OOGY!! Fruit Flies in Packaged Potting Soil!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Pony, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ARGH! I'm sooooooo skeeved out!

    Bought a big ol' bag of potting soil at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago, and brought it to The Plant Room to warm up. Just got to it last night, and when I opened it, there was a teaming swarm of fruit flies. Ugh!

    DH brought the bag outside and put it on the patio into the cold.

    Question:
    Will below freezing temps (low 20's) kill off fruit fly larvae? Should I return the bag to Home Depot? Bake the soil (icky smell, but if it works...)?

    Thanks for all answers and input,

    Pony!
     
  2. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Hey, they are smart enough to hide when a flyswatter comes out!
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    They are prob fungus gnats, not fruit flies and freezing will not kill them. Heat will. You need to kill the eggs in the soil too.
     
  4. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm sure that freezing will kill fungus gnats, their larvae, and their eggs. So will drying out, but it needs to be done *completely* and the eggs may survive, anyway. So I'd vot for letting the whole bag freeze solid and stay that way for at least a couple of days.

    I'd also complain to Home Depot, especially if the bag says the contents are supposed to be sterile, or at least uncontaminated!
     
  5. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Why not just take it back to the store, then buy elsewhere?!

    Sterile potting soil should have been treated in such a way as to kill an larvae/eggs/etc. It's possible it was contaminated during shipping and handling.

    That should not be your problem!
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Nope, freezing won't kill em. Would have made my life easier couple years ago! They bounced right back after freezing.
     
  7. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I was too darned lazy to drive back over to Home Depot, and so I let it freeze for a couple of nights and brought it in because I was too darned anxious to wait to get my seeds started. (Hey! It's only 10 more weeks til the last frost day!)

    So far, there is no swarm. I'll let you know what happens. Unless you hear it first on the 10 o'clock news: "Midwestern Gardener Attacked by Swarm of Fruit/Fungus/Icky-Skeevy Flies! Film at 10!"


    Pony!