Bugs in Organic Soil

I went to lowes today and bought a schefflera and organic potting soil to repot the plant with. I rinsed the leaves off well with water (do I need use soap too?), as well as shook off all the old soil that came with the plant.

I potted the plant in a clean planter with fresh organic soil. This may seem like a dumb question but here it is: Is it normal for there to be bugs in the soil?

My guy had coccidia and I'm trying to play it safe. I feel like all soil is going to have little bugs crawling around in it, but it is concerning to me nonetheless. Should I rinse the leaves with peroxide and rinse thoroughly with water as well?

Thanks!

-Li
 

pgr7

Avid Member
Dawn dish soap I'd what I use on my plants,usually I take all the old soil out shake it off and wash/rinse it,then repot it in the organic soil,then cover with river stones.
Not sure about the bugs.
 
I read someone else suggest to bake the soil so anything in it dies.
I've never tried this because I haven't purchased any new plants but it makes sense.
 
Bake the soil? I've heard of people doing that for branches outside, but never for soil. I suppose putting the soil in a large brownie tray in the oven would work, but i wasn't able to find a thread regarding it when I just searched. hmm
 

xarctic

New Member
Personally I would avoid using soap or anything other than water on the plants. A good rinse and rubbing down the leaves is good. I think baking the soil is a little extreme. These are animals that evolved in the wild and are successful living in the wild. I think sometimes in captivity we get a little to worried about that :p As long as the soil isn't infested with the bugs I'm sure they're fine. Mostly we need to worry about the chemicals we put on things, not so much mother natures input. :)
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Dawn dish soap I'd what I use on my plants,usually I take all the old soil out shake it off and wash/rinse it,then repot it in the organic soil,then cover with river stones.
Not sure about the bugs.
x2

Dawn dish soap is fine to use on the leaves. It helps to dissolve residues that could harm your cham, such as pesticides and fertilizers.

I wouldn't worry about the soil, as long as it doesn't have extras in it like perlite or fertilizer balls that would be bad for a cham to eat.

Here's the cham caresheets page on plants and enclosures https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/enclosures/
 
Thanks for the advice. Baking soil does seem kind of extreme... I'll definitely rinse the leaves again with some soap to be safe. I'm on the hunt for some more branches now for the new enclosure. I made sure there were no pesticides or fertilizers in the organic soil. Thanks!
 

xarctic

New Member
I looked up safe trees that are native to where I live and cut down smaller limbs off the tree and stripped them of their leaves, cut them to size and baked them. I couldn't find any that fit what I wanted so I did it that way. Easily customized haha.
 

melble68

Established Member
I have microwaved soil before doing my re-potting process, and I've not. Here are the steps I used w/ great success of no bugs in my plants that I keep indoors. I first remove as much of the soil from the root ball as possible. Not removing all of the soil but most of it. I make up a 50/50 mixture of organic potting soil (no fertilizer) and perlite. This makes the soil drain very well. Filling the pot up about 2" from the top. I then cut weed block around the stalks covering the soil completely. Even tucking in the outside edges down in the dirt a bit. Then about an inch of play sand on top of the weed block. Finally about an inch of washed river rock to top everything off. The plants drains very well w/ the 50/50 mix. And nothing is going to lay eggs or successfully hatch in the dirt due to the combo of the weed block and the sand. Since I've been doing this, I've had zero problems w/ gnats especially.
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
Since I use the organic potting soil, I typically bake it in a pot at 350F for 30 mins to an hour before using. All soil has some stuff in it, but I have found snails and slugs hatching out of the organic stuff in particular. If it were just plants, I wouldn't worry about it, but for substrate for my bugs, I want to prevent introducing anything wild.
 
Since I use the organic potting soil, I typically bake it in a pot at 350F for 30 mins to an hour before using. All soil has some stuff in it, but I have found snails and slugs hatching out of the organic stuff in particular. If it were just plants, I wouldn't worry about it, but for substrate for my bugs, I want to prevent introducing anything wild.
I'll try this. It looks like if I want to be certain about keeping the plants safe that I should bake the soil and use this same degree of precaution. I really need to get my butt working and clean plants up as well as branches. My 1.5 yr old needs his larger cage back in working order.

Thank you all for your replies to this thread :]

-Li
 
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