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Fruit flies (?) in flower pots and herb garden

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  • Jul 10th, 2008 2:09 am
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Deal Guru
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Mar 17, 2004
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Mountain View, CA

Fruit flies (?) in flower pots and herb garden

I have a couple pots of outdoor plant, a dwarf lemon and a small herb garden on the balcony (second floor). There's no other garbage or anything remotely close to that (or anything unpleasant from the immediate neighbours either). But recently I've started to notice there's a lot of fruit flies-esque critters making home on the top of the soil.

What is the best (natural) way to get rid of those?
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Deal Expert
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Dec 22, 2006
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I use insecticidal soap. You can find it in most places that sell plants.
ie: Canadian tire, Walmart, Zellers, garden centers
[OP]
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Thanks a lot, valeriey. I've done some search on the insecticidal soap. Looks pretty effective on topical application. However, it's on the top soil and some are the stuff that I eat (herbs and lemon) so I am a little hesitant on using soap. Are those safe? Is there any more organic method out there?
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Dec 22, 2006
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Yes is is safe. I use it on my veggie garden when the bugs get bad.
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Dec 23, 2005
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NDman wrote:
Jul 9th, 2008 5:16 pm
I have a couple pots of outdoor plant, a dwarf lemon and a small herb garden on the balcony (second floor). There's no other garbage or anything remotely close to that (or anything unpleasant from the immediate neighbours either). But recently I've started to notice there's a lot of fruit flies-esque critters making home on the top of the soil.

What is the best (natural) way to get rid of those?
They may not be fruit flies. Fruit flies do not usually hang around living plants but are plentiful at the compost bin. Look around the plants that you have near where the main stem and branches connect and also the underside of the leaves. What you are looking for is a small white cotton ball type piece the size of a pencil tip. If you find those it is more likely White Fly.

Dave
You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something sometime in your life!
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Mar 8, 2002
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They could also be fungus gnats. They are tiny like fruit flies so it's easy to mistake them. I had them once; the solution was to get rid of the houseplant - they live in the soil and washing the leaves with soapy water isn't going to do a thing.
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Sep 11, 2006
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If you hit a gardening department in the hardware store you will find a spray for plants and vegetables which you spray on the soil. It takes a couple of weeks to get rid of them because you have to get them as they hatch (they ar in the dirt) until all the eggs are gone. It's safe to spray on the edible plants.
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Mar 17, 2004
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just took a closer look. It doesn't look like it's white flies; but it could very well be fungus gnats.

Googled a little bit further and found this (http://www.ehow.com/video_3885_rid-indoor-gnats.html) so I'll give it a try. Yikes!

Thanks for the heads-up, Rembrandt100 and MacGyver.
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