This must be covered somewhere else but haven't found it yet. Send me there if you know location. Otherwise, what do you do in prep for bringing plants in that have spent the summer outdoors? I' m mainly concerned about bugs, eg, those that are always under the pot when you pick it up? I think they mighty be called sowbugs? Not sure. But I don't want to bring ANY creatures indoors. Please help!
I fill a big bucket with warm water and dunk the whole pot into it and leave it for a few minutes. The bugs float or swim to the top. Sowbugs don't hurt anything if they would get in. Make sure to let it drain good before you take it in. It is that time, isn't it.
You can also lift the plants/root ball out when the dirt if fairly dry and check at the bottom, that is where most of the bugs hang out.
I add soap to the water for herbs and edible plants and use bug killer in the water for other plants. I change the soapy water between each plant. Then I repot each in sterile soil and soak again in soapy water changing water between each for good measure. I hate having bugs inside. In spite of these precautions, I still had problems with fungus gnats last year. This year, I am adding peat moss fines and cinnamon to the surface of each potted plant. I also put a small fan near the plants to circulate air.
I dunk all lifted bulbs in bleach/water before storage as well.
I water the indoor plants with dilute hydrogen peroxide and make them a chamomile tea solution.