Bugs in soil before you plant

Has anyone had bugs in their soil prior to using it? I’ve been hearing certain soils are having say fungus gnats etc. If so, what can one do to kill insects…returning is one method, I’m wondering I you can pour boiling water thru soil etc. thanks for any replies

Mix in some food grade DE.and then once you plant put a small thin layer over the top of the soil

@Zombo Any soild that contains worm castings or bat guano is susceptible to bugs. I have been dealing with fungus gnats since I transplanted a month ago. I’m not sure which soil they came from as I used three different kinds of soils.

@garrigan62 is the expert when it comes to those little buggers!

Personally if you figure out a way to kill them before you pot up the soil I think that would be a better solution and please tag me if you figure something out.


If he is doing only a few plants and isn’t married, you cook the soil in the oven @ 150 degree’ for 15 min’s This will kill any thing living in that soil. I use this method works excellent and i’m not married so i can do what i want to lmao



@garrigan62 what do you do 350 for like 30 minutes?

Great idea. I’m married but I can figure out a way to do that!


She finds out it’s to the dog house for you lol
ya that’s about right 15 to 30 min’s depends on how much you cook


1 Like

yep, you are right! She babysits the grandson at least one day a week and I stay home with the dogs, lol.

I go over and hang out for a couple of hours with her later on. But that gives me time to cook my dirt!


1 Like

There ya go…just make sure it’s all cleaned up real good.


1 Like

1\4 cup of skin milk will cause the larvae to explode and not hatch but mainly most organic microbial soil has the larvae in it and if you keep your soil to moist in high humid conditions they hatch. But it’s options, light layer of river sand, D.E. food grade, nerm oil, but remember what you put in can be inhaled are consume from the fruits of the plant :seedling:. You can get a Hugh speed osccalating fan on the floor that helps also but it options everybody has they own method, garrigan62 used potatoes slices!

I use Neem oil
I use DE
I use potato skins
I use a high speed fan

Those little buggers keep coming back.

Believe me when I tell you the best method is to kill the list b@stards before you use the soil.

Sun milk works, sand works and instead of pour your water in the the top pour it in the drain pan and let the plant suck it up on its own but do one liter at a time.

@garrigan62, @bob31… Thx to all for the replies, the stove bake is never gonna fly w/ my wife, I was thinking prepare soil that I’m gonna use and the run boiling water thru it? Will this work?, also red something about garlic juice and spray it in spray bottle but that may be after any is potted

Can I just run boiling water thru soil prior to planting?

I don’t see why you can’t poor boiling water through , I’m just not sure it’ll do the trick…

And just a heads up , your house can stink for a week or longer if you bake your soil… it’s one of those smells that you almost can’t get rid of for ever… so beware… :wink:

:v: :sunglasses:

1 Like

Why river sand? would beach sand work?

Sterilization of soil or any other planting substrate is something I learned while I was doing oyster mushrooms cultivation project…
The best method is heat.
If you steam dirt for an hour, you end up with sterile substrate, the down fall of it, you kill all the beneficial organisms too…
Anyway, the process is pretty simple
Put your soil in large glass jars, place it in a pot with water on the bottom and heat it with a lid on it, add water as it evaporates …
Good luck

Hey Will, Nothing will live even if you do it at 200 F for 30 minutes…
I smoke all my meats at 170 F with short 30 minutes spike to 200 F just to kill any bacteria …
Just my 2 cents

That’s why you don’t bake it, you steam it in a jars, just like me pickling cucumbers :slight_smile:

1 Like

I can’t do stove method, that’s out… I agree, why wouldn’t boiling water kill bugs? Unless it kills good bacteria as well? But wouldn’t the stove bake kill it too… I just don’t want to open my bag of soil and start out having to combat pests and mites

1 Like

Yes any heat method will kill also the beneficial organisms too , that’s the downfall…
Trust me on this, inoculation of mushrooms is a mad science :slight_smile: