In this guide, I provide a complete list of techniques on exterminating fungus gnats both indoors and outdoors. These methods are ideal for someone on a budget, as these remedies are not expensive.
The lists includes methods used in different parts of the world, so if also know of a successful remedy that is not listed here, leave us valuable comment below or PM me, and I will list your remedy here.
What is a Fungus Gnat?
A fungus gnat is also called Sciarid Fly and it is a predatory insect. The insect’s larva is tiny, but conspicuous. They have clear white or yellow bodies and black heads. It is found in:
- The soil around the foliage.
- Water well in which a trail of slime appears on the topsoil once these small midges gather.
Fungus gnats can be even worse than spider mites, because they do their damage well hidden in the roots of trees and plants.
Each Fungus Gnat female lays 200 eggs in warm conditions. The eggs hatch out into maggots which immediately start eating the plant’s roots. These maggots, although they are small, are eating machines. They munch their way through the root system quicker than the plant can grow new roots.
Fungus gnats expose the plant to infection to root diseases. Then when the plant’s root system is wrecked, your crop will be vanished.
Maggots will become adults in two weeks and lay their own batch of 200 eggs per female. That’s 20,000 maggots eating roots in just 4 weeks or two generations.
Fungus gnats and their maggots are numerous wherever it is warm enough and wherever there is moisture and food
What fungus gnats cause to plants?
Severe nutrient deficiencies Root diseases by fungus gnat’s maggots, such as Pythium
How to know that fungus gnats are found in your household plants?
- An abundance of small 3-5mm long flies on the surface of the root ball or medium in which the plants are growing.
- appearance of small black flies walking around the surface of the soil, which tend to fly when disturbed.
- identify existence of larvae by searching for and locating the larvae among the roots of plants
Use prevention methods and products to avoid fungus gnats infection from this list:
- Make sure that your door screens and windows always work properly.
- Allow for the upper part of the soil to dry in between watering periods.
- Your pots should have the necessary irrigation system, while the container under the pot needs to be cleared of any stagnant water.
- Remove all fallen leaves and trash around your plants, since these insects feed on the greens that are at the stage of decomposition.
- Purchase fly traps traditional adhesive that you can put near the infected plants.
- Use anti-insect sprays, such as Permethrin or Bifenthrin. These are often effective, but can also kill useful insects and worms. You should bring the plants out of the house during the implementation of this type of treatment to avoid accidental contact with children and pets.
- Use Tanlin as a preventative measure. CX Hydroponics Tanlin is a biological control for Fungus Gnats. When maggots eats Tanlin their guts swell up then explode and the maggots die. Remember that the maggots must first eat Tanlin for it to be effective. It doesn’t kill adults gnats.
How to Get Rid of the Adult Fungus Gnats In A Snap < 1): Gnats are attracted to the color yellow:
- go to your local garden store and buy yellow sticky cards or tapes to use it as traps
- put some of these cards on the infected plants
- After a few days, yellow cards will exterminate many of these creatures
2): Gnats are attracted to the smell of apple cider vinegar:
- Mix tablespoon or two of Vinegar with a little liquid dish soap to make this method more effective
- Pour this soap/vinegar mixture into unused jar, bowl, cup, or container.
- Place Vinegar bowl under infected plants
- Gnats will get trapped while flying into the bowl of vinegar and will not be able to escape.
3): Soap Spray Recipe:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon dish detergent or Ivory liquid soap with 1 gallon of water
- Use this mixture to drench the soil hosting them.
- After about 1 hour, spray the leaves with clear water to rinse soap off.
4): Use thin layer of cigarettes over the soil
Because nicotine is a repulsive substance, it will kill gnats. However, take care not to use this method with herbal or eaten plants.
How to Get Rid of the Larvae of Fungus Gnats
There are a significant number of larvae in the soil under infected plants:
1): Water Larvae infected plants with Hydrogen peroxide after the soil is dry:
- Make your soil dry especially the top layer for a couple of days by stopping watering the plants. This will suspending larvae development and maturation. Adult gnats cannot reproduce in dry soil, so the cycle will end.
- after drying top levels of soil: mix one part of pure H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) with four parts water
- water the soil with hydrogen peroxide mixture
- Normally the soil will start to fizz after a couple of minutes, and hydrogen peroxide will kill these larvae
- Cons of this method: 1. Most plants cannot survive without water for many days and this may be killing your plants
2): Use of potato as a trap for these larvae
- cut a few slices of potato of about one inch in width and length and about half an inch in thickness
- bury these potato chips in the soil under the infected plant and leave for four to eight hours.
