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How To Kill Fungus Gnats

Sticky Traps Controls Adults Very Effectively

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats!

Make your own sticky trap by smearing Vaseline or Tanglefoot on a 4×6 piece of bright yellow cardstock, and place the card horizontally just above the surface of your potting media, where it will catch the adults as they leap from the soil. Set another trap vertically to catch incoming gnats, whiteflies, thrips, and more.

I often lay these traps on the edges of pots, or make little holders out of old, bent forks to hold them horizontally or vertically, as needed. Where to find pre-made yellow sticky traps and holders online.

Cn Fhad A Thgann S Fil Ridh Leis An Bhfungas Mosquito

Cuir deireadh le inmhíolú mosquito go buan agus an modh seo a leanas á úsáid agat: gaistí gliú a shuiteáil, an ithir a thorthú le gaineamh, agus néimeatóidí sáithithe gach 10 go 14 lá go dtí go réitítear an fhadhb. Chomh maith leis sin, stad ar phlandaí a uisce agus bain foinsí taise gan ghá. Sin é.

When Do Fungus Gnats Appear

Fungus gnats can propagate year-round when given the right conditions thats the warm, nutrient-rich compost that you keep your indoor plants in! With the ability to lay hundreds of eggs, they can quickly keep coming back even if you think youve killed several of the flies themselves. The question about when they appear and whether fungus gnats will disappear naturally is essentially down to the conditions you create.

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How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats In Houseplants

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If you’re annoyed by tiny flying insects that seem to appear every time you water your houseplants, you’re probably dealing with gnatsmore specifically, fungus gnats. These pests are attracted to the damp soil of potted houseplants. They need the moist soil as a haven to lay their eggs, and the organic matter in the soil feeds their larvae. Besides being annoying, this feeding behavior can damage your plants.

Although they look a lot like tiny mosquitoes, fungus gnats are small flies of the Orfelia and Bradysia species. They can be identified by their narrow legs, light gray or clear wings, and segmented antennae that are larger than their heads. These are fairly tiny insects. The adults grow to about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long.

The good news is that fungus gnats do not bite people or pets. The adult gnats dont do much damage to plants, either rather, its the larvae that will munch on your plant’s tiny feeder roots, limiting the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and stunting its growth. This is more of a problem in nurseries, where susceptible young seedlings are grown in damp conditions. While you may not be growing your plants in a nursery or greenhouse setting, with a large enough population, they can pose a threat to common houseplants, too. If you notice these gnats flitting about and your plants seem to wilt for no reason, it could be root damage being caused by the feeding larvae.

Use Neem Oil To Get Rid Of Gnats

How To Manage Fungus Gnats Indoors

Neem oil is an excellent gnat repellant with a bonus of also killing aphids. When gnats and fruit flies ingest a substance that contains neem oil, it works to disrupt their ability to lay eggs, as well as the development of gnat larvae.

This natural neem oil, pest control method is safe enough to use around plants but strong enough to eliminate and destroy the gnat larvae that are killing your plants.

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Combine the neem oil and Castile soap and pour it into the spray bottle. Fill the container with the water, replace the top, and shake to mix the ingredients.

Liberally spray around the roots of the plants infested by fungus gnats. This will help to kill off the gnat larvae and the eggs that are under the top layer of soil. To repel the adult gnats and fruit flies, liberally spray the leaves to keep them from destroying the plants.

This neem oil spray is also extremely effective against mosquitoes and will kill spiders too.

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Soil Drench To Kill Fungus Gnats

A soil drench is a chemical pesticide that saturates the soil and kills pathogens and insects like the fungus gnat. Bacillus thuringiensis are a naturally occurring soil bacterium, and according to the Colorado State University Extension, it is the only microbial insecticide that is available for everyday use .

Different strains of the microbial insecticide kill different insect species. To kill fungus gnats, you need to use bacillus variance israelensis , also called H-14 strain.

When you apply a Bti soil drench to your plants, it saturates the soil, harmlessly coating the roots of the plant while providing a toxic snack for the fungus gnat larvae.

Most Effective Method To Kill Gnats:

Combining sticky traps, potato cuts and Bacillus Thuringiensis products will work well. We find this to be the most effective way to kill gnats off entirely.

The recommended method for using Mosquito bits:

  • Soak 4 Tablespoons of the bits in one gallon of water for an hour. Strain out the bits and drench your plants. Repeat every three days or so until all the gnats are gone.
  • BTi products require you to drench the plant in several doses to kill the gnat larvae as more emerge.

Adding the sticky traps and cut potatoes in pots at the soil line will help manage the gnat adults and larvae but will not eradicate them entirely.

However, They are a good partner to BTi. They help you monitor the plants gnats population, kill some and stay ahead of them over time. Read more about these methods in our management section below.

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Allow The Potting Soil To Dry Out To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats

As fungus gnats are attracted to damp environments, it is important to ensure that your house plants potting medium is not always wet or damp. It is tempting to water house plants frequently, but you might not be doing your plants any favors if your watering frequency is attracting insects.

