Keeping Your Plants Bug Free

One of my plants seems to be full of bugs. During the summer we put the plant on our deck, and it started to grow some sort of moss on the top of the soil. When it started to get colder we brought it back into the house, and there are tiny black flies that seem to have made the plant their home. What can we do to get rid of the flies? --iVillager heatherbenn

Question:

There is a good chance that the bugs could be from the soil. This is how to get rid of them.

  • First, buy yourself some good soilless potting soil at a garden center or home improvement center. Also, purchase an organic insecticide, and if they have it, purchase some yellow sticky paper. This paper comes in two different sizes, and is sticky on both sides. Since insects are attracted to the color yellow, there is a good chance they will approach the sticky paper and then get stuck to it, preventing your plant from being attacked! (You can find the paper through organic gardening supply stores or Websites -- the brand is immaterial.)
  • Put the plant over your sink and remove it from the original pot. Shake off all of the excess soil around it, and throw all the used soil outside.
  • Wash out the pot with water and Clorox (to sterilize it).
  • Wash off the roots and all of the leaves with cool water.
  • Repot the plant with the new soil, and then spray with the organic insecticide.
  • Keep a close watch over it to see if any of the flies show up again. If they do, place a piece of the yellow sticky paper on the edge of the pot.

Believe me, that will get those critters for good. Good luck and let me know how you do!

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