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  1. #1
    Air
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    Indoor plants + fruit flies - help!

    I have some indoor plants that I use for cooking (basil, mint, garlic, ginger). Looks like fruit flies are having a field day in the soil. What I can I do to treat the soil that won't kill the plants, nontoxic, but take care of the flies?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Insecticidal soap might might be an alternative. Many soft bodied insects can be controlled with potassium salt of fatty acids, found in insecticidal soaps. It basically desolves cell walls on the bugs. Might try a garden center and see if they have any.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Yes, Insecticidal soap is a very good idea - should fix the problem just fine.

    The other alternative is what we have - lizards on the walls. I kid you not.

  4. #4
    Air
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    Alas, my lizard died a few years ago...though he was vegan unfortunately.

    I'll look around for that soap, thanks! Is it safe to eat?

  5. #5
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Should be, once it is dry, you can put beneficial insects, such as ladybugs on the plants I believe. Make sure to read the label though, as it has been a few years since I worked in the horticulture industry and things may have changed.

    Predator insects like lady bugs might be an idea as well.

    Just make sure to wash the leaves prior to eating/cooking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Alas, my lizard died a few years ago...though he was vegan unfortunately.

    I'll look around for that soap, thanks! Is it safe to eat?

    You can make your own. Involves dish soap, cayenne pepper ... I forget the exact ingredient list and proportions. I got the recipe from Mother Earth News. Check their archives. I'll bet you find several recipes available.

  7. #7
    Air
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    What's their site?

  8. #8
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Problem is you are trusting that it is correct and non harmful making your own. If you do it wrong and it burns up your plants, might not be that great and will cost more to replace plants than it would to buy a $5 bottle of concentrate, or a spray bottle of pre mix.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Here is a link to Safer, a maker of insecticidal soap and other organics.

    http://www.saferbrand.com/index.asp
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  10. #10
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap makes a good vegan insect spray...

    - however, i don't think, AFAIK, that your herb garden's soil is the source of the fruit flies... i'd suspect fruit...

    :-)

    - down here, i keep my fruit, such as tomatoes and bananas, wrapped in dark grocery bags when sitting out...

    voila! no fruit flies!

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Air, there should not be any connection to fruit flies and the soil, although it may be some other kind of pest. Have you run your disposal lately? They can grow on fruit that was washed down the drain. Try washing your plants with regular soap and water before you try the poison verity. Just regular soap can clog their tracheae tubes and suffocate them.


    {edit** Yes, Dr. Bronner's is perfect for that.

  12. #12
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Most likey fungus gnats or drain flys. I would lean towards fungus gnats, but a pciture is worth a thousand words. If fungus gnats, insecticidal soap will kill the adults, but the larva in the soil can be treated with BT (bacillus thuringensis) sp?

    Here is a fact sheet on fungus gnats.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2114.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  13. #13
    Air
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    Thanks all!

    The kitchen is in another room with a door - knock on wood nothing in there. When I brush the soil a whole slew of them start flying around (was reading and they could be fungus knats or a bunch of other gnat looking like fly that's not a 'fruit fly'). Some dead leaves in there that I took out as well.

    I saw peppermint was a good deterent - in the meantime I put some peppermint and eucalyptus oil in some water and sprayed it. Will get some lemmongrass essential oil too. Unfortunately in the city iit's tougher to buy stuff for horticulture but easier for natural oils and stuff - go figure.
    Last edited by Air; 06-19-07 at 12:20 PM.

  14. #14
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Smoke deters some insects, if you only you had something you could burn and make smoke to blow onto those flies!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  15. #15
    Air
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    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude...awesome idea...

  16. #16
    THC Freedom Fighter karmical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr
    [SIZE=2]Most likey fungus gnats or drain flys.

    grab a few of these yellow sticky pads, the best thing ever...

    should be at most garden places.

    Smoke all you want too, we'll grow more...

  17. #17
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    Planting marigolds I know will keep bugs off of plants like tomatos. Maybe the same logic applied.

  18. #18
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Just irradiate the soil.
    If you need help, gimme a call. You'll need a lead cup.

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    This plus a banana and an apple will get rid of your fruit fly problem pretty redily.

  20. #20
    Air
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    Hmmm...just noticed that there were white things on the leaves of the mint plant. Aphids? Doh!

  21. #21
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Try making a homemade trap! Put a small amount of red wine or apple cider vinegar in a glass or jar and cover the top with saran wrap. Poke several holes with a needle in the wrap. The flies are attracted to the smell and can make their way into the jar through the small holes, but they can't find their way back out again.

    Those white things...do they move at all?

  22. #22
    Air
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    I don't think so - they look all dead (or really slow moving larvae).

    The question about the traps though - will it eventually get rid of all of them or will the eggs wherever they are keep hatching?

  23. #23
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    All the aphids I've seen, you can see moving.

    I think it will eventually get rid of all of them.

  24. #24
    Air
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    Sweet - I was feeling like a glass of wine too

  25. #25
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Yeah, just share a little bit with the bugs! It'll be worth it! Some people swear by this trap!

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