How To Get Rid Of Gnats From Succulents

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. Simply put a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a plastic cup. 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. &nbsp

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. &nbsp

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. &nbsp

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.

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.

How can gnats in potting soil be eliminated?

We plant lovers don’t want to witness plants being harmed by pests. The problem enters our homes, which is gross, therefore we especially don’t want to see pests in our houseplants! Fungus gnats are pesky, winged insects with little wings that resemble mosquitoes and are about the size of fruit flies. The good news is that compared to many other pests, these plant flies cause significantly less harm, and even better, they’re rather simple to get rid of.

Long legs, transparent wings, and a preference for nutrient-rich, damp soils are characteristics of fungus gnats. These little flies may be seen flying around plant containers, but unlike some more dangerous pests, you won’t observe them actually chewing on the plant’s foliage. However, you will see them in the soil, feeding on the organic matter and hairs from plant roots. Do not underestimate the damage that these bugs can still do if not addressed.

Even though adult fungus gnats only live for about a week, they can have a big impact in that short time by producing up to 300 eggs under the correct circumstances. With such a quick turnaround and a brief life cycle of about 3–4 weeks, populations can grow incredibly quickly.

It’s rather simple to tell if your plant has a fungus gnat issue. Since these plant flies can’t fly very well, they usually stay rather near to the plant. They’ll probably be moving in zigzag patterns while you watch them. It’s typical to witness all the different phases of this bug at once because they reproduce so quickly. It’s likely that some bugs still in their larval stage will be visible if you gently agitate the soil. They inhabit the earth where they eat organic debris and have translucent bodies and glossy, black heads.

Our plants are getting ready to settle in for the upcoming cold season as winter approaches here in North Dakota. Unfortunately, that signals that these pesky bug populations are about to reach their peak. During this time, dormant plants use less water, which causes their soil to stay moist for longer. Gnats thrive in moist soils because they promote root rot and fungus. Be cautious when bringing delicate plants inside to overwinter since you run the risk of inviting unwelcome pests into your house.

Your plants will start to exhibit signs of stress if ignored and neglected. Fungus gnats don’t directly harm plant leaves, but they eat the root hairs and deplete the soil of vital minerals. This may result in abrupt plant withering and yellowing of the leaves, sluggish development, and a general decline in vigor.

When tackling any pest, you should always start with natural management approaches. The least hazardous and disruptive to your plant and house are typically natural and organic remedies, while chemicals may occasionally be required as a second line of defense. Fortunately, most fungus gnat populations may be controlled and eliminated naturally provided they are discovered and dealt with in a timely manner. Remember that one plant container can hold three to four generations of bugs, so you’ll probably need to apply your favorite approach more than once. Gnats in your indoor plants can be managed in the following ways:

Do not overwater. Before watering your indoor plants, allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry up. This will not only stop fungus gnats from deciding that your plant would make the best place for them to live, but it will also interfere with their reproductive cycle and assist to reduce populations that have already moved in.

Activate sticky traps. Not just for mice, either! Sticky traps are easy fixes for many pest issues. Gnats that are moving will be caught if you place them immediately on the soil’s surface. To stop them from laying eggs, remove them from the trap, discard them, and replace it frequently (every two to three days). Particularly effective at drawing these insects, yellow traps are.

Create vinegar and cider traps.

Mix equal volumes of cider and vinegar in a shallow dish or can to act as a trap for fruit flies. Lay the trap on the soil surface inside the container or even next to the damaged plant. The concoction will attract the bugs, who will then fall into it and drown.

Bring in useful nematodes. Although it may seem counterproductive to introduce additional bugs into the equation, doing so is a simple way to reduce pest numbers. Nematodes are incredibly minute, worm-like insects that are frequently invisible to the unaided eye. In their larval stage, they attempt to infiltrate fungus gnats and other insects, releasing a bacteria that eventually consumes the pest from the inside out. When you think about it, it’s awful and disgusting, but not as disgusting as allowing gnats to devour your prized houseplants!

If all else fails, there are always insecticidal goods and sprays to keep pest numbers under control. There are many products available that either target the adult stage or the larval stage, but either is OK. You should be able to get rid of these unpleasant plant flies in a few of weeks as long as you successfully target one phase of their life cycle and reapply often.

Larvae are easily eliminated with hydrogen peroxide since it kills them immediately upon contact. Infuse your soil with a solution made of four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide.

To destroy larvae, neem oil can also be put to the soil after being diluted with water. Neem oil can also be sprayed on surfaces to instantly kill adult flies. Last but not least, pyrethrin sprays contain extracts that are harmful to a variety of pests and can instantly kill flies and fungus gnat larvae.

Fungus gnats can affect the health of your houseplants even though they don’t transmit any diseases that are dangerous to humans. Your plants will thank you by giving off a lush, healthy appearance to enliven your home if you keep pests at away.