- After larvae will eat the potatoes, they will die.
3): Rubbing alcohol spray:
- Mix 1 cup of Rubbing alcohol with 1 liter of water
- Test first on a sheet to check that the mixture is not too hard on your plants
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray and treat the Fungus Gnat infected plants and soil every three days for two weeks.
I hope that this detailed guide helped many of you to get rid of harmful gnats and your plants are now thriving and healthy.
Solutions guide to get rid of gnats in the houseFast homemade remedies to getting rid of gnats around your house
This article was great except I could not understand many parts of it due to the extremely poor grammar. Some sentences just don't make any sense. "Gnats will trap while flying into the bowl or jar of the vinegar and cannot run away." This is one example. "A bury chip of Potato in the soil under infected plant is growing and leaves it for four to eight hours." This is another example. If you are going to write and publish something on the web, you may want to get it proof-read and corrected for grammar first.
So what? Why not just appreciate the suggestions the writer provided. It wasn’t terribly noticeable until you pointed out the mistakes.
No one is as perfect as you must be so give the rest of us minions a break!
Hey there fellow gnatproblem peeps. I just have a couple quick questions. Could a sweet potato be used or just the regular ones?
Also, for fungas gnats and I think possible mealybugs, the vinegar will not cause issues with the mb’s will it? could rice vinegar work? I’ll go get the apple cider, just saw them now and totally freaking.
Thanks in advance!!
(For goodness sake, I hope my grammar wasn’t too intelligible to the Trolls)
I don’t have house plants. I do though have a small aquarium. Could this be the issue? If so how do I get rid of them with no soul? Help. This is awful
I gpt fungas gnats from two large plants that I had had for many years. Noticed a few gnats thinking they were fruit flies and payed little heed. Went away for the weekend and came home to thousands. This was 6 weeks ago . I took plants out immediately on my return as did research on internet. They are still reproducing like crazy and I havn’t any soil at all in my house. Where would they breed. They are in a breakfast room mostly where the large ivy was but they are slowly creeping out to other areas. I have vinegar and soap, I have yellow sticky sheets, I have blue light zappers and NO SOIL> Where could they be coming from. I am going crazy. Could they be in dry woodwork of windows. There is no moisture at all and Chicago has been in drought for weeks. HELP
Maybe from the sink? I just brought all my outside plants inside and now I’m having a new wave of the gnats…uhg!!
Water drains anywhere warm and moist trasj (soda cans) was my f up now I think it’s more the drains as I live in a 5th wheel trailer I’ve not seen many flying around lately but still manage to find them on my herbs and seeing deficiencies where there should be none so check anywhere humid moist and warm
I totally agree didn’t notice but I really appreciate the tips.
Maybe you should try reading it again. You have comprehensive problems. Usually I use quotes because I’m qouting something not to say what I thought I read!
Shut up u anonymous punk lol
shut up. Do you really need to be such a stickler and insult someone for their grammar? Try being a positive person and let go of the things that get to you. You might end up a happier person when you don’t annoy yourself with pet peeves.
seriously, if you cannot extrapolate the info from those ‘good enough’ sentances provided, then your Engrish and your intelligence cannot be that good either, clearly non Engrish persons attempt at Engrish was not perfect, but it was good enough that you can get the jist.
Please just help me I have HUGE WELTS all over my neck, head, ears, I was litterally attacked by a swarm of little black gnats im in so much inflamed pain burning itching, can you please suggest anything to cure the pain and to kill them in my backyard OMG I dont want to go outside now too painful I must have at least hundred bites just on back of neck wth is this I’ve never experienced anything like this live in central michigan area, sandy ground minister river area
Manistee /auditable river area swarms of these things all over yard
Holy cow, I’m pretty positive those are not gnats
Hot Shot fogger. Works great for biting knats. Have to leave house after fogging for 2 hours.; Take pets out of house
also. Nothing else worked for me. It’s been horrible. Biting me and infiltrating most rooms of my apartment. So disgusting.
Good Luck with it too.
Hi, just wanted to make a comment about fungus gnats. A one inch layer of fine sand on the top of the potting mix worked brilliantly for me. I had a hoard of gnats invade one succulent pot plant and could not get rid of them, so I soaked the plant in its pot, then gently removed it then sat it in a bucket of water for an hour removing as much of the old soil that I could. I then repotted it with new potting mix … A few gnats tried to invade the new territory for 48 hours and now 5 days later, they are all gone!
Thank you for sharing! Great advice! I will try your technique.
