Bugs in my indoor tomato starts

Asked April 27, 2020, 7:08 PM EDT

Hello! I have a bunch of seedlings I started inside, and little tiny gnat-like bugs are flying around them and in the soil. Any idea what they could be? I noticed my potted citrus trees have the same thing (which yields scale though I'm not sure if that's related to the flying insects in the soil). So far the seedlings don't seem affected (besides the squash damping off bc over irrigated). Thank you very much for your services.

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for the images.

The history you provided indicates that the growing media for the seedlings and citrus is too wet, encouraging populations of fungus gnats. The gnats are a nuisance but, their larvae are in the growing media nibbling on roots. Not a good thing.

The scale on the citrus trees are not associated with the flying gnats. But the wet potting mix can be a problem for citrus if it's wet for too long. The reason: Citrus must have well-drained soil.

As for the squash, consider waiting to direct-seed in the garden after the soil is consistently warm.

"Growing Your Own" is an overview about growing vegetables. A helpful planting chart is on page 7; you're in Region 2. (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9027)

Thank you very much for this response! That all makes sense. Take care.