tiny bugs - Knowledgebase Question

ogden, Ut
Avatar for duder311
Question by duder311
April 30, 2010
Hi I purchased some tomato and pepper plants to start my garden but its been to cold to plant them outside so I've been bringing them indoors when cold. And I noticed today that they all have a bunch of really tiny green bugs all over them. And I was wondering how I can get rid of them before they ruin them. I also have a few bonsai plants that have tiny flying bugs coming out of the pot is them?

Answer from NGA
April 30, 2010
I think you're dealing with two different insect pests. The green ones on your tomato plants are probably aphids. They love to attack new growth. Rinse them off with a strong stream of water from the hose or kill them with applications of Insecticidal Soap. The bugs in your houseplants are more than likely fungus gnats. Fungus gnats feed and breed in decaying organic matter so the potting soil used for houseplants provides an almost perfect environment for them. They are opportunists and tend to fly in when doors and windows are open. There's really nothing you can spray to keep them from entering your home, but you can eliminate their breeding and feeding sites indoors to keep the population under control. One of the easiest ways to control them is to place a barrier between moist potting soil and the little pests. You can simply cover the soil with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or cover the top of the soil with pea gravel or decorative rock such as those used in aquariums. Whatever you use, make sure there are no tiny entrance holes for the gnats - they're sure to find them. To capture any that are just flying around you can prop yellow sticky traps at foliage level. For some reason the color yellow attracts them and if you smear a piece of bright yellow construction paper or poster board with petroleum jelly the gnats will land on it and get stuck. Replace the sticky traps every few weeks and eventually you?ll reduce the population of gnats in and around your houseplants. Both of these solutions are child and pet-friendly and both work for me and my houseplant collection. Another option is to use Gnatrol as a soil drench. Good luck with your plants!

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