The idea of this article is to share ideas on gnat control and is not an article on perfect grammer. It was good of the contributor to share their ideas and its context is perfectly easy to understand. I would suggest that anyone not able to understand the article has limited comprehension skills, and should therefore practice to perfect them. individuals criticle of the information shared by the contributor with in the article, oweing to grammer issues, also limit their own learning experience as they are basing the standard of the information within the article on standards of grammer, which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the article. It wa very good of the contributor to share their knowledge on gnat control.
I agree !!! Well said …
I came here and read the article fine, Thank you for the information.
Grammar is funny. Get this…
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
OMG!! D, This is awesome!!! LOL…I agree 100% with all of you defending it….you really have to be very illiterate not to be able to read a few little grammar mistakes….This is coming from someone who’s English is not her first language. Good job on the article info to the writer 🙂
Ok… I have not laughed this hard in a long time.
Thanks for a wonderful start for my morning.
Your right it doesn’t matter, as long as the message is understandable , and is useful.
So for my problem with the gnats, the information was most useful. Thank you !
Thanks for sharing!!!
“Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
Bye …over and out!
And I LOVE this informative site!
What are you talking aboit crackhead the article doesnt say what you say it does
Shut up … and say thank you for the help.
It appears that the ungrateful anonymous ahole who regards him/herself as the internet’s grammar police thinks this article has no value because it of some grammatical errors. I hope the errors were so difficult to understand that anonymous’ home has been unable to follow the many useful suggestions and his/her overrun with gnats.
Stop being a hater dude you probably still used his info
Any way Mrs ur over exaggerating I read his entire post of remedies either u were reading from some script u had in ur mind or u dnt like to read anything not written by a scholar you just totally made up both of those paragraphs that he didn’t write but u sure did this gotdamn world is coming to a fucking end and MARK MY WORDS ITS NOT FARR AWAY
Umm does not even say that..
Anonymous one is right. Anonymous two is what's wrong with the world.
I agree. My grammar is excellent, but I don’t think everyone else’s has to be!
If this had been written by someone literate it might have been worth sticking with but I have to bail before my head is totally done in.
For Pete's sake, English is obviously not the author's native tongue. Get over yourselves. The points made in the article are easy enough to understand.
Apparently, something had to understood in order for corrections of grammar to be given.
I agree. I lost all respect for any possible solutions of killing gnats due to the poor writing skills. It leaves people with a sense that someone stupid wrote it. And why would I feed the pest potato chips? That's dumb. I'm not going to add to the problem by providING a food source.
Comments like yours are exactly why Americans are seen as conceited know it alls that think the world revolves around them. He said slice a potato and he was referring to those slices as chips. Pickle slices are called chips too. Potatos attract gnats causing them to rush over to it in a frenzy and pig out until they explode
The theory of gnats exploding after eating the potato is a crock, and if you have a large plant they will explode and oh die from eating it. And now your plant is dead with even more gnats. Yes no one is perfect but using the word conceited is a little immature since you made that statement over what; reading a paragraph. Cinnamon is said to work for fungus and gnats but you never know untill you try. Thanks for trying to be helpful.
Can we all just get along? ?? The plants lives are at stake here!
You may need to go back and read it again. She didn’t say anything about the potato causing the larvae to explode. That was with the use of tanlin. So if you are going to correct someone know at least a little bit about what you are saying. Besides this page is to help people with a specific issue. So to speak badly of her grammar or challenge what she says is ridiculous. It’s simple try it or don’t.
Actually Americans are viewed as arrogant in many other countries throughout the world. I for one would like to thank the person who wrote it. I will be hopefully only trying one of the suggestions but if it doesn’t work I will go to #2. BTW, these suggestions were on other pages as well, so the writer couldn’t be to stupid.
untill???? check YOUR spelling!
and im sure that is why you grow the lowest grade marijuana there is. use your common sense. obviously he is saying bury the chip in the soil. you got the attention you were looking for congrats. now go back to smoking your swag bag.
get a life.
it seems u have WAY too much time on ur hands if u insist on arguing with yourself on ur little keyboard.
Get over yourself regarding the grammar people!!! If you think you’re so smart, you should be able to figure out what he’s saying, by potato chip, he means the slices you cut.If you have knowledge of something,opt to share it and had grammar and spelling errors,would you want to be put down? I’d bet you wouldn’t, it’s rude and disrespectful! Grow up and take what you can out of this, it might actually help you, at least with your gnat issue, and perhaps my comment will make you think about ways to be polite and not judge people. Good luck with that!!!
they die if they eat it, and not chips, an actual potatoe lolz
Thank you so mush for your useful advise. This article is perfect
Crying about grammar. Little bitches
So what about the grammar? I can read and write perfectly fine. And I understood everything the author was putting across! Haters!
