Hydrogen Peroxide as a soil drench to kill pests

mizzellaJanuary 10, 2008

Has anyone ever used hydrogen peroxide to kill pests that live in the soil of houseplants? I am not concerned about killing off the good bacteria as I use Grozyme, which acts like good bacteria, but isn't destroyed by H2O2.

I work in a garden center and have had a few customer's ask how to get rid of soil pests such as centipede type things, fungus gnats, and these unknown yellow round clusters of eggs. I have recently become interested in H2O2 for various reasons and thought that it might kill the pests.

Thanks in advance for any advice or comments you may have!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You'd have to use a very powerful dose of H2O2 to kill critters, if at all. However, a diluted ratio is a large benefit to container plants, when used in watering.

Perhaps you should steer your customers towards horticultural grage diatomaceous earth, Bacillus thurengiensis-Israelensis, increasing porosity of the potting mix, etc.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 1:24PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Doubt you even need to try the peroxide.

For one thing what are the "centipede type things" you have? Size, color, damage if any?

And when it comes to fungus gnats, pull back on how you water. The simplest thing to do is to allow the soil surface to dry.

But to get a running start on stopping the gnat's life cycle, use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (either Mosquito Dunks or the granular form) in the water you give to your plants. Realize that it takes several weeks to stop the life cycle.

And those "unknown yellow round clusters of eggs" may well be Osmocote, a slow-release fertilizer.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:10PM
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The Hydrogen Peroxide solution you can buy, 3 to 5 percent, will not work for that purpose because it is too weak, unless you dumped a whole very large bottle of it on the plants soil and then it would probably kill the plant before it took care of the insects. There are other, much better solutions to soil pest problems. If you could get an H2O2 solution strong enough (30 to 50 percent) to kill soil insects the reaction of that with the organic matter in the potting soil would more likely start a fire.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 7:29AM
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mizzella, somewhere on the internet I read that 8.0 ounces of white sugar and 8.0 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide in one gallon of water is a good insecticidal drench for plants. I have not used it myself but I am ready for the next insect attack.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 9:49AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

But do the "problems" mentioned in the post require any treatment? And if they do, what kind of "treatment."

Identification is always the first step in determining whether or not treatment is needed.

Often, the "treatment" is a simple as this:
1. changing cultural conditions (the gnats);
2. handpicking (the centipede type things);
3. or leaving as is (the "unknown yellow round clusters of eggs" which likely aren't eggs at all).

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 3:21PM
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I have a zebra plant in my office that has really bad fungus gnats! I did not find peroxide to work well. I even pulled a few of the little larva out and dumped them in non-diluted peroxide in a glass. All they did was swim around for 10 minutes before I got tired of waiting for them to die and dumped them in the toilet.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 10:46PM
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