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Bugs in potting soil

Last post Mon, Feb 7 2011 9:43 PM by seaturtle. 16 replies.
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  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 12:01 AM

    Bugs in potting soil

    Hello to all, Happy New Year,

    I am trying to grow some kale inside. I have a bag of Miracle Grow potting soil. Same thing as last year - it is full of tiny bugs that I thought were fruit flies, but apparently not. I even froze the soil outside, they are still there.

    I can't microwave the soil. Anyone know exactly what these insects are and how to get rid of them - or is there any other soil I might find without them?

  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 6:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

     They are house gnats.  I had them for about 3 years and finally threw out my houseplants.  Nothing I tried worked - even chemicals. 

    They say to let the soil dry (they are attracted to over watered soil) and put a healthy layer of sand on top of the soil.  Then get a little container and put some vinegar or red wine in it.  They are attracted to the smell but are too dumb and drown.  

    You will also want to put any fruit or veggies in the fridge, empty trash, and give your drains a good cleaning with hot water and bleach (they will make nests in there).

     Good luck.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 10:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    So that's where the ones I have are coming from! I knew it had to be something to do with some of my houseplants, but I didn't realise it might be the potting soil. I wonder if it's a problem with just Miracle Gro, or with any potting soil? I have a lot of houseplants and can't bear the thought of getting rid of them all, but it may come to that if these dratted gnats don't go away! Sad  I've even found some in the upstairs bathroom that has no plants in it--they do seem to like congregating around the drain, so thanks for the suggestion about that, 2ndGen!!

    "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." --Mr. Carson
  • Tue, Jan 4 2011 12:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    I wrote the Miracle Grow people, no answer yet.

    So they are house gnats! Last year I tried the vinegar and red wine to no avail. They came and sat around it but didn't go in. I did get rid of them with fruit fly traps, which worked immediately.

    I'll let you know if I hear from Miracle Grow. I think they have an 800, too. Seems as if their soil is for indoor plants and starting seedlings - so what gives with the gnats?

  • Tue, Jan 4 2011 11:29 AM In reply to

    • Lap_SMG
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Jan 4 2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a problem with the Miracle Gro Potting Mix. We try to respond to emails in less then 24 hours, if you haven’t received a reply please contact us at 800-645-8166. Our soils are not sterilized. Sterilizing a soil takes away the beneficial bacteria and microbes that plants need to be healthy. What you have are most likely fungus gnats as mentioned in a previous post a ½ inch of soil on top of the plants will stop the breeding cycle and a shallow dish or vingar and water will catch the adults. We appreciate your taking the time to comment. Don’t hesitate to contact us again if we can provide any additional information. Lee Ann
  • Tue, Jan 4 2011 11:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    Wow, now that's service--a reply right here, direct from the company!  Yes Thank you! And thanks, seaturtle, for contacting them.  I'll try the 1/2 inch of soil remedy, and set out a few dishes of vinegar. There don't seem to be as many at the moment as I had earlier in the fall, but we were waving a few away this morning, so they are still active.

    "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." --Mr. Carson
  • Wed, Jan 5 2011 9:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

     Yes, what a good company! Where do you get actual soil? Mine is frozen, and all I have access to is the Miracle Grow. (I would not want to bring my garden soil inside anyway, too much of a chance of bring in unwanted visitors, since some can overwinter.)

    As I said, I try the vinegar, and they all loved to sit on the edge of the bowls and jars. Let me know how things work out for you. if you would.

  • Wed, Jan 5 2011 9:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

     Thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply. I appreciate your answering so rapidly. (I have not received an answer in my email). I will call the 800 to see where I might obtain soil that is not infested.

  • Wed, Jan 5 2011 10:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    seaturtle:

     Yes, what a good company! Where do you get actual soil? Mine is frozen, and all I have access to is the Miracle Grow. (I would not want to bring my garden soil inside anyway, too much of a chance of bring in unwanted visitors, since some can overwinter.)

    I thought about that after I posted. Not sure--I don't know if any of the stores around me sell anything other than Miracle Gro. Oh, wait--I just thought about Hyponex, I've used that before. Have you ever seen that in your area? I'm like you, I don't want to just go out into the garden and bring that soil in, especially as I occasionally find evidence of neighbourhood cats 'digging', if you know what I mean. Tongue Tied

    As I said, I try the vinegar, and they all loved to sit on the edge of the bowls and jars. Let me know how things work out for you. if you would.

    Will do! Yes

    "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." --Mr. Carson
  • Thu, Jan 6 2011 8:23 AM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Bugs in potting soil

    Walgreens has Hyponex in my town, Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
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