If your plants are constantly watered, the environment becomes prime real estate for mold and algae to grow. And by now you already know that mold and algae are two things fungus gnats love.

Before you water your house plants, feel the surface layer of the plant. If it is wet or damp, do not water. If it is dry, you can water. Female fungus gnats specifically seek out soil that is consistently wet. Drying soil deters eggs from hatching into larvae.

Giving your indoor plants the right amount of water is the most important thing you can do to keep your houseplants healthy. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but its a skill that you need to develop. Ive written several articles to help you get this right. Read about ways to tell when to water your houseplants and how often to water your houseplants for more information

Controlling Fungus Gnats In The Home

How to Kill Fungus Gnats in the Grow Room

The best option for the home gardener is to control watering. Keep plants drier and you will eliminated most issues with fungus gnats. Be aware that it will take weeks to clear up a problem with any method you use, so dont give up on it.

A second option is Bti. It is effective if placed in each pot and its readily available. It is not a quick fix since it only kills the larvae.

Nematodes do work but are tricky to use and not easily available to home gardeners. The other options listed above either do not work, or there is no scientific evidence to support them.

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When Fungus Gnats Strike

Youre most likely to get fungus gnat problems around the fall. As the weather cools, they seek out warmer temperatures, and your house or greenhouse are prime locations. Once they get to your soil and start laying eggs, they can damage or destroy your plants rapidly.

If you have plant problems and suspect it might be the work of fungus gnats, be on the lookout for yellow leaves that otherwise appear normal, or extremely slow growth. Both are symptoms of fungus gnat larvae in the soil.

If you spot either of these symptoms, or see adult flies buzzing around your garden, you need to react immediately.

Treat all your plants, not just the ones closest to the flies! Its very hard to know if larvae are on plants that look alright, so you should cover your bases and treat everything. Its better to be safe than sorry.

Plants recovering from fungus gnat problems still face the risk of disease problems. Fungus gnat larvae can spread fungus spores that are dropped by adult gnats to your plants roots, possibly causing a number of common plant diseases.

As a precaution, treat any affected plants and those in the area with fungicide a day or two after pesticide application. This ensures that if your plants did have contact with potentially dangerous disease spores, they shouldnt contract the disease.

A root drench is more effective than spraying the plants foliage, as thats where damage would be done.

Life Cycle Of Fungus Gnat

Fungus gnat life cycle has four stages -egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The majority of its life is spent in the larvae and pupa stages. In 17 days, the eggs are laid in the growing medium, and the adults emerge ready to lay more eggs. Fungus gnats can reproduce multiple times throughout the course of one year. The vast number of these destructive garden pests produce and reproduce if left uncontrolled. Their innumerable and destructive capabilities to plants are irreparable.

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Essential Oils To Kill Fungus Gnats

Essential oils have long been used to repeal all kinds of insects, including fungus gnats effectively. At the first sign of a gnat infestation, you can add one of the essential oils that has proven to be effective against fungus gnats to your diffuser.

If you want to keep them away while you are outside working in your garden, you can apply a small amount of the recommended essential oils to your skin. Before you do this, however, make sure that you test for allergies by using a small amount to your forearm or wrist.

Will Soapy Water Kill Fungus Gnats

Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants Soil

Soapy water will drown and kill fungus gnats provided that you make the proper solution.

The ratio can be tricky, but once you find the right one, you can use the soapy water to kill the pests upon contact.

Dish soap has always been an effective and easy home remedy for not only fungus gnats, but also dog food pests, acer pests, Christmas tree bugs, and even snails.

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Store Unused Potting Soil In A Sealed Container

Open potting soil bags can also be a breeding ground for fungus gnats, so make sure you keep that in mind when storing unused soil.

I store all of my potting soil in buckets that have a tight fitting lid rather than in the bag it comes in. Fungus gnats cant survive without oxygen.

If you dont have an air-tight container you can use for storing plant potting soil, I recommend Gamma seal lids. They work with any standard five gallon bucket.

Does Potting Soil Have Bugs

Microscopic bugs and bacteria are nearly present in virtually all bags of potting soil.

As for visible pests, like fungus gnats, Mandevilla larvae, and those tiny whiteflies, this is hit-or-miss.

Depending on how carefully protected the soil was during its journey from harvest, production, transport, storage, and retail, there may be bugs present. Most leading brands have good production chains and are pest-free.

However, bugs can still find their way into a bag of soil during any part of the production to the consumer cycle. This makes it hard to answer this question.

But if you go for a leading brand from reputable hardware or nursery, you probably dont have to worry about anything because you can just return it for a refund or exchange.

Avoid buying cheap, discounted, or marked down soils that youve never heard of. They could be the remnants of good soil that are being sold as a discounted brand or all the less desirable portioned trimmings that would otherwise be discarded.

