil of all the transplanted plants. These flying bugs are a bit larger than a fruit fly and are black in color. Is there any solution to this problem other than transplanting them again? These bugs are not harming the leaves of the plants - they just appear to be interested in the soil.

I think you have an infestation of gnats. Keep the soil of the plants on the dry side and if the plant is one that can tolerate dry soil, let the soil dry out between watering. Sprinkle the surface heavily with diatomaceous earth, so that when the young flies emerge from the soil, they must crawl through it and be killed by it. You can also soak the soil with neem oil solution and this will hinder their reproductive cycle. The last solution is the easiest, sprinkle Scanmask on the soil. Scanmask is the resting stage of predaceous nematodes and they will eat the flies while they are pupating. Richters sells neem oil under catalogue number HW210 and the nematodes under Catalogue number T2600. We sell diatomaceous earth, but in Canada only, under Catalogue number T2140.

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