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I just returned from visiting a local HydroPonics store in Boise Idaho and the person there

said some things that really concerned me.  He shared with me that he got little gnats and

what looked like spider mites in his plants and media and had to throw everything out and

start over.  Has anyone else experienced anything like this?   The last thing I want is to grow

my organic food and then have it get infested with bugs.  Is there anything that will naturally kill

bugs if this happens?

Thanks,

John

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Hey John,

We have a small greenhouse and pest control is a constant battle. There are several beneficials that you can use to control the population. Hypoaspis Miles (H. Miles) are a good for combating fungal gnats, ladybugs are voracious and indiscriminate killers of almost everything. Lacewings, Encarsia Formosa are good against whiteflies and aphids. As far as sprays, there are several organic options. Liquid Ladybug is a great spray for spider mites, insecticidal soaps are a good all around spray for several pests and plain old H2O works too. All of these things are organic and will not harm you fish or your plants when used properly.

Thanks,

Matt 

Hi Matt,

Are these things you suggested ok for indoors as well?  How is the odor?

Thanks,

John



Matt Freshour said:

Hey John,

We have a small greenhouse and pest control is a constant battle. There are several beneficials that you can use to control the population. Hypoaspis Miles (H. Miles) are a good for combating fungal gnats, ladybugs are voracious and indiscriminate killers of almost everything. Lacewings, Encarsia Formosa are good against whiteflies and aphids. As far as sprays, there are several organic options. Liquid Ladybug is a great spray for spider mites, insecticidal soaps are a good all around spray for several pests and plain old H2O works too. All of these things are organic and will not harm you fish or your plants when used properly.

Thanks,

Matt 

Hey John,

Sorry, I thought you were talking about a greenhouse, probably should have asked before I started prattling on. As far as the sprays, Liquid Ladybug has a pepperminty smell, the insecticidal soaps don't reallly have a discernible smell to me. CX Hydroponics has a product called "Spotless Concentrate" that smells like grapefruit.

I've used all of them as foliar sprays in our aquaponics system with no adverse effects. I've attached a link to a Colorado State University Extension paper on Managing Houseplant Pests that goes into some great detail on identifying and managing unwanted pests.  http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05595.html. Good luck let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,

Matt

Lol, sounds like my story to the letter. I'm currently dealing with what I thought was spidermite (turned out to be thrips, which are tiny flies whose larva love to eat up your leaves). What you want to do is research IPM (integrated pest management). This involves bringing in beneficial bugs to balance out potential threats to your setup. (Depending on how big your setup is) Since it is indoors (mine is in my garage), you will probably feel the most comfortable with different species of predatory mites, as they are really small and shouldn't really "bug" you :) Other than that, I'm going to experiment with spinosad, which is a organic insecticide made from certain kinds of bacteria waste. Should be coming in a couple of days; I'll let you know how it works out.

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