Bugs in Seeds
Image by: wintersown
Should I spray my seeds with a pesticide to kill any bugs that might be there?
No, this is not advised. Pesticides, whether organic or chemical based, contain toxins which can cause allergic reactions in some people.
What is a safe way to remove bugs from seeds?
I put the seeds in a single layer on a kitchen plate and place it on my patio where the plate can lay in full sun. The direct sunlight seems to annoy any bugs and they begin to scurry off the plate almost immediately. Leave the plate in the sun for at least an hour, you can stir the seeds once or twice during this time to expose any bug that may be hiding under a seed.
This method has been extremely succesful for me, especially when working with hibiscus and hollyhock seeds which, in my organic garden, can hide some bugs.
Sometimes when you trade for seeds you may open the packet and find a few living bugs....rare, but it does happen. Typically, this is often seen with hibiscus seeds. Keep in mind that the bugs were in larval form hidden inside the seeds and that the trader would not have knowingly sent seeds with bugs in them. Bug removal is easy using the full sun and plate method described above. Many of these seeds will still germinate even though they have a needle-thin bore hole going right through the seed.