Indoor grow advice on pest control

First time grower, using soil. Everything was great until about the third week of flower. I didn’t recognize that I had aphids which quickly grew into an infestation. Having no other choice, I used insecticidal soap and sprayed the plants.

My question concerns future grows. After this harvest, I will decontaminate and try again. I would like to know what experienced, indoor, soil growers do for pest control. I was thinking pest control wouldn’t be necessary with a tent in my basement. I learned the hard way, I was wrong. I had hoped to not have to use pesticides during flower, but it seems that pesticides are just as necessary as water and nutrients. Any advice is appreciated.

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One thing you can do in the future is use yellow sticky traps. They catch whiteflies, fungus gnats, and aphids. You can even make your own with a product called Tanglefoot (caution: it is very sticky stuff, handle with care). I do have a question though, how do you think aphids got into your basement and eventually into your grow tent? Did they somehow come in with your grow containers or any other plant material? You have to be very careful what you bring in with you into your grow environment (I’m not saying you weren’t, just wondering). Also, what are the environmental conditions in your basement, humidity, temperature, air flow mechanisms, etc.?

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I use DE Earth most of the time…
If I need anything else I use Azamax…
It works very well…

Hi, thanks for your reply.

The garden center I went to was unaware of sticky traps. I had hoped that something like fly paper would work, but was told it wouldn’t. Being my first grow, I bought 5 gallon smart pots and bought happy frog soil, so I don’t think that was the path of infestation. I did not start the plants in the tent. For the first 3 weeks, I took advantage of the great outdoors and sun. I only brought them in when they were recognizable for what they are. I suppose aphids could have been brought in then, but I had no issues for the next 7 weeks. It wasn’t until the second week of flower that I noticed a bug flying around. If the aphids came in with the plants, why did I have no issues until 2 weeks into flower (rhetorical question). I suppose they could have been introduced by an open door, or coming in on clothing. It’s not like the house is pest free. Spiders, Asian lady bugs, stink bugs and the occasional hornet have been inside. I don’t use whole house ac, I like having windows open (screens of course).

The tent is 3x3, about 63 cubic feet. I use a fan and filter capable of moving 440 cfm, running 24/7. There is a dehumidifier on the opposite end of the basement. Temp varies from 68 - 72 F.

I had hoped that growing indoors would be easy and pest free. I learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

And there you have it. You just revealed the source of your problem.

Aphids are not that noticeable until you realize they’ve suddenly taken over. They live under the leaves, unknown to you, propagating, until one day they’re everywhere. Start your plants indoors and keep them there. Never introduce the outside world into your indoor grow. Why? Because when you grow cannabis indoors it’s the quintessential mono crop. No other plants are there and when bad bugs find them they feast on the only thing that’s there (your plants) with no good predators to take them out – ladybugs, green lacewings, among many others.

It is great to grow outdoors. But not outdoors then moved indoors (in most circumstances). It’s probably best to keep the two separate sometimes, as you’ve learned.

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@howill nailed it… :wink:

Clean ,clean, clean and don’t repeat… :wink:


I completely wash down tent after each grow with a bleach solution. Under the bottom of insert i dust with de. I mix de in my soil after baking & apply light layer onto soil. I use the yellow pests strips & if i do get bugs i go to dr earth all natural insecticide. Knock on wood no bugs yet.

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How did they get in? Simple, the basement will have some sort of ventilation to outside and you cannot block that off or damp takes over.

You can put fly screens over the vent holes though.

And it’s not uncommon for eggs to be in various composts, etc, some say it’s a sign of healthy dirt as the critters wouldn’t be there otherwise, some say it’s a sign of cheap and nasty stuff, but the reality is that no compost/soil is truly immune from pest eggs, fungal spores, etc.

An obvious solution for the future is introducing ladybugs or some other “friendly” insect predator as they’ll happily eat all the nasty bugs.

Edit: Just noticed the “outside to inside” bit. Says everything. A harsh lesson but one which is easy to avoid in the future

I intend to do a sterilization after harvest. How long do you bake the soil and at what temperature?

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I’m thinking that if an outtake fan is pulling air through a carbon filter then through duct work to the outside, that’s a tough path for some bugs to traverse. Then if you add screen and one of those clothes drier flaps where the vent faces the outside, that’s a little more protection. But bugs are tenacious, if there’s a way in that’s easy to travel, they’ll get in there. Your soil point is valid but if someone is using bagged soil the best thing to do would bring it into the grow area and keep it there if possible. If it needs to be stored it in a shed or outside, keep the bag as tightly closed as possible. Still, ‘living’ soil is a good thing even if that means sometimes introducing more ‘life’ in your grow room than intended.

I grow in a small house closet with an outlet fan in the ceiling, exiting air into my attic. The medium I use is coco coir. (I did have a minor issue with fungus gnats but they haven’t been around the past couple of grows.) Over the cutout that goes into my attic is a bucket with the bottom cut out. I secured window screen over that to prevent bugs form coming in through the outtake fan when is off. Technically, aphids and other small bugs could come through my attic vent screens and maybe make it down through my outtake fan. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet (knock on wood). Besides, my chile pepper plants outside are a prime, available target for aphids. Insecticidal soap takes care of that, thankfully.

180° for 30 minutes.
Happy Growing
I also am growing gg#4 next grow as soon as bannana kush, la confidential & skywalker are done.

As you are a first time grower, there are many things that will come your way and try to damage your growing. You should check your plants regularly so that if the infestation is about to start, you can stop it there or if you are finding it difficult to handle or you are having some queries and need an expert advice. You can take it from [ They can better about the strategies of how to grow without worrying about pests.

My biggest issue is with the platinum mix pack I ordered. The purple haze seeds were all duds. They did not sprout. I’m curious if anyone else has had trouble germinating PH.