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I had many of my plants out on my porch last summer (potted avocado trees, potted miniature roses, some herbs). Unfortunately, when I brought them into the house in the Fall, I also brought in some very small flying insects which lasted months indoors. Not swarms or anything – but enough so that I want to try to avoid doing that again.

It there a way to prevent this occurring? I didn't vigorously shake the plants though they must have been shaken a bit while being moved. Is there anything more I can do?

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Vigorously shaking the plants is very unlikely to dislodge any eggs which have been laid, or even any insects present. The only precaution you can really take is to thoroughly inspect all the plants prior to bringing them into the house, looking at every stem, trunk and all leaves, both the upper and lower surfaces, as well as the leaf petioles. You may need a magnifying glass to do this - some pests are really tiny and hard to see. If you do see any, treat with neem or insecticide, depending on the issue. Any plant which is already showing signs of problems from an infestation should obviously be appropriately treated prior to bringing back inside.

Even with all this, you may find you bring some pests inside if there's anything in or on the soil of the pots. Wet soil encourages fungus gnats which thrive indoors, so don't overwater the plants once they're back in the house.

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