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.
How can I quickly eradicate gnats from my plants?
The good news is that you don’t need to bug bomb your house to get rid of soil gnats (yay). Disrupting their life cycle and making your home uninhabitable for these pests are the two main goals. Here are some tips for treating indoor plants naturally and getting rid of gnats in the soil.
Make the Natural Habitat Inhospitable
To survive, fungus gnat larvae require wet soil. It will eliminate the gnats in the soil and deter new adults from laying fungus gnat eggs, ultimately eliminating the larval stage, if you allow it to completely dry up before your subsequent watering.
Use a Soap-and-Water Mixture
Add a few drops of liquid Castille soap or liquid dish soap to a cup of water. To kill the larvae, sprinkle this on the soil’s surface using a spray bottle. To be sure that all of the larvae have been killed, repeat this procedure again in a couple of days.
Although some folks advise using vinegar traps, I’ve discovered that soap and water work better. Making a fruit fly trap is best accomplished using vinegar, and in particular, a bowl of apple cider vinegar.
Use Sand or Gravel
Fungus gnats only lay their eggs in the top inch of soil. Sand or gravel replacement of the top inch results in a dry environment and deprives them of nutrient-rich fungus to feed. They won’t desire to lay eggs if their necessary food source isn’t accessible.
You can also use lovely decorative aquamarine rocks to give some of your favorite plantlings a pop of color.
Dispose of the Top Layer of Soil Outdoors
Still, the eggs might hatch. Instead of inside your home, let them hatch outside. Pests shouldn’t just be moved from one area of the house to another.
All of these actions can help you manage and stop fungus gnat infestations naturally.
Where can I find gnat-free potting soil?
If you have a lot of indoor plants, it might be challenging to get rid of fungus gnats. The adults can effortlessly fly or leap from one plant to another, depositing their eggs in any location with moist soil.
The adult fungus gnats have a short lifespan, similar to fruit flies. Therefore, your fungus gnat problem will be solved once all the larvae have died.
Fungus gnats can be readily controlled without the use of dangerous synthetic pesticides by adopting natural pest control solutions and techniques. The greatest ways to get rid of those pesky flying gnats from your indoor plants are listed below.
Control soil moisture
Therefore, avoiding overwatering your plants is the simplest and most efficient way to control plant gnats and ultimately get rid of fungus gnats.
On most indoor plants, though, you don’t want to let the soil entirely dry up. To keep the ideal moisture level for your houseplants and get rid of gnats in plant soil, use a soil moisture sensor.
Indoor plant watering tools also make it simpler to water houseplants and aid in preventing overwatering, which will help you get rid of plant gnats.
Water plants from the bottom
When you water plants from the top, the top inch of the soil, where fungus gnat larvae typically dwell, tends to stay rather damp.
Without endangering the plant’s general health, bottom watering plants will make it simpler to maintain drier top soil.
Simply pour water into the plant’s drip tray or storage pot to water it from the bottom, and the plant will absorb the liquid through the drainage holes.
Never let your plant sit in water for an extended period of time. After soaking for around 30 minutes, drain out any extra water.
Use yellow houseplant sticky stakes
A very safe technique of pest control is to place a yellow sticky trap next to the plant. This will draw and catch the adult fungus gnats.
This will only work to control the adult population; it won’t address the root cause of the issue (the larvae).
However, yellow sticky traps unquestionably assist in preventing adult fungus gnats from flying to other plants.
Apply organic pest control products
To get rid of gnats in potted plants, pour or spritz an organic insecticidal soap or a neem oil mixture into the top of the soil.
I mix 1 tsp of mild liquid soap with 1 liter of water to produce my own insecticidal soap.
Neem oil has a lasting effect that aids in prevention and is excellent at killing pests that attack indoor plants. Neem oil can be purchased here.
After a few applications, these organic gnat pesticides ought to work; just be careful not to overwater your plants.
Why are there gnats on my houseplants?
Houseplants with gnats are a pain. They are tiny flies, or “fungus gnats,” approximately 1/8 of an inch long, that are lured to the moist potting soil and decomposing plant matter at the bases of indoor plants. They don’t bite, despite having a mosquito-like appearance.