Just bent up because you had to turn to someone with a lesser education or maybe difficulties in reading and writing to solve your problems! Pathetic. Thanks author don’t listen to idiots.
Grammar police will not be able to get rid of their gnats.
What’s even funnier is that the first commenter who directly quoted grammar errors either exaggerated to make their point seen better or had their own grammar errors that were not in the actual text. Some people are excellent editors and some often don’t notice errors at all when reading this sort of informative text. I can’t h all but notice every error when I’m reading anything, but that is my own issue that I almost always will keep to myself, furthermore, if you are this kind of person you must be noticing these errors every single day, even in professionally edited pieces and books. If you are not smart enough to already know these natural methods for getting rid of fungus gnats (which no doubt is why you”ve found yourself on this page) maybe you should stfu and try at least one of them before saying the grammer discredits the ideas which I’m almost positive everyone could understand the idsaa. Most people have certain areas of knowledge that are more developed than others. Yours maybe grammer but it’s clearly not horticulture or biology. If you tried these methods and they didn’t work, and you were posting a comment already on the subject of the articles content then i could see a stab at the grammer being all in good fun, but you better not make a single error yourself. . . I can’t believe I just took the time to write all this. . .
Has anyone ever thought that somehow these larva have infected you as a person?? Sometimes when leaves of plants touch my skin I get hives, not from mature adults obviously but are the larva limited to the soil? I am allergic to most plants also, but I’m unsure id the hives are possibly bites from something on the leaves. . .
Please try making a tea of lavender flowers and mist your plants regularly. This repels and kills adult gnats. I had a terrible infestation because I put my houseplants outdoors one summer. This works. If you live where there is wild tansy growing, try a tea made of the the leaves, but this tea can be toxic to pets and people, I understand. Hope it works well for you all.
Can you use lavender eo?
I feel so sorry for all gramer nazis. The sad truth is that they are like that about everything their life and their loved ones and them selfs they need perfection in everything and will suffer again and again and again till they learn to let go. And so as they belittle everyone around em so do they to them selfs. Must sux ass to be shucks an asshole to the world you plant ice you’ll harvest wind.
I agree Sean – grammar nazis have nothing better to do … but u need to understand – this is one of OCD effects … my ex was a like that .. and I had a childhood friend who would write these love letters to a girl he liked, and got them back with errors marked in RED ink 😀
I really don’t care about the grammar; however, I thought there was going to be 40 ways to naturally get rid of fungus gnats.
If no one corrects the grammar, how will they ever lean what is correct?
It is not your or anyone place to correct anyone, Police yourself.
I don’t know but in my chosen field of expertise you Americans are still “Soddering” while the rest of the world correctly solders…ha, people living in glass houses should not be throwing stones 🙂
Y’all need to chill out on the author. His suggestions worked just fine for me. Pretentious stuck up people!
Thanks Alyssa 🙂
Thanks for the info! I tried to peroxide trick, hopefully it works. If not, I will try to rubbing alcohol trick. Do you know if repotting the plant in new soil will also help?
I tried the hydrogen peroxide method and not only did it not work, but it made the problem even worse. I had even more of these little pests. Now I am using diatomaceous earth to kill off the adults. Works great for a light infestation where one application is enough to get rid of them. Heavy infestations however take multiple applications. I am thinking of going with an insect growth regulator chemical in order to get rid of these pests for the heavy infestation.
If you do nothing..you can do nothing wrong. Get over yourselves. Geesus, this person takes the time to write something helpful for all of us, and the critics move in. I came to this site for information. I have problems with the gnats in my greenhouse for a second year, causing havoc with my babies (tomatoes). I don’t speak very good Inglish, but trying the best I are. I’m sure you understood. Anyway, I’m grateful for the friendly advice from someone who took the time.
to the topic at hand…… I was amazed how many gnats were in my bowl of vinegar! So I put two more out…..plus put the potato pieces in in soil…. The next step will be the hydrogen peroxide/water mix…..waiting for it to dry out little more….if this doesn’t work…I may repost with new dirt….maybe wash off the roots with the peroxide/water mix?….last I will take it outside! (no spell check on phone!)
So potatoes kill the gnat larve?
Wow! Great article…thanks so much!!!
You must all be kidding me – what a ridiculous and narrow minded bunch of people – if there was anything good in this article it was lost in all your gibberish.
You know you read every word!
