How to get rid of bugs in Succulent soil?


I am new to the world of succulents and am really enjoying the ones I planted and watching some cuttings my sister gave me start to grow but the soil I bought for them is full of tiny bug, so many that I can easily see them swarming on the soil surface and they move to other plants too. I am pretty sure this soil is where they originated as I have never had this problem in all my years of growing house plants. Is there a way to get rid of the bugs or do I need to buy new soil and transplant the succulents and if so how hard is it to transplant them? Thanks!!

  4 answers
  • Em Em on Aug 16, 2018

    Sounds like fungus gnats. If they are as bad as you say, yes take the plant outside wash off the dirt and replant. They lay eggs that eat the roots and will migrate to all of your other plants. They thrive on damp soil and succulents should not have wet soil anyway. They require less soil than normal plants. They sell sticky traps for them to be placed by plants. If you allow your plants to dry as much as possible between watering for a while this will keep them from laying more eggs. Some say to water with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide for a few waterings. Google fungus gnats for numerous solutions.

    • Alice Alice on Aug 16, 2018

      Thank you so much!! The little buggers have indeed migrated to many of my other plants, they see to be everywhere.  I have only watered them once since planting them many weeks or even closer to over a month and a half, when the soil seemed dry but we have had a lot of serious humidity, enough so that mushrooms are also growing in the succulent pot so I guess that is the problem, to moist. I have to stop at Home Depot today so will look for the sticky traps, I think I need them near many of my plants!

      Thanks again for your helpful response.

  • They are probably fungus gnats. They like to lay their eggs on the damp soil. Let it dry out and that should take care of the problem. If not, I'd replace the soil.

    • Alice Alice on Aug 16, 2018

      Thank you very much, this is what others said too. I'd never heard of fungus gnats before. I kind of hate to replant them as some of the cuttings from my sister are tiny yet, just starting to root, I fear replanting them would hurt or maybe even kill them so I am going to leave them outside to dry out and look for the sticky traps that Em told me about in her reply. Thanks again!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 16, 2018

    diatomaceous earth will probably do the trick. It will have to be reapplied if it washes away but is still effective once it dries,if it gets wet. It is safe for animals so you don't have to be concerned with pets or even small children.

  • Em Em on Aug 16, 2018

    Diatamaceous earth is more for things like slugs and insects that crawl thru it. It is not going to do any good for fungus gnats as the larvae is down in the soil about 1/4 of an inch and too small to be affected by the earth.

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