Even the top brands such as Miracle Grow, Scotts, and Fox Farms, Ace, Dr. Earth, Black Gold, Happy Frog, and Earthgro may have bugs.

There are reports from people online in gardening forums that complain if you look hard enough. No soil is completely bug-free unless its sterilized.

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Organic Fungus Gnat Control

Interestingly enough, a common household item is one of the top recommendations that I have for controlling these pests. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a soil drench.

Mix one part peroxide with four parts water, and pour it through the soil at the root zone until it begins to come out of the base of the pot. The peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on contact.

Neem oil is also an effective soil drench to combat fungus gnat larvae. Dilute the oil with water per manufacturers directions and directly drench the soil at the roots of the plant. You can also spray the upper portion of the plant to keep adult gnats at bay.

AzaMax is a higher-strength concentration of the azadirachtin which naturally occurs in neem oil. Its safe in hydroponics use as well as in greenhouses, gardens, and indoors. Use it per manufacturers directions in the same way you would use neem oil.

Pyrethrin sprays are also effective against fungus gnats and their larvae. I recommend Garden Safe Houseplant & Garden Insect Killer.

To use pyrethrins, lightly mist all plant surfaces and the top of the soil. You dont want the plants dripping wet, a thin mist will be enough.

If theres fungus gnat larvae in the soil, spray the soil directly to thoroughly moisten the top, then avoid watering until the soil has dried to at least a 2 depth.

The Damage They Cause

9 EASY Solutions For Fungus Gnats! | How To Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants!

In most cases, especially indoors, fungus gnats are harmless. They’re extremely annoying but won’t harm you or your plants in normal numbers. If you allow them to thrive inside to grow a large enough colony to harm your plants, you’ve got bigger problems than gnats.

In extremely large numbers, the fungus gnat larvae can eat enough of the roots of your plants to cause significant stress and hurt their ability to thrive and grow. This is particularly important if you’re dealing with seedlings, cuttings, and young plants.

They also carry a pathogen caused by fungi that they like, such as Phtophtora and Pythium.

When spread to your plants, this causes a condition called “damping-off,” which causes a thinner, constricted stem that causes the plant to be too top-heavy. It will fall over eventually and die. Please note that damping-off can’t be cured, only prevented.

Compost and peat moss as a potting mix is particularly easy to be affected by the damping-off fungus, so consider moving to a perlite or vermiculite mix instead.

Plants that are more easily harmed by fungus gnats are spider plants, wandering jew, geraniums, african violets, and peace lilies, so take extra care if you’re growing these. You’ll know there’s a problem if you start seeing poor growth, yellowing, and sudden wilting.

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Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Controls Larvae And Adults

Food grade diatomaceous earth is highly effective treatment to get rid of fungus gnats. Diatomaceous earth is mineralized fossil dust that is both natural and non-toxic to the environment. Make sure you get food grade diatomaceous earthnot pool grade, which is not pure enough for use around food gardens and pets.

Always wear a simple dust mask when working with DE: Inhaling any kind of dust is never a good idea.

DE contains microscopic shards of silica that physically shred any insect that walks through them, therefore it will not work in hydroponic gardens. But if you mix some into the top layer of infested soilor better yet, into your potting mix before plantingit will kill any gnat larvae that come in contact with it, as if they were crawling through crushed glass.

DE works the same way to kill fleas, bedbugs, slugs and other insects too, so dont use DE to control fungus gnats in your compost bins. Where to find food grade diatomaceous earth online.

Getting Rid Of Fungus Gnats Is Easy

The hardest part about getting an infestation of fungus gnats is learning to deal with them. Getting rid of them and preventing them is pretty simple, so the whole thing becomes quite the relief.

You just have to go through the process, which is a piece of cake. And then you’ll have supplies on hand for next time.

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How To Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats On A House Plant

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The presence of fungus gnats, or fruit flies, hovering in and near your houseplant is annoying. Adults are harmless to houseplants unlike their larvae, which can cause severe root system damage. Often drawn by unrefrigerated ripening fruit or even beer and fruit juice containers stored in recycle bins, these tiny flies seek the intoxicating essence of fermentation and are also attracted by damp areas such as household drains. Fungus gnats are particularly fond of depositing young in moist potting soil to feed upon fungi and decaying plant matter. However, instead of throwing the plant out, you can get rid of pesky fungus gnats using household vinegar.

  • Pour one-quarter to one-half inch of apple cider vinegar into a clear or semi-opaque plastic cup, creating an effective fungus gnat trap. Add a drop or two of liquid dish soap and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover the top of the cup with transparent tape, leaving a one-eighth-inch opening in the center of the taped area.

  • Place the vinegar trap near your houseplant and check it daily. Dont disturb it if you see gnats congregating on top of the taped area theyll soon find their way into the hole and down to the vinegar.

  • Set up some yellow sticky traps around your houseplant to attract hovering adults to the area.

  • Remove debris and dead plant material from the soil surface daily to eliminate an adult fungus gnat attractant and larval food source.

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