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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
May 22, 2020 9:39 AM CST
Quick question: How long do I microwave garden or potting soil to get the gnats/eggs/larvae to be dead in my soil? I just did a thin layer in a microwavable plate for 1 minute but need to know if it needs to go longer. I just opened a bag of garden soil that was in my garage and it was full of gnats. I was going to use it fairly soon like right now..

Thank you in advance.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
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oneeyeluke
May 23, 2020 1:27 AM CST
In the greenhouse I used to work, we would heated the soil at 180 degrees for 8 hours. If you have gnats its because there is excess moisture in the bag. Open the bag and let it dry in the open sun. I'm are hitting 90 degrees now and if it were me I would put the whole bag in the trunk of the car and allow the sun to heat the soil up enough to get rid of the bugs.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
May 23, 2020 10:02 AM CST
Thank you so much Luke. Yes there is excess moisture in the bag (i have multiple bags). Our days aren't getting that hot yet. Maybe mid 70's if we are lucky. I think I will try heating some in the oven at 180 for 8 hours. If I spread it out on a tarp when we have full sun on a 70 degree day would that kill them? I really appreciate your help.

I could put the soil on the top of some raised beds that already have soil and let the sun beat down on it. Would that work? Or putting it in the very bottom of a new raised bed? Could that work if I wait before I add more soil? I just don't want the eggs to hatch and larvae to eat the roots of whatever I plant in them.?????
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 23, 2020 7:46 PM CST
If you are using it in outside garden beds, I don't see the need to treat it.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
May 23, 2020 7:59 PM CST
Thanks Sally. That is what I will be using it for. I was afraid that if the gnats laid eggs, the larvae would eat my flower roots? What do you think? I guess I could always treat the bed with something after I put the soil in.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 23, 2020 11:35 PM CST
The gnats are annoying to humans but they are not much of a threat to your plants.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
May 25, 2020 3:11 AM CST
Thanks Baja.
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