Good suggestions for killing fungus gnats I will try them. Now if you can do the same with these gnats posting comments
I agree that the English grammar appeared to be from someone who has English as a second language. But those of us who are well read can easily make out the gist of the information which is why I was reading it in the first place; not so I could write a critique of the writing. My granddaughter had trouble getting along with her step-brother who was one year younger. I noticed that she constantly corrected his grammar and word usage . I told her to hear his information first and comment favorably. Then privately mention he could have better said it ‘this way’. Otherwise he will stop sharing with her in which case she will lose the benefit of what he can share and she will see the relationship fade away.
The only parts that left me with huge question marks were when it said “Test first on a sheet to check that the mixture is not too hard on your plants” about the alcohol-water mixture and that there were not “40” techniques???
What is the sheet not supposed to look like after you spray it? And what does ‘sheet’ mean? A piece of material? A sheet of paper? Or is it suppose to mean try on a test area of soil first? If it means the latter, what does a pass or fail look like?
Where are the other 33 techniques?
Well, off I go to try some of these. Hopefully with much success.
Could it mean a leaf? In other words try the treatment on one leaf and see if it affects it before spraying the whole plant. If a automatic translator is being used it could given “sheet” as a synonym.
Thank you so much for the info you gave us about these darn aggravations! The killed all my hens and chicks! My mom fell in love with these plants and they all have died. Is there a certain soil/dirt that could be used?I live in southern Arizona and live in apartments so I have all my plants in pots? I have heard there is a soil you can purchase that is gnat free. I’ll have to research that. In the mean time I’ll try what you’ve suggested. Thanks so much for the help!
Gnats are brought into your home by using cheap soil I would try an expensive soil like Miracle Grow. For Hens and chickens of course you want a very aerated soil so Cactus soil would be good for them. Good luck, I learned my lesson big time from trying to use the cheapest soil I could find… really paid for it with my gnat problem.
Thank you again
I got those fungus gnats in my Jade tree and my other Jade plant. I tried everything to kill them almost killing my plants when I decided to completely remove all the soil from around each plant soak in water for a few days then I just repotted in fresh soil. I guess we will see what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger hopefully!
What is really funny, is those of you correcting grammar, need to go back and look at your own comments. Your spelling is terrible!!!! Judge not least ye be judged!! Just saying!!
Diatomaceous earth Mix in the top 2″ of soil around the infected plant
Thank you, John!! I saw that someone else mentioned the diatomaceous earth, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Perfect! Sounds easy enough, too.
I did not read the first comment as being nasty or troll-ish. I read it as someone who was looking for an answer to the fungus gnat problem, who did not understand what was recommended. I also did not understand some of it, but I never say anything for reasons that are now obvious! We are all wired differently. Personally, if I have dirt on my cheek, or spinach in my teeth, I would really appreciate a kindly mention, so I can fix my problem, and not feel ashamed because I couldn’t keep my act together. Some people feel embarrassed by being told about the dirt on her cheek (or his) or the spinach in the teeth. So what are we to do? If I feel that no one cares about me enough to lend a hand by mentioning it, but you feel humiliated because you understand that same action as a scolding, how can we know what the other person will appreciate or feel blamed by? I am doing my small best to contribute to making others’ lives easier. I suspect a lot of us are. We just speak different languages. Sad.
This. Being snarky is uncalled for, but I was brought up to believe that any comment that makes me better should be appreciated (even if it’s not delivered nicely) because it ultimately helps me. But the name calling and character assassination is sad-if we can’t be civil over such a small matter, how will we settle the big ones?
Now, off to battle the bugs.
Thank you! I willl try it, since I have a gazillion plants and realized all this information about gnats too late I don’t want to repot all these plants… So i need to find a fix that I can do without too much difficulty. I’ve got plenty of vinegar traps out and I’m letting all my plants get very driest they can be. It’s really between peroxide which I haven’t heard concrete evidence for and nematodes which is extremely pricey for the amount of plants I have and this new soil I’m just reading about diatomaceous earth… it sounds amazing so I’m definitely going to try that first
Thank you for the suggested remedies. I am going to try each method until I extinguish my infestation. What a pain these damn things are! I have way too many plants to toss them all.
Again, thanks for all of your suggestions!!
I don’t even want to read the complaints about other things here except knats.
I tried Apple Cider Vinegarwith dish soap and water and it did not work too well.
I had an exterminator come in twice or just sprayed around the windows and outside the front door of my
apt. Forget it.
My son just sprayed a bug mist from Walmart on Sat. but left the A/C on which I think may have weakened it’s effectiveness.
