Silver Bug In Houseplat Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Victoria, BC
Question by cwood530
July 7, 2000
I have recently seen one little silver bug, similar to a flee, in the soil of my philodendron. Is this anything to worry about? If so, how do I get rid of them without using anything that could harm children or pets?

Answer from NGA
July 7, 2000


Based on your description I am not certain what you have seen, but it is possibly a stage of the fungus gnat. The adults look like fruit flies, and they breed in damp soil. This is easily controlled. Be sure you are not overwatering your plant. Place a layer of sand or fine gravel on the soil surface, about a half an inch is plenty. This layer will dry out quickly and will stop the gnats from breeding in the soil. In the meantime, you could also use an insecticidal soap as a soil drench according to the label instructions. These are the safest methods I can think of to use around children and pets but they should not eat the plant or the soap.

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