Jade plant...gnats!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by lily, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a jade plant that I bought in May. I noticed a fly around the pot and when I tapped the pot, several started flying around...gave me the heebie jeebies. Should I just through the whole plant out? Is there a way to kill them? It's too cold to put it outside.

    I don't water the plant often, but once a month I water it well and just let it dry out again. It's in a green plastic pot. I have it in a west facing window.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Fungus gnats. In theory, keeping the soil on the dry side should stop them breeding, but in practice, it doesn't work.
     
  3. Dunc

    Dunc Active Member

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    Hi, you can try the yellow sticky strips by Safer and other companies. They are sticky strips of paper impregnated with an attractant that works well to capture the fliers. You still will have a egg problem but, it is enough to control the immediate problem. Perhaps soapy spray on the surface will eliminate the larvs too.

    These strips are readily available at all gardening stores including the big box stores.
     
  4. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank both Michael and Dunc.
    Michael, I'll keep the soil dry. I think in the spring I'm going to transfer my Jade to a clay pot so it'll dry out faster than the soil does in the plastic. I may have to change the soil completely.

    Dunc, good idea about the sticky tabs. I've used them before and you're right - they work temporarily but don't get rid of the eggs. I wonder if I sprayed lysol on the top of the soil if it would kill the eggs? Just a thought...Comments?
     
  5. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Thought - keep using the sticky strips! If you don't have adults, eventually you won't have any eggs!
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, it probably would, and kill the plant too . . .

    That's if you can be sure of a 100% catch before they mate and lay any eggs. Not too easy!

    I had a good degree of temporary success in the summer with home-made biological control - every time I found a small spider in the house, I caught it and put it in the infested pots; ditto a couple of small centipedes. The down side was a lot of spiders webs on the plants, but they certainly caught plenty of the gnats. But the fungus gnats re-appeared later in the autumn, probably a new colonisation from outdoors.
     
  7. maveriiick

    maveriiick Member

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    I use alcohol in a spray bottle to kill the flying ones and yellow stick strips to catch others. However, to truly kill them off I would recommend doing a neem oil drench or getting some natural predators to kill the soil larvae (Hypoaspis aculeifer).

    http://www.planetnatural.com/site/fungus-gnat-predator.html
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Neem remains unregistered for pesticide use in Canada:

     
  9. maveriiick

    maveriiick Member

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  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Availability does not equal registered for use.

    As an analogy, gasoline can be available, but not registered for use as a pesticide for grapes (not that one would want to use it...)

    Please note that the Dean of our faculty is one of Canada's foremost researchers in the use of biopesticides, including neem oil. I've attended a presentation or two of his, and it sure seems to me Canada's regulations haven't caught up to the science that exists so far.

    Note also that the labeling on the product by the vendor markets the Neem oil as "A Natural Leaf Polish" and make no reference to its use as a pest control (so that they don't get their hand slapped...)
     
  11. maveriiick

    maveriiick Member

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    Regardless of the semantics, who really cares? I'm just here to give advice and Neem is non-toxic and has none of the dangers when compared to items such as Pyrethrins. It works, and is highly recommended by many, many horticulturalists.

    PS. the item in question is located under Insect Control:
    > ORGANICS > INSECT CONTROL > DYNA-GRO PURE NEEM OIL 1L
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Have a read of this article from Jim Hole of Enjoy Gardening:

    Neem Oil

    In particular...

    Also take note:

     
  13. maveriiick

    maveriiick Member

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    One article....that's it? Ok. Anyways, for anyone else who reads this forum please take what you may from my recommendation and for those of MANY others who have used this product. Some people appear to be limited by knowledge.

    Also from your article above:

    "Contained within the seeds of the neem tree is a powerful concoction of extracts called neem oil. In that oil, is a group of plant chemicals that are effective at killing or repelling over 200 species of insect pests. One of those chemicals, azadirachtin, does its dirty work by mimicking the growth regulators that insects need to molt from one phase of their life cycle to the next. When that molting process is interrupted, the insect dies. It’s a pretty ingenious defense mechanism, but not all of the chemicals in neem oil are that brutal. Some are merely repulsive, such is the case with the antifeedants.

    An antifeedant is just that—a chemical that’s unappetizing. When phytophagous insects (a fancy word for plant-eating insects) find a plant treated with neem oil, they become repulsed by the antifeedant and eagerly move on to plants more appetizing. Even more impressive, however, is that as good a job as it does repelling insect pests, neem oil is surprisingly easy on beneficial insects. The reason for its benevolence towards predaceous insects like ladybugs is likely because most good bugs don’t eat leaves. And since good bugs aren’t chewing on neem oil treated foliage, they don’t succumb to the oil’s insecticidal affects. But here’s the rub."

    Bottom line: Neem oil is a good product for indoor (and outdoor) gardening to "shine leaves" but more importantly, to protect your plants.
     
  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I don't think I ever disputed its effectiveness? What's interesting is that I tend to think the same way you do. Why isn't what seems to be an effective, safe product regulated and available to Canadians for this particular use? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that I am trying to give you advice to not put yourself - as a Canadian - in legal jeopardy.
     
  15. maveriiick

    maveriiick Member

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    Thanks for the advice, but I don't think the police are going to chase me down because I'm spraying some neem on my plants. There are bigger issues in Canadian society. LOL Anyways, thanks for your concern.
     

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