Flying Insects And Webs On Indoor Herbs - Knowledgebase Question

Memphis, TN
Avatar for jstigle1
Question by jstigle1
March 4, 2001
How can I safely get rid of these flying insects on my indoor herbs? I do not know what type of insects have infested the plants but there are webs (spider like) all over the plants.

Answer from NGA
March 4, 2001
Webs on houseplants usually indicate spider mites. Check the undersides of the affected leaves for a "dirty" or "rusty" appearance. This is evidence of these tiny insects. Hose the plant off daily until you see improvement. If the problem is bad, you may need to treat with insecticidal soap. As for the flying insects, I think those might be fungus gnats, commonly called fruit flies. They are tiny and black. Fungus gnats are pesky once they get established. They reproduce in the top layers of moist soil. I'm not aware of a chemical that works on them. Before completely repotting, try scraping off several inches of the top soil and letting the plants dry out for a bit. That will get rid of quite a few of them since they won't have moist soil. (Of course, you can't let them dry out too long or it's detrimental for the plants.) Then repot, and try putting some plastic wrap or other barrier over the soil. The good news is that fungus gnats don't live very long.

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