Gnats frequently start to appear in and around your succulents, both indoors and outdoors, when the weather is warm.
The good news is that they won’t harm your succulents and that most of the time it’s not too difficult to get rid of them.
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If your succulents aren’t in well-draining soil or don’t dry out between waterings, your pots could be a very alluring breeding place for these pests because fungus gnats LOVE damp soil.
This issue can be avoided by letting the soil entirely dry out in between waterings. Since the larvae are already present, this will also aid in their elimination. Without water, your succulents will survive for a few days or even weeks.
An apple cider vinegar trap will work to eliminate the flying gnats. Just add some apple cider vinegar to a plastic cup, maybe a couple tablespoons. Put a few drops of dish soap in. Put a plastic bag over the cup, but pierce it with a finger-sized hole.
The gnats can fly in because of this, but they find it challenging to flee. The dish soap either traps them or weighs them down while the vinegar’s sweet aroma draws them in.
Additionally, you can cover your soil with food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE), which will kill any adults or larvae that come into touch with it.
The simplest technique to get rid of gnats is to keep your soil dry, which also benefits succulent plants. So make sure the soil you use has good drainage.
Why do my succulents seem to be luring gnats?
The short answer is yes, fungus gnats are damaging the roots where you can’t see them.
They are a pest in addition to being a nuisance. But don’t worry; getting rid of them is not too difficult.
Start by ceasing to water. Again, STOP watering. Completely. Don’t water AT ALL, as in. None of the spritzes, sprinkles, or sprays.
The microscopic maggots that make up these gnats dwell there until they hatch into adults, therefore they can only exist (and breed) in moist environments containing organic materials in the soil.
Fungus gnats on succulents are a sign of two things: first, that you’re watering them excessively, and second, that the soil in which they’re growing is the improper one.
The soil must be gravelly and well-drained for succulents. Your plants will likely be in the convenient peat-based soil that many growers use for every kind of plant they grow, especially if you purchased them from a distributor that purchased them from specific growers.
The issue is that, despite the fact that the plants grow well in this soil under their conditions (bright and warm), even if it is simple for them to get and utilize, once the plants are in your home and you overwater them, fungus gnats start to appear.
So, in addition to waiting until the soil is bone-dry before watering, you’ll need some kind of mulch, such as tiny aquarium pebbles, to prevent adult insects from getting to the soil.
Many of the flying adults will be caught by the unattractive but necessary yellow sticky traps, but don’t stop using them too soon because a fresh crop of newly hatched ones will soon emerge from the ground.
Other things to try;
- As they flutter around, the adults are immediately vacuumed out of the air. a lot of labor.
- Hydrogen peroxide diluted with water can be used to water your plants to destroy the larvae stage (I’ve never tried it; use at your own risk).
Finding 3 percent hydrogen peroxide without any additions is advised. Dilute it with 4 parts water and apply it right away to hydrate the soil. Although it will fizz up, all of the soil-dwelling larvae are killed.
- As a last option, repot all of your collection in fresh soil and throw away the infected soil; if you compost it or retain it, the situation will only become worse.
Some commercial potting soils, like Miracle Gro and others, appear to cause greater problems than others. Make sure the potting soil you choose has been pasteurized or sterilized.
How can I remove bugs from my indoor succulent plants?
When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.
After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.
If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.
Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:
Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs.
Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents.
If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine.
If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.
Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.
So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.
I have potted plants, how can I get rid of the gnats?
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.
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.
Do fungus gnats cause succulents to perish?
Many people mistake them for fruit flies because of their similar appearance, but when you get a closer look, you can notice that fungus gnats have more clearly defined wings.
After watering their plants, many homeowners discover they have a pest issue because fungus gnats are drawn to wetness.
You probably need to get rid of fungus gnats on your succulents if you’ve seen little black flies in your house or place of business.
What Do Fungus Gnat Larvae Look Like
In moist soil that is rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or coconut coir, these gnats will lay their eggs.
The larvae of fungus gnats resemble mosquitoes in appearance, but lack the long proboscis (a tube-like appendage used for eating) and have six instead of eight legs.
They prefer to reside in moist soil where they may detect and feed on decaying plant materials, which results in root gnats.
How Do Fungus Gnats Damage Succulents?
Due to the fact that they consume the roots, leaves, and stems of the plants, fungus gnat larvae can seriously harm your succulent plants.
There are likely fungus gnats in your soil if you’ve noticed that some of the leaves are yellowing or dropping off despite frequent watering.
Gnats can destroy your plant by causing root rot, and larvae eating on the stems or leaves of succulents can be just as harmful.
Browning dots around the stem and along the leaf margins are a sign of root gnat damage. Mold, which resembles other pests or the fungus that causes root rot, can also be brought on by gnats.
What natural cure gets rid of gnats in houseplants?
You can sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the soil while you’re waiting for diatomaceous earth to arrive or as soon as you realize you have fungus gnats. The cinnamon stops them from laying eggs and acts as a natural fungicide and irritant.
Ceylon cinnamon is what you want to use, not the common variety that most people already have at home.
Water with Mosquito Dunks/Bits
The wonder solution known as mosquito dunks will stop fungus gnats in their tracks and is also quite simple to use.
You simply need to place a small piece in your watering can and use it to water your plants. Additionally, each component will withstand numerous waterings.
These include the naturally occurring bacteria BTI as the active ingredient, which is poisonous to insect larvae like gnats and mosquitoes.
Toxins produced by the active substances only affect gnats, their larvae, blackflies, and mosquitoes. The gnat larvae are enticed to consume this rather than the fungus or roots because of this.
Hydrogen Peroxide Drench
Pour 4 parts water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent, over the soil of your plant.
The only effective method for eradicating the gnat population is to use hydrogen peroxide, which kills all fungus gnat larvae.
This dilute concoction has the ideal strength to kill insect eggs without harming your plant (it actually aerates the soil and cleans the roots).
Do not water your plant when it is already moist. Only do this when your plant genuinely needs water.
Use an Apple Cider Vinegar Mix
Killing out all of the eggs and larvae in the soil is crucial for getting rid of gnats in your houseplants.
After using the aforementioned techniques to accomplish that, you should catch every adult gnat that is still flying around to prevent them from laying more eggs.
Placing an apple cider concoction next to your problematic plant is one natural method for catching gnat insects. One teaspoon of sugar, two parts water, one part apple cider vinegar, and a few trace amounts of liquid dish soap should all be combined in a shallow dish (Blue Dawn is best).
Because apple cider vinegar is slightly sweeter than white vinegar and has an orange tint that also attracts pests, you must use it.
Use Yellow Sticky Traps
These sticky traps also work great if you don’t have apple cider vinegar or don’t want to deal with the vinegar scent. The gnats are drawn to them because they are yellow.
However, whether you employ the sticky traps or the apple cider vinegar approach, they only offer you a general idea of how terrible your gnat problem is. You must employ these techniques in addition to addressing the larvae issue.