Bug spray for house plants - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Bug spray for house plants

I have houseplants in the same room as my tanks. All of which are open top. Lately I've been having issues with Nats and bugs. I've tried home remedies and none of them worked. I have a walmart, ace hardware, Lowe's, etc in my area. What's a safe bug spray to use indoors that will not increase the risk factor of something nargly getting into the tank.

What do you guys use?


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 04:08 AM
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bugs

i usesprays made of marigolds.
cover the tanks with newspaper,turn of air pumps and spray away.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 05:03 AM
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What kind of bugs? If you're having fungus gnats, little tiny black flies, sometimes crawl up from the soil, then a spray/systemic will not do anything since they're not eating plant's roots/foliage. Fungus gnats are a sign that you've got over-wet conditions. You're watering too often.

Are there other bugs? If you have other bugs that are sucking juices or eating leaves i.e. mealy bug, scale, caterpillars, spider mites, etc, then I'd use a systemic. Just goes in the soil, no over-spray to worry about. Otherwise I'd reccomend a neem oil spray. Do it outside if you're able or put towels or something down so you can drench foliage thoroughly and let it drip. May need repeat applications.

But again, if you're having fungus gnats, don't bother buying anything. Change your watering routine, let the top third layer of your houseplant's pots go dry between watering (let them go extra dry for now to help kill the larvae), half dry if succulents. Fungus gnats are eating rotten roots, wood pulp, etc in the soil, not the plant. Too much water.

Alternatively, let em go dry til about wilting, then water w/ dish soap. A natural dish soap, scentless, do about 1 tbsp/gallon. This will also help kill the larvae. Adults live like 7 - 10 days, you can use fly paper around base of pots for adults.

dry, dry, dry!


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 05:07 AM
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Take the plants outside to spray, in a shaded place. Leave them outside until the spray is dry.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 12:18 PM
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You have fungus or dirt gnats. You want Mosquito Bits . Ace hardware carries it and so does amazon.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Gnats and fruit flies if I have ID'd them correctly.

The plants are a variety of pothos, philodendrons and wandering jew, built into a display that sits on top of a hutch. While moving them outside to spray would be ideal, it would be a pita to remove each planter. I water once a week, when I water I just water along the edge of the planter. Should I move to watering every 2 weeks. A few of the leafs were showing dry tips, so I figured they were not getting enough water. No leaf damage as of yet, so I do believe it is due to over moist soil.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 09:43 PM
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Probably just fungus gnats. Fruit flies drink like... sugar water. I.e. over ripe fruit. Thing is, plants don't work on a week to week basis like we do. Maybe your plants want to be watered every 9 days, so watering one a week may be too much, or 2 weeks not enough. They also slow down on their watering needs greatly during the winter so watering one a week could be fatal then. So, best method is to wait for the top third of the soil to dry between watering. If it's just fungus gnats, you don't need to spray, you don't even need the mosquito bits. Yeah they'll kill what's there, but if the root of the problem persists, they will return.

Just let your soil go more dry between watering, and as mentioned earlier, you can use a natural dish soap to kill the larvae.

Dry tips can also be a sign that there's been root death, roots can't absorb water, so looks dry, when in fact the problem may still actually be the soil is too wet and the roots just are to disabled to function

Edit: dry tips can also be caused from dryness in the air or from being close to an air vent.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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I will change my routine,

I'm growing these at work. They get watered once every 2 weeks if that.











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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 02:17 AM
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office plants look very healthy


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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They all started off as an 8 inch trimming. I think the light green one is lemon-line.


My others










Some leaf damage



The over watering would make sense as to why the marble queen stems kept rotting.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 04:50 AM
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I think your plants look really nice. Gnats are just annoying mostly. I've gotten rid of them by putting bounce dryer sheets around the pots- something in the smell drives the gnats away. (You can also rub it on your collar or tuck in your hat to keep the midges from flying around your face outside- but the first few times I tried this the dryer sheet smell actually made me feel nauseated).

If it's something worse I'd do what others advised- move the plants outside to spray them.
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