How To Stop Tiny Flies In House Plants


Why do my houseplant has tiny flies on it?

Because of this, you might have noticed much smaller flying insects buzzing around your houseplants and mistaken them for common or garden fruit flies, but the more likely species is fungus gnats.

Soil gnats is another name for these little flying insects. In the potting soil of indoor plants, they thrive and reproduce.

Therefore, if you see tiny black gnats flying around or crawling through the soil around your houseplants, they are most likely fungus gnats.

Fungus Gnats Are Part Of A Family Of Insects That Include:

  • Bolitophilidae
  • Ditomyiidae
  • Keroplatidae
  • Diptera
  • Diadocidiidae

They typically eat mushrooms and dead plant detritus and are naturally found in moist forest environments.

Small Pests

Fruit flies are much larger than fungus gnats, which are considerably smaller. In actuality, they only reach a length of around a quarter inch.

Therefore, despite your incorrect belief that they are too small to do any real harm, their larvae may and will harm your indoor plants.

Fungus Gnats Like Warm Moist Soil

Fungus gnats are frequently drawn to indoor plants because they lay their eggs in damp soil.

When the eggs hatch, the young birds will eat roots, algae, fungi, and other organic matter like potting soil.

Fungus gnats are generally innocuous as adults, but the larvae can destroy your houseplants.

The larvae, as we have seen, are the ones that cause the greatest harm because they may feed on plant roots that are buried in the soil, which can cause damage to the roots and stunted growth.

A fungus gnat is most likely what you are witnessing if you notice tiny black gnats flying or crawling about in the dirt surrounding your houseplants.

How can small flies surrounding plants be eliminated?

It’s crucial to act swiftly to eradicate gnats if you spot any symptoms.

There are three quicker ways to get rid of adult gnats hovering around your indoor plants, while you could play the long game and invest in a few carnivorous house plants.

Create a DIY gnat trap using vinegar

  • In a bowl, put one tablespoon of sugar.
  • To the same basin, add a cup of white vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap with a pleasant scent. Wrap cling film securely around the bowl.
  • Make a number of tiny holes in the cling film. Place the bowl near the house plant and leave it there overnight to capture flies.

Use sticky fly traps

Another choice is to purchase sticky gnat traps if the smell of vinegar deters you from making your own DIY gnat trap. To catch any unwelcome animals, these traps can either be hung from a plant branch or buried in the ground. You can decrease the number of adults in your area while simultaneously lowering the number of eggs laid in the soil around your plants.

Every few days, check the traps, and when the gnats have covered them, replace them. Avoid using the sticky paper to touch the plant’s leaves.

For the most effectiveness, search for non-toxic, double-sided traps.

Use an indoor fly catcher

Not your first time dealing with gnats in your houseplants? Then you might choose to make a purchase of an indoor fly catching apparatus.

These devices are usually USB powered and use a combination of LED lights and fans to attract and suck flies into the trap.

Kogan sells a $65.04 USB-chargeable smart LED UV mosquito and insect catcher.

How to prevent gnats in indoor plants

Even though getting rid of adult gnats is a terrific first step, it frequently only provides a temporary solution. More adults will emerge from the soil-dwelling larvae. Targeting the larval stage of their life cycle by letting the soil to dry up is a better strategy. The key to permanently getting rid of these annoyances is to reduce excess moisture because gnats lay their eggs in the moist soil around plants.

  • Avoid overwatering. Let the soil dry out between frequent waterings—not so much that your plant starts to wilt, but just enough so that it isn’t constantly wet. In dry soil, the eggs and larvae typically perish.
  • Select a pot with good drainage since it will keep gnats from depositing their eggs in the soil and will shield your indoor plant from problems like root rot. Don’t forget to empty any saucers that may have accumulated extra water.

Other ways to prevent fungus gnats

In the fall, fungus gnats are frequently easier to see. It may be that they hitchhike on plants when they’re brought indoors at the end of summer.

Verify that the plants are bug-free before bringing them indoors. Before you purchase new plants, examine them to make sure there are no insect infestations. When planting or repotting, use a sterile potting mixture.

Gnats in potted soil: how can I get rid of them?

Fortunately, there are several of organic and chemical-free ways to get rid of fungus gnats from your prized plants. You can use a traditional trap or common household goods like potatoes and dish soap!

Let the Soil Dry

It’s important to remember to let the soil dry out for a few days and refrain from watering your plant because fungus gnats and their larvae prefer to nest in moist soil. The gnats will be forced to live in an uninhabitable habitat as a result, and they will disappear in dry soil. Do not be afraid to skip your next watering in order to get rid of the gnats; your houseplant will be able to endure the dryness for a longer period of time than you might imagine.

The best advice is to take your plant out of the planter and drain any extra water from the bottom. Thus, there won’t be any dampness where gnats might deposit their eggs.

Use Traps

There are numerous traps you may employ to get rid of these bothersome bugs if you’re seeking for a speedier fix. You can choose to DIY these with a few common things or run to the store and buy specialist traps, depending on what best suits your needs.

  • Pour a cup of white vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap onto a shallow saucer. The gnats will be drawn to the solution and fall into the trap if you place the bowl near your plant. Repeat the procedure until no more gnats are present.
  • Sticky fly traps are an alternative if the smell of vinegar deters you from making your own homemade gnat trap. These little yellow paper sheets attract gnats and trap them with glue because of their brilliant hue. Although it might not be visually appealing, this procedure is simple and safe.
  • Consider purchasing an indoor fly-catching gadget if you’re sick and tired of gnats in your plants and need an urgent fix. These are typically USB-powered and can be purchased locally or online. The blowers and LED lights draw the gnats, and eventually they are drawn into the trap.
  • Are there any extra potatoes in the kitchen? Set a trap for them! Place the potatoes flesh-down on the ground after cutting them into little pieces. The fungus gnats will be drawn to the potatoes by their dampness. Just be careful that the parts don’t dry out otherwise it won’t operate.