So we may have to do it again.
I found a Citronella home potion answer to knats and used it this afternoon. I also bought another product in Walmart
called Repel which is Lemon Eucalyptus repellent .It is a spray., It has no Deet in it. It is working on my skin. But they tell you not to use it more than twice a day. It has been a very tough thing, in my opinion getting rid of these miserable Bugs.
I will keep on keeping on with what I am doing and good luck to others with knat problems also.
If anyone else has any other suggestions, I am open to hearing them. Thank You.
Ultimately we are ending up using Hot Shot Defogger. You have to leave the house for at least 2 hours and take pets
out also. The other measures did not measure up to kill all of them.
I was going nuts already trying to get rid of them. Almost in tears at times.
The babies are tough to get rid of. I managed to kill of the larger ones first.
Little black dots. You can just about see them. But they bite and they are such a nuisance. \
Good luck to all.
Hello … I use the coconut shaving stuff for my Tortoises enclosure. They gnats are really bad.. what can use so as not to injury my tortise?
Well thank you all I laughted so much at the blog that I forgot about the damn fungus mites that are driving me crazy. Oh the hell with it they live they die . Good luck everone.
You too. I know what you mean about forgetting about the dam biting miserable knats.
However I do want to get rid of them. Ha Ha
Good luck to all with them.
Tried everything and killed all plants lol finally just took all dirt off plant and planted in fresh dirt problem solved!!
Ok all your comments on grammar, nothing to do with the questions on killing fungus gnats and larvae! Has anyone actually tried any of the solutions and did they work? I really want advice and answers. I’m not concerned with the childish comments. I want to know how to deal with the problem!!!!
My Jade tree is two times the size since summer!!
My solution worked perfectly!! Get rid of all dirt throw it out!! Let plant soak in water two days. Replant in fresh dirt cheap enough all the pesticides don’t work and are expensive!
Wow, I sure did not expect to get a grammar lesson along with remedies for these gnats. If it were different circumstances, I would say, “learned two for the time.” But, it wasn’t meant to be helpful, the ridicule that is…….
Anyway…. I noticed these gnats flying around in various plants after I brought them in from outside for the winter. But, here is the catch…….. I repotted nearly every plant I brought indoors prior to bringing them indoors. Is it possible these gnats were in the soil I purchased? I did not notice them when I was transplanting each one and I made sure to clean all pots with hot soapy water prior to using them. I am really concerned because I have many plants, one particular plant since 1985! Would I have seen the gnats or larve when repotting the plants if soil was contaminated? The soil looked fine and is a well known brand purchased at well known store.
Gee, I have re-written nearly every sentence because I certainly do not wish to be called names.
Sad we cannot just accept what someone tried to do without picking it to pieces.
Anyway… since I had already purchased several bags of potting soil, my pockets are now empty plus this was not the only article I read so hopefully one or two of my various treatments will be the savior. (Was this acceptable grammar?)
If you have to replant soak the plant in water for a few days like a sick Bay so any gnats get drowned. Check all the indoor plants gnat will spread to them all . I bet it wasn’t in the soil it probably wasn’t caught in one of your plants.
Yes! Purchased soil can definitely be the culprit. I just repotted a bunch of my houseplants thinking I was doing them a favor. But I got infected soil and am now dealing with a houseful of black gnats, I will pick up a spider and take it outside. A wasp, whatever. I’m such a pacifist. But this is war. These little guys are all dying a swift and justified demise.
This is my first year growing tomatoes indoor and the infestation was terrible. The female gnats would bite me whenever I sat still. I tried pretty much everything under the sun but couldn’t get rid of them, until I bought some fly ribbons. Prior to that, I used masking tape and packing tape, wrapping them around the top of the pot leaving half of the tape over the edge. Those nasty gnats liked to walk along the rim of the pot and they often got stuck. The only problem was that the glue on those tapes was not strong enough and some of them escaped. I finally decided to buy some yellow fly ribbons, the thick gooey stuff was so sticky that I had to be careful not to get it on my clothes. I put the ribbon around the top of the pot and you wouldn’t believe how many gnats got stuck on just one ribbon. I also water the plant from the bottom so the top layer of soil is always dry. I still see a few gnats here and there but at least I can now sit still and don’t have to worry about getting bitten.
