Indoor Pests attacking me!

I am growing indoor with a homemade organic soil mix. I have had two previous grows before this one with just a few thrips. This last grow however, I have some type of new pest that is like a chigger or “no see’um’s”
These bite ME and they fly. I’m embarrassed because my neck and arms look like I’ve got chicken pox, but it is from these darn bugs.

Right now I’ve been using Neem oil to repel them because I don’t want to use anything toxic on or around my plants. Again this is an indoor grown in two tents. A 4 x4 and a 3x3 both are contaminated. I’ve also been using fly paper and water bowels (where they drown). Any ideas on what they are or safe ways to kill them? My skin really appreciates any help!

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@kanashiihawk did you manage to see the color and size of the insect?

It sounds like maybe you got some sand flies and those jerks love to bite.

Two organic methods I know to keep them away is to use lavender and eucalyptus oils. Just spray a bit on your pots and on your tent but not on the plants or soil. It will help repel them.

Next step is to put some food grade diatomaceous earth down on your soil in your pots. It will kill them but it might take a few treatments to get rid of them entirely.

Some plants that help keep them away too are lavender (or any plant high in linalool) or citrus fruits or other herbs high in d-limonene.

Some cannabis varieties will also help keep them away like that Lavender strain you have or a potent lemon strain.

Hope this helps you and sorry about the sand flies. I hate them so much. It sucks when the bites turn into dermatitis too. I’d get some lotion on hand as well to treat yourself until you get rid of the nasty buggers. Happy growing my friend. :v::call_me_hand::metal:


I second the diatomaceous earth, I used to add it to my soil mixes and layer it on top of the soil, I also mixed neem cake in my soil mix and added some to the top of my planters, all neem is NOT the same, make sure your using quality neem… good luck my friend… happy growing

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@kanashiihawk be sure if you use neem cake to lime your soil after. It’s very acidic. It’s a great amendment and repels and kills pests but it can throw your PH out of whack.

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Hi ya:
I am fairly sure it is a combination of either these guys (Fungus Gnats) or @MDBuds, guess “Sand Fleas”.

The bugs act exactly as the fungus gnats however attack me like sand fleas! Funny about mentioning the Lavender oil, normally I use essential lavender oil (on my skin) nearly daily and have been out for about 3 weeks! Some of the bugs look exactly like the Fungus gnat and others look slightly “like” a variety of some kind of flying biting sand/dirt gnat.

The plants (for now) are fine, Whew! Thankfully the adults seem to die very quickly and after this grow we will be very carefully cleaning both grow houses. In the meantime, I’ve been using (on ME, lol) some cannabis oil mixed with lavender oil to help the itchy bites (and the oil does indeed help). I will also get the diatomaceous earth, and I now see what I have to do to keep the top soil “dry” and protected and that will solve my problems.

Thanks again everyone! At least it wasn’t anything serious for the “girls” LOL! I can heal! ha-ha! Like Gollum says the girls are “My Precious!” :love_you_gesture: :peace_symbol: :seedling:

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@kanashiihawk sounds like maybe you have both fungus gnats and sand flies then. Fungus gnats don’t bite humans but sand flies do and are similar in appearance until you get a close look.

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Thanks again! Picked up some diatomaceous earth today, I guess I now discovered one of the “negatives” when mixing your own soil, be it organic or whatnot with indoor growing…Possible pest infestation! Ugh! The Fungus mites are a pain but luckily the plants are thriving and showing no damage (but still mixing in the Dia.Earth and some diluted essential lavender oil.) After using Lavender oil/spray on ME they have finally left me alone. Yeah!
Peace :peace_symbol: :love_you_gesture:


Just wanted to confirm what @MDBuds said…I checked a few of the dried husks and indeed there are sand flies mixed in with the fungus gnats as well.! Sneaky little buggers! Ah well, all is back on track in the grow room now. Once this final crop is done everything will be taken down, thoroughly cleaned/sanitized and allowed to stay “fallow” for a month to make sure all is well. :slight_smile: Be well all! :peace_symbol: