Can someone post a recipe for a (preferably organic) drench to pour
through the pots of houseplants that have been outside all summer, to
prevent bringing wildlife into the house?
Would it also be suitable for spraying on the leaves for the same
Thanks. vince norris
For anything living in the leaves, use a strong, fine spray from your garden
hose, being sure to spray from all angles as well as underneath. For
critters living in the soil, soak with a pyrethrin-based product, wait a
day, then flush with fresh water. I can't give you a specific brand name
because I don't do this because I don't use anything like that. Read the
label very carefully - IIRC, pyrethrin will kill fish and/or bees, so watch
where the stuff drains.
One hazard in soaking the soil is that there won't be enough light indoors
for the soil to dry. A plant that'll survive a soaking outdoors may suffer
from the extra moisture indoors.
I love the logic that, organic = good and chemicals = bad. It's people like
you that can be convinced that dihydrogen monoxide is too dangerous to be
allowed in our food.
There are plenty of things in nature that are incredibly toxic to humans and
the world. Hemlock, snake venom, nicotine, mercury, lead. to name a few.
What could possibly be on a potted plant and it's soil that would be so bad?
A few fungus gnats in the soil? aphids? mealy bugs?
It's not like you're going to accidentally transport a rodent or something
hiding in the pot. Visually inspect the pot, see what's on it, treat
I'm as aware of that as you are; don't be so quick to jump to
conclusions. One toxic substance you failed to mention is bitchy
As long as we're being critical, learn to punctuate properly.
I'd rather not bring them in the house.
"Organic" was my shorthand for something like a liquid made by
steeping garlic or hot peppers in "dihydrogen monoxide" that would
persuade insects to find a home elsewhere, and would not emit noxious
fumes when brought into the house.
To eliminate unseen stuff in the soil, you'd want to pour a garlic or pepper
solution through the soil. You might be surprised at how nasty that stuff
can smell a week later when it's failed to dry. I made some of this and put
it in a sprayer back in April. A month later, it had spoiled, and smelled
atrocious. I was afraid to use it on leafy greens for fear it wouldn't wash
Don't sweat it; you're not likely to bring anything bad into the house.
If they are OK outside, they'll be OK inside. We bring our
semi-torpicals in from outside every fall, and haven't had any serious
problems - well, maybe fruit flies are serious, my wife ceratinly thinks
so, but I don't. Besides, they usually come in with the bananas. :-)
Bring the pots in, and watch for insect infestation. Treat accordingly
(NB that pyrethrum is bad stuff, and the artificial pesticides made from
it or mimicking its chemistry are about the same.)
How do you get rid of the GIANT spiders who have set up housekeeping in and
around the plant? In Indiana I've actually seen spiders you could put a
saddle on and I don't want them in my house. They don't have to *DIE*, they
just need to move. Do you tack an eviction notice to the pot and wait 30
They give me the willies. I'd rather not go within 20' of them.
BTW, in reply to a previous post, the spiders here laugh at a hose and
sprayer. LAUGH, I tell you. They just hunker down and wait. Then they
come back out and eat one of your cats just to teach you a lesson.
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