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May 22, 2020 9:39 AM CST
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
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,
Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 23, 2020 1:27 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
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.✌
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May 23, 2020 10:02 AM CST
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
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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May 23, 2020 7:46 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
If you are using it in outside garden beds, I don't see the need to treat it.
Worry, why do I let myself worry?
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May 23, 2020 7:59 PM CST
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
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,
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May 23, 2020 11:35 PM CST
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers
Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
The gnats are annoying to humans but they are not much of a threat to your plants.
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May 25, 2020 3:11 AM CST
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: United States of America Vegetable Grower
Thanks Baja.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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