The simplest strategy to stop gnats from taking over your home is to avoid over-watering in the first place, as gnats in houseplants often come from the potting mix containing too much moisture. But what if the harm has already been done and your plants are being surrounded by a swarm of bothersome flies? Here, we’ll go over the most effective methods for getting rid of gnats in indoor plants.
How to identify gnats in indoor plants
You can check for gnat eggs to see whether you’re about to encounter an issue. In the soil, fungus gnats lay their eggs, which develop into larvae that eat fungi in plant soil. The larvae of the fungus gnat are about 1/4 inch long, with a shiny black head and an elongated, translucent to whitish body.
They enjoy organic stuff in addition to fungi and may occasionally consume plant roots or seedlings, which will make the plant appear wilted. Inspect the area for a slime trail similar to the ones that slugs and snails leave. Your indoor plants most certainly have gnats if you can see a trail.
Gnats also enjoy light, so you might see them on your windows, especially if there are any indoor plants close by.
Even though the ordinary fruit fly and gnats are completely distinct insects, they are frequently confused. Fruit flies, unlike fungus gnats, are tan in color and resemble oval, baby house flies. They tend to hang around near fruit.
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.
How can tiny flies on houseplants be eliminated?
A house plant purchase can be really thrilling! Whether you are adding to your indoor plant collection or buying your first indoor plant. It can change any space with its lovely foliage, shape, and brilliant colors. Unfortunately, little pests like fungus gnats and fruit flies can ruin our love and appreciation for our lovely houseplants. We are frequently frustrated by this, as is your houseplant.
Small flies called fungus gnats can be found buzzing around your indoor plant’s soil. Because of their sad biology, these small insects are drawn to indoor plants because they eat on outdoor plants. The good news is that you can get rid of them. The type of pests you have can vary depending on the houseplants you grow.
You must first determine what kind of pests are bothering you. Small black insects known as fungus gnats, which are frequently mistaken for fruit flies, are the most prevalent pests. The distinction is that fruit flies live around fruit, especially rotting fruit, but fungus gnats thrive in plants like succulents that have damp soil. These can harm your plant since they lay their eggs in the soil.
1. Add less water or dry soil Due to the fact that the majority of fungus gnats like to live in moist soil, laying a thick layer of dry soil on top of the bedding for indoor plants will allow the soil underneath to gradually dry out and keep the fungus gnats away. It should be mentioned that even though you may scare the flies away, depriving your houseplant of water for an extended length of time can harm it. For instance, cacti can tolerate dry soil, while other indoor plant species might not.
Another choice is to water less frequently. Because fungus gnats require a moist environment to exist, watering the plant less frequently and letting the soil dry out between waterings will make the fungus gnats uncomfortable and drive them away.
3. Think about Sticky Traps Fly sticky traps can be useful because they capture adult fungus gnats, stop them from laying eggs, and disrupt the life cycle. Place the sticky trap at soil level on or close to the damaged houseplant. Fly sticky tape is available online for purchase or DIY creation. Using a card, a yellow highlighter, a wooden stick, and Vaseline, draw attention to the stick, which will draw flies, then capture the fungus gnats with the Vaseline to end their life cycle.
4. Pesticide Soap or Spray Using insecticidal soap or spray, often known as horticulture soap, is a frequent option if the aforementioned approaches fail to successfully get rid of pests. You have the option of buying the soap online or at your neighborhood garden center, or you may create it yourself. When the sun has set and you have your horticultural soap, all you need to do is apply it to the leaves of your houseplant and the area surrounding it. This will prevent sunburn. This ought to discourage those bugs.
6. Pot up your indoor plants The best course of action is to sanitize your plant by removing contaminated dirt that has numerous eggs imbedded in the soil and repotting your houseplant in new and fresh soil without disturbing the roots if all else fails or the sticky traps are catching a lot of insects. For more information, see our tutorial on repotting your houseplant.
Congratulations, you’ve done all necessary to get rid of houseplant flies! The longevity of our cherished houseplants can be extended by removing these pests.