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.
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