Fungus gnats are a common pest found on plants grown indoors. Especially places where moisture and humidity are quite high. Usually, you first notice them flying around house plants. But fungus gnats are more of a nuisance than a threat. These pests in their larval stage damage plants by feed on the young roots.
We will tell you how you can identify and get rid of fungus gnats forever.
What are Fungus Gnats?
Fungus gnats are a nuisance more than anything. They are tiny, slow-flying insects that hover just over the surface of the potting soil. Adults lay their eggs in the soil, and the hatched larvae feed on decaying plant roots.
Experts disagree about whether the gnats will damage five roots on mature plants. If the gnats are present in large numbers, they will damage the live roots of seedlings.
Symptoms of Fungus Gnats
Seedlings were grown in soil with added organic matter wilt.
Signs They’re There
You’ll see the adult fungus gnats flying just above the surface of the soil.
Susceptible plants Fungus gnats like organic matter such as peat moss and peat-based potting soils.
The following plants are particularly susceptible to infestation:
- African violets (Saintpaulia)
How to get rid of Fungus Gnats
One method of getting rid of fungus gnats is to try to keep the soil a little drier than you have been. Other solutions to try: • Commercial soil drenches • Two Soil Drenches for Fungus Gnats • Homemade Sticky Traps used at the base of the plants.
Two Soil Drenches for Fungus Gnats and Homemade Sticky Traps are homemade options that can help you to get rid of fungus gnats. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Two Soil Drenches for Fungus Gnats
The larvae of the fungus gnat feed on the plant roots and crowns of African violets. This remedy is often given by African violet enthusiasts as a sure cure for their ailing plants.
Application: Greenhouse or garden room.
Using: Soil drenching.
Repeat treatment: Once a month, until you no longer have the problem.
Ingredients for a drench#1: 1-quart warm water, 2 tablespoons commercial insecticidal soap.
Ingredients for drench #2: I-quart warm water, I teaspoon liquid household bleach.
Procedure for both Drenches
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Drench soil of your affected plants. Do not wet the foliage.
- Because the plant was watered with the remedy, don’t water again until it needs it.
Homemade Sticky Traps
Do sticky traps work on whiteflies and other insects? Greenhouse enthusiasts tell me they work only too well—they catch beneficial insects and pests. If you intend to use sticky traps in your plant room, don’t let looks bother you. You can easily tuck them in and around the pots or hang them out of the line of vision. Whiteflies are attracted to the color yellow and will be drawn to your traps.
Warning: Don’t use these traps if you release ladybugs, lacewings, crasher beneficial insects in your greenhouse. These inexpensive traps will catch aphids and whiteflies in both the greenhouse and plant room.
For use in the greenhouse: Make several traps. Drill a small hole at the top and use fishing line to hang them throughout the greenhouse. Check the traps weekly to see if they are full of insects and require cleaning and refreshing with oil.
For use in the garden room: Make a trap for each affected plant. Attach 6-in. lengths of coat-hanger wire to the back of each board, using strong tape. Place the boards in the pots of the affected plants by inserting the wire into the potting soil. Place the traps out of the line of vision where they won’t be seen by visitors.
Materials: Spray paint of color school bus yellow, 1/4 inch plywood cut into 4-inch by 6-inch rectangles, mineral oil.
- Spray-paint the front and back of the plywood pieces and let them dry.
- Coat the front and back of the plywood with mineral oil.
- Place the boards in your greenhouse or plant room.
- When the boards are full of insects, wipe them clean and refresh them with mineral oil.