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Infestation of Bugs on Indoor Basil and Chives

Posted by buddierdl GA (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 30, 10 at 11:23

Help! I have two basil plants and a chive plant growing in a window box in my kitchen. I use an 100W fluorescent light bulb to give them light when there is no sun. Now they are being attacked by tiny winged black bugs. I cannot tell if they are eating the basil or not. They do not seem to be on the leaves much, but they crawl all over the soil and fly around. I can't tell if they are damaging my plants, but some of the leaves are getting brown spots. I have tried Ecosmart organic garden insect killer, but it doesn't seem to be working. Can anyone help me? I need to kill the bugs in a way that will still allow me to use the leaves for cooking. I took some pics but I don't know how to post them.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Infestation of Bugs on Indoor Basil and Chives

It's difficult to say without seeing pics, but you might have fungus gnats. Do a google search and see if the images that come up match the insects you have. If so, try mosquito dunks. You can get these in most garden centers and find some which are certified organic. Put a dunk in a watering can and let it sit for a few days. Then, use that water to water your plants. Also, check your bag of potting soil. That could be where the fungus gnats came in. It's becoming more and more of a problem in bagged soils.


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RE: Infestation of Bugs on Indoor Basil and Chives

Tepid chamomile tea works great for fungus gnats, which is indeed what you have. Just make the tea, let it cool off, and water the plants with it. Do it three days in a row, and that should take care of them. Nontoxic, easy, and cheap.


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RE: Infestation of Bugs on Indoor Basil and Chives

The adult (flying) gnats lay their eggs in the potting medium, and it is their tiny opaque larvae which do the damage to the plants. Control should include the larvacide (the mosquito dunks), allowing the potting soil to dry out between waterings, improved air circulation, providing a potting medium that is porous enough to discourage fungus gnats in the first place.

If you use the mosquito dunk solution, water just as you normally would, only less frequently to allow for some drying in between. Use for a month or so.

There is nothing in your Ecosmart stuff that will control the larvae. Save it for other uses.


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