Wait.. u mean to tell me yall been going bk and forth for a year off of someone’s grammar?? That’s crazy to me.. lol
Ok. So, all the off topic criticisms aside; I’ve actually tried ALL the methods listed, to no avail. Soapy water does kill the adults, providing you get a fair amount on them; which is difficult when they bury themselves in the soil whilst you spray. I’ve even tried straight rubbing alcohol poured into the soil. It drove all the larvae to the surface, but did not kill them. I have sticky traps on every window and in every plant pot which helps a little; but certainly doesn’t eradicate the problem. I’m beginning to lose many seedlings from these pests. As a last ditch effort, I just ordered some beneficial nematodes from a company that ships them with an ice pack ( temperature exposure above 38 degrees is said to degrade the quality of the live product). I will follow up in two weeks with an update either way. I’ve also heard that diatomaceous earth (food grade) could help as well, but I haven’t tried that.
Hello.. I have tried various methods as well. I am replying to say the Dimenterous earth does not work. I sprinkled it on top of a few plants and seems the adults are still in and out. I am very worried about one particular plant because I have had it for almost 32 years…. I just quit watering it. I have not seen any adults on the top soil for a little while but it’s down to 2 leaves. 🙁 I am subscribed so when u follow up, I will receive notification. A co-worker told me she seemed to have most trouble with the (soo sorry I have to mention a name brand) miracle grow potting soil. This is what I used to repot all my plants last fall. I will not buy it again. Spring is right around the corner and I will repot them again with different soil.
Well that’s a bummer does anybody have a name brand of a soil that actually is good because I thought that Miracle-Gro was a good quality soil
Keep me posted let me know how that soil works I’m going to get it tomorrow and try it as well
I always had problems with Miracle Grow. I will never ever buy it again.
Ha! Ha! One commenter was attacking “Americans” for being arrogant. What makes you think that the person who wrote that comment on grammar is American? Americans in general are not trained on grammar rules. “Educated” Asians are drilled on grammar rules, but most of them can hardly speak. When they come to the U.S. they think they know everything about the American English grammar rules to the extent that they even think they are better than their English professors or the native speakers. I know for a fact because I am an ESL professor.
…I am an American and have also been a writer for 37 years and I still can’t spell worth a darn.
So stop poking fun at others.
Hi from Australia everyone. We get fungus gnats here too. I have an infestation in my house plants and like some others I am really worried, especially about my older plants. I have tried the vinegar traps and the potato slices, but there are so many larvae…
Could y’all please let me know if anyone has had any luck with the peroxide method? And is this method okay for edible plants?? The nematodes sound great, but they’re expensive…
I live next to the beach, so sand sounds like a good option too, but do you think that will that work on the larvae?
Ryan, I used Neem oil and it reduced the gnats but I sometimes see one.
I mixed it 2 table spoons per half gallon of water, stronger than the instructions.
Then flooded the top soil all around.
I tried fruit fly traps for the adults but none are in it.
Hope you get it fixed.
Hi Dan: thanks for the reply. Can I ask how long you have been using this technique, and how bad your infestation was?
Seems like it would be prudent to mention the most important fact about fungus gnat larvae. DO NOT overwater your plants. If you allow the top of your soil to go dry and turn brown before watering, the gnats will have to look elsewhere for a home. Prevention is the key.
Also, grammar police police are doing the same thing they are policing. So let me be the grammar police police police and say please police yourself even though I, myself, am being the police to the police who are policing the poor grammar. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Good day.
I tried the 1:4 ratio of 3% hydrogen peroxide and it killed one of the suckers coming off of a dracaena marginata that I had recently trimmed down. I wish I had checked out a few more sources before using that ratio. It seems a bit extreme compared to some others I found. Here is what I use now as a reference: http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/gardening-with-hydrogen-peroxide.html
Sorry, it’s still early so I have no results to share using the reference I provided. However, the 1:4 ratio did seem to prove harmful.
I sprinkled cinnamon on top of the soil. Gnats have left the plants but now they just fly around the room. So annoying!! I just want them out of the house but am not getting rid of my plants.
Gnat Nix was recommended by a pest control. person. Have not tried it yet.
I removed the top 2″ of soil then sprinkled a teaspoon of cinnamon and then teplaced with dry new soil. I set a trap next to the plant – will report back
Fred that sounds like a great idea it just seems like a lot of work I’m wondering if anybody has tried that diatomaceous dirt… I heard one person said it didn’t work but it seems like it would work great on the larvae
Don’t listen to the haters you did a great article! Thanks for the ideas!
Use the microwave, put the plant, pot, and dirt in and nuke them! 5 seconds should do the trick to kill these little buggers!
Then again, they may mutate and come back the size of crows….