Sanitize and Repot

Consider removing the plant from its planter and scraping out the soil if you want to take matters into your own hands. When doing this, take care not to disrupt the roots and take only what you can get rid of. Put the contaminated soil in a plastic bag and wash the planter with soap and warm water to sterilize it. Repot your plant into new soil after this is finished, then put it back into its planter.

Use a Spray Bottle

Take a spray bottle and combine water and dish soap in it. Repeat the technique until all of the gnats are gone by spraying the solution on the top layer of soil. If you’re seeking for a quick and natural solution to get rid of fungus gnats, try this.

What can I use as a gnat spray on houseplants?

Some gnat species favor infesting indoor plants. Gnat-eliminating pest management techniques can be used without endangering your collection of indoor plants.

  • Two liters of water and one tablespoon of dish soap with a lemon scent. Into a spray bottle, pour.
  • Apply the soap mixture liberally to the infected indoor plant. Make sure to properly cover the dirt, stem, and leaves. Any adult gnats on the plant or in the pot will be eliminated as a result.
  • One to two hours after applying the mixture, spray the plant with plain water to remove the soap.
  • Let the dirt around the plants dry out. Wait until the top two inches of soil have dried completely before watering the affected plant again. Any larvae or eggs that the adult gnat has laid will perish under these circumstances. The plant could falter a little, but if you start watering it again, it should recover.
  • Gently repot the afflicted plant in a new planter and fresh soil if the gnats are persistent. Place the old soil and planter in an outdoor garbage can for disposal.

Does vinegar eliminate gnats from indoor plants?

She asked me to write about a true issue she was having with her indoor plants. Of course! I bet many of you are struggling with the same issue.

Have you ever purchased houseplants for your home or office with the intention of bringing some nature indoors but noticed after a week or so that obtrusive small black flies are darting in and out of your line of sight with your computer screen? Ugh! You have a problem with fungus gnats!

Although fungus gnats resemble tiny mosquitoes or fruit flies, they are unrelated and do not bite. They can be spread by cut flowers, especially those with stale vase water, or even by plants with unsterilized soil (poinsettias can be the worst).

In moist plant soil, residential drains, and sewage areas, fungus gnats can be found. In wet soil, fungus gnats lay their eggs. Prior to developing into adult gnats and flying out of the plant soil onto your face, their larvae, which are only one-hundredth of an inch long, are almost impossible to notice. They eat plant roots, soil-borne leaves, and decomposing plant matter. It takes them around 10 days to grow. Indoors, they can reproduce all year long.

This issue is being exacerbated by the gentle care you provide your indoor plants, including watering them. The fungus gnats will like staying in your home if the soil of your houseplants is continually moist. The growing medium used for houseplants is another factor. Numerous potting mixture types contain components that hold onto moisture, and everything that promotes moisture also promotes fungus gnats. To avoid potential pests, Good Earth Plant Company only purchases from nurseries that pre-treat the soil.

So what can you do to combat these annoying little gnats? You must approach the issue from many angles.

Start by starting to wait longer between waterings for your indoor plants. One to two inches of the surface ought to be entirely dry. Sub-irrigation functions well for this reason, among others.

2. Make careful to get rid of any fallen or decomposing plant materials (leaves and roots) as these serve as fungus gnat larvae’s feeding sources. Place a few slices of uncooked potatoes on the surface of the soil to see if you have them. Take a look at the bottom after a few days. Are they chewed-looking? Your plants contain fungus gnat larvae.

3. You can cover the soil with a quarter- to-half-inch layer of diatomaceous earth or horticultural sand (NOT playground sand) to control the larvae. If you water it, the plant will dry out more quickly and fool the fungus gnats into thinking it is not a good site to lay eggs. Additionally, they are actually cut to death if they crawl across the DE.

4. Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and one teaspoon of white vinegar to the water every other time you water. The fungus gnat larvae will eventually perish as a result.

5. You can remove the plant from the pot, remove as much soil as you can without harming the plant, and then repot it to expedite the process. Place all of the used soil in a sealed bag and discard it. It cannot be applied elsewhere because doing so will just exacerbate the issue.

6. You can create organic traps on your own to get rid of the adult fungus gnats. You can pour a few drops of liquid dish soap to the bottom of a deep bowl after adding apple cider vinegar or red wine. Put it next to the infected indoor plants. The gnats adore it and will suffocate in it if they fall in. Every couple of days, replace it.

7. You can either buy or manufacture some sticky insect traps. Use cardboard pieces that are a vibrant yellow color, and cover them with Vaseline. For optimal effects, place them horizontally over your plants. Use a card holder from your florist, or one that comes with a plant. Put the card holder with the sticky trap inside, then affix it to your plant.

8. Some backyard gardeners fervently advocate adding three percent hydrogen peroxide directly to the soil of your plants. I wouldn’t advise this as your first option if you have a plant that is very priceless or sensitive.

It could be extremely difficult to entirely eradicate fungus gnats on your own if they frequently infest your plants, especially those in your office. In one instance, the gnats were entering through the ventilation system from another office, as I’ve seen!

We only utilize plants from reputable growers, and our experts take great care to prevent conditions from becoming such that fungus gnats can easily reproduce. We quickly remove any infected plants from our care (which doesn’t happen very often) to prevent fungus gnats from spreading to the rest of your plants.