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Bug Removal

Question:

How can I remove bugs from house plants that I have put out doors all summer?  like water bugs, etc…..I read somewhere, years ago, something to water with but can’t remember….do you have any advice other than repotting?

Answer:

There is no foolproof Answer: to your Question: about removing pests from houseplants kept outside in summer. Every local region has different varieties of insect pests and there is no single Answer: for treating all of them. However, there are a few precautions you can take regardless of location.

First, use a strong hose spray to knock off any pests that may have attached themselves to leaves and stems.

Second, remove any loose debris, including pests, that have accumulated in the loose soil on the top surface of the rootball.

Third, if you suspect there are pests living down in the soil, then you will have to force them out with plain water. Water the plant thoroughly and then let the pot sit in a tub or bucket of water filled close to the rim of the pot. Leave the pot for about an hour or two. This will cause any critters to abandon the flooded soil in search of oxygen.

Finally, I want to point out that most insects that are normally outside, do not fare well when brought indoors for the winter. Many insects die off on their own after a month or two.