I microwaved a pot of dirt with the buggers for five minutes and they were still walking around on top!
fungus gnats appeared 6 weeks ago. I removed plants from house 5 weeks ago when I searched and found what they were. I have been using vinegar and detergent, yellow sticky sheets and blue light electric zappers. There is no soil anywhere in my house yet they continue to breed somewhere with a frenzy. I have never seen a larva anywhere only varying sizes of gnats from big to little. Since one infested plant was near some wood trim , could they be breeding in there. Honestly, my exterminator tried to blast my house to no avail. I am going crazy as they follow lights and follow us with any food we introduce. What can I do. I am zapping, sticking, drowning what seems like thousands a day and they just keep breeding and appearing.. HELP
Hi Emily 🙂 Sorry to hear about your awful infestation. Hopefully this information will help you: after reading this article, which was very informative and hopefully will help if I end up with these awful gnats again someday, I continued searching for information on the gnats and thought of your post after reading some information posted by the University of Maryland. The larvae do not feed on plant roots. They feed on fungus growing on the decomposing, moist, organic material in the soil. Hence the name “Fungus” gnats. So one does not need soil in their home to have these gnats reproducing and driving them crazy. They can be breeding in a sink or bathtub drain or anywhere that is moist enough and that is also growing fungus they can feed on. It said to pour drain cleaners down the drains and/or clean the “catch” to remove their breeding site. If this is not enough info. I will go and find the website I was on and post the web address here for you. I really hope this helps you, I figure that you must find their breeding and larval feeding grounds and destroy it to get rid of your problem.
Alright, here is that web address I said I would post so you can see the information I found for yourselves: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/fungus-gnats
I found this because I tripped on the picture of the larvae moving all together like one big worm I saw in my search results and wanted to know what that was about. The website tells you a little more about that craziness.
I learned a lot.
I have been dealing with these things in my home for a long time and they are driving me crazy. I appreciate this article and the input from others as well.
Never give in to the negative. That person enjoyed pushing the button on each and every person who responded to his/her negativity. Say bless you, or nothing at all and move on. I can almost guarantee that, (the fact of literally being ignored), would have bothered him/her more than the attention that was given to their negative sad attention-seeking stunt.
Again, thank you to the creator of this post and the gracious people with their input. Good luck to everyone with this problem. I will share if and what works for me. Stay blessed people!
I use a propane tourch to burn all the fungus knatts on the soil works great.
I had actually had some home made pineapple vinegar that worked amazingly well. Gnats immediately began drowning themselves.
Take all the parts of a pineapple you would normally throw away. I put them in a half gallon miracle whip jar. I used a cup of unrefined coconut sugar but I think you can use regular sugar.
Put a paper towel over the top and secure with a rubber band. Give it all a good stir every 2 days and in a couple of weeks you will have great vinegar.
Use that in a small bowl near your plants and kill many gnats.
OMG it’s been a few days I noticed little black flies it wasn’t until I slapped one that I found stripes on the body and they’re Fungus Gnats I immediately put all my plants outside and made a trap where the plants we’re of cider vinegar and dawn I shut all the drains so there is no moisturizer location. I did notice over the winter like cotton balls I vacuumed them up never questioning why they we’re there I did soak my plants when I watered them so I created the problem myself. I have just been dealing with the adults the past two days and killing them every chance I get its not an infestation I’m seeing them here and there. My question is if I put the plants outside will that stop them somewhat if I keep the moisture source plugged like my drains etc? They we’re flying in my face earlier but since I put the plants out I’m not seeing the activity I.was help please? For those that have tried the different suggestions can you let everyone know what worked and what didn’t? It would be greatly appreciated.
I used an old trick my grandma told us. Take an old shirt and spray it with old aftershave. Yep, your area will smell like your grandpa but, no gnats.
Does potatoes get rid of gnats or will it attract it .
To say I was done with these stupid bugs is an understatement. I was determined to rid my plants of these bugs. This worked !!! 100% effective on all of my plants. I had tried most of the hints in this article – zip, nada, no help. I then had a thought about cotton hull plant liner for outdoor plants – rough surface / could not see gnats going through it to bury eggs in soil —- my treatment below.
Bare root plants – one or two at a time
Soak plant – greenery and root in soapy water / 1 TBS soap to 1 gallon water
Wash off all soap and clean pot with brush or heavy rag
Repot plant with clean dirt — never ever cheap stuff that might be infected – bought mine at garden center
Cut cotton hull (purchased a garden nursery for $20 a roll) and apply to top of soil
Fill in gaps with little aquarium rocks – no soil should be visible
Take inside and top with cut sticky boards (just to catch the remaining bugs in house) I cut my boards so they go much further. Good Luck