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Miriam writes

What is the safest way to get rid or minimize the amount of tiny files in my home?

I have an indoor plant that requires diffused sun exposure. I transferred it to a bigger pot, and it has gotten these tiny flies. They are black and about the size of sesame seeds. I have no food exposed near that plant, but the number of flies have increased significantly. I don't know how to get rid of them or at least control the amount to a minimum. I have an indoor cat, and i wish to solve this the safest way possible.

Answer:

The flies normally associated with potted plants will be fungus gnats, living in the soil and whose larvae feed on bits of molds and fungi they can find in damp soils. The easiest control for them is to allow the soil to dry out completely between the times you are watering them, which may actually be the best thing for the plants anyhow. The second option would be to cover the soil in these pots with some material that prevents the flies from getting to or from the soil, such as a thick layer of spagnum moss or some screening. The third option would be to use an insecticide such Talstar P. Talstar P is a concentrated liquid insecticide that is diluted with water and then poured onto the soil and sprayed onto the plant itself. We recommend starting with letting the soil dry out between watering as this offers the fastest control in most cases.

Answer last updated on: 10/04/2010

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