So I've started up a little indoor herb garden/green house about a month and a half ago.I should preface by saying I'm relatively new to the gardening game. I've basically just used some greenhouse plastic to enclose an area under my staircase and have a humidifier in there on a switch set to keep things between 70-75% 24/7. I have 4 grow lamps that are running 14 hours a day and 2 fans that run all day to keep circulation going.

Everything I bought was purchased from a pretty reputable local nursery but in the last 2 weeks everyday I seem to find some other weird insect/creature on a different plant that aren't really that close to each other.

I'm hoping to get some verification that a) they are both aphids and should be treated the same and b) is something I'm doing causing these insects or did I just pick out some bad stuff from the nursery?

The first thing I found was this strange cocoon type thing embedded in one of my dill plants. I noticed some of the tips of the plant were turning yellowish and saw this. Haven't been able to identify it or figure out if had anything to do with the yellowing of the tips.

About a few days later I noticed that I had small green spider-like insects on one of my hot pepper plants. Sadly i didn't snap a picture of it but they matched up pretty well with my google search and after taking it outside, spraying it down with soapy water. It appears to have solved the issue and I now have it back in the green house where i monitor it very closely.

Then 2 days ago, I was looking at a sweet basil plant and I noticed it was covered with these white egg like "things" under some of the leaves. I'm not sure if these are also aphids or perhaps eggs of some type? I can't seem to find an exact match on it. I took that entire potter outside. I mixed 500ml of water, 3ml of neem oil and a few drops of soap and sprayed it down yesterday and today making sure to hit the underside of the leaves. I also just pruned off some of the really infected stuff

So my main question is are these actually aphids on my basil and if not, what are they and will my neem oil/soap/water spray solve the issue?

And more importantly, am I doing something wrong in my process that might be encouraging insects?

And lastly (sorry for such a long essay!) I've read lady bugs might help but a little hesitant to introduce them indoors? Would that be something I should look into? I want to make sure they can survive and I also want to make sure I survive by not causing an insect infestation indoors causing my wife to murder me!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Please let me know if i can clarify anything further

Dill Caterpillar sweet basil The set up

1 Answer 1


Yes, that is a caterpillar in a cocoon on your dill, best to remove it immediately and place outdoors. Dill is a favorite nursery for some interesting butterflies.

Yes, those are aphids on your basil. This raises the interesting problem of control. Whether you use neem oil or soap and water you have to ask yourself whether you want to eat something that may have traces of neem or soap. If it was me I would put all the infected plants in the compost bin and start over with seeds.

I don't recommend lady bugs for anything indoors smaller than a greenhouse. They need a regular place to eat and you have a snack. Just cut down all plants with aphids before they spread to other plants and start over.

  • oh man, i feel like thats my baby right there! thanks for the advice. is it bad to eat neem oil? I see your point though. that one basil plant might be too far gone. In general though, its not ok with just keep spraying it with clean water every month or so to remove all traces?
    – novawaly
    Jun 10, 2021 at 17:35
  • @novawaly it's all your choice. What if you went to the grocery store to buy fresh herbs and the label said may have been sprayed with neem oil? If you are fine with that then wash well after harvest.
    – kevinskio
    Jun 11, 2021 at 11:44
  • Got it and understood. I guess it seems more daunting bc of how commonly I'm finding aphids in the early going. What is causing them to be all over my plants considering I'm growing them indoors in a controlled environment?
    – novawaly
    Jun 12, 2021 at 13:27
  • @novawaly the plants you purchased from the nursery had aphid eggs, they hatched and spread and there you are... Seeds are the way to go for indoor herbs
    – kevinskio
    Jun 12, 2021 at 16:02

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