Fungus gnats are a common problem for soil plant growers particularly those overwatering
“If there is No Wet Topsoil, Fungus Gnats Naturally Vanished!”
Next Three Sections about:
Fungus Knat Sources, Signs, Differentiation, and diseases; Skip if you already know that.
Fungus gnats infest home, office, commercial and apartment plants, as well,
Fungus gnats need wet conditions to thrive
Overwatered matter has begun to decay in the topsoil,
Wet topsoil have broken down organic matter like dead leaves
Fungus gnat lays their eggs in the top layer of wet soil.
Spores of fungus gnat will grow once warm and wet conditions in the soil are present.
Plants require warm wet soil are more likely to get more damage like cannabis and these perennials, shrubs and trees: astilbe, cardinal flower, sedge, rose mallow, summersweet, hibiscus, European cranberrybush viburnum, leucothoe, fothergilla, inkberry, sweetspire, sweet and swamp azaleas, white spruce and black gum.
More Gnats Sources
Learn How to detect them
What Fungus gnats are?
They are small, dark, short-lived flies, of the families Sciaridae,Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae, and Mycetophilidae (orderDiptera); they are sometimes placed in the superfamily Mycetophiloidea.
What is difference between Fungus gnat and Fruit Fly?
Remember that Fruit flies are brown/yellow/orange while fungus knats are dark brown or black. Fruit flies tend to be bigger/fatter and easier to see than tiny fungus nats.
Adults of fungus gnats are 1/8 inch long, delicate, black flies with long legs and antennae. There is a distinct “Y-shaped” pattern on the forewings. The larvae are wormlike and translucent, with a black head capsule, and live in the growing medium of houseplants.
Fungus gnat larvae usually are located in the top 2 to 3 inches of the growing medium, depending on moisture level, while fruit fly exists whenever the rotten food exists.
Most fungus gnats are merely annoying and cause relatively little damage to plants. But several species of fungus gnat larvae feed on roots, causing damage to African violets, cannabis, Geraniums, Carnations, Poinsettias, and other houseplants. Others burrow into stems and leaves.
You will see adults resting on plants, soil, windows, or walls, or you might see them in flight.
They may be quite annoying to humans as they fly into their faces, eyes, and noses.
Identify them well
Monitor for larvae by chunks of raw potato placed in pots with the cut sides down (not the peels), you can see them trapped to potatoes.
Remember the better the diagnosis the effective the solution
Tiny flying black bugs around your plants & crawling on your soil
Tiny white or translucent larvae with black heads in the soil
Seedlings are weak for no apparent reason
Plants show wilting, yellowing, drooping, spots
Plants will growing slowly or show no growth and thus yields can be reduced
Why kill fungus gnats?
Fungus gnats can inflict extensive damage to seedlings in houseplants,
Gnat’s Larvae helping in the decomposition of organic matter:
The larvae feed on plant roots that have sat in drain water too long and are thus rotting and may be attracted to fungus growing in saturated topsoil,
Some fungus gnats are exceptionally hardy, being able to tolerate cold conditions through their possession of antifreeze proteins.
The gnats’ infestation can seriously stunt your plant’s growth by:
Causing discoloration in the foliage
Malformed branches and limbs
The larvae play a role in the spread of plant diseases with dangerous healthy effectiveness, such as: Pythium on their feet, Verticillium, Cylindrocladium, and Scelerotinia.
Today’s Solutions for getting rid of Fungus Gnat
Most of the fungus gnat’s life is spent as a larva and pupa in organic matter or soil, so the most effective control methods target these immature stages rather than attempting to directly control the mobile, short-lived adults.
Previous Topics, Kill Fungus Gnat
1- Allowing the soil to dry to destroy breeding habitat which will reduce their numbers, by:
- Avoid overwatering your cannabis plants from now on
- Don’t water your plants for a few days and between watering especially the top 1 to 2 inches
- Gets a fan blowing air over the top of the growing medium
2- Soil preparation, Fixation and Surface Replacement:
- Eliminate natural habitat in your house and yard. Eliminate irrigation system leaks and piles of decomposing organic matter. These are favorite hangouts for fungus nats.
- Prepare for Your Next Grow to prevent already-infested soil or deteriorated.
- May be managed by placing a layer of sterile sand or indoor mulch on top of the soil around plants which is free of organic matter and dries out quickly; in other words improve the drainage of the potting mix (e.g., increase the proportion of perlite or sand in the mix), Some Products like Gnat Nix can be used as a top dressing to significantly reduce pest populations.
- Minimize organic debris around buildings and crops. Avoid fertilizing with excessive amounts of manure, blood meal, or similar organic materials. Read New Soil Review
3- How to Solarize Soil?
- Purchase and use only pasteurized container mix or potting mix. Commercial growers often treat potting soil with heat or steam before using it; this will kill flies and the algae and microorganisms they feed on. Home gardeners can solarize soil:
- Moisten it.
- Place it in a bag of transparent plastic or black plastic.
- Make the pile no deeper than about 8 inches.
- Place the bagged soil on a slightly elevated surface, such as a pallet in a sunny location, for about 4 to 6 weeks.
4- Naturally control fungus gnat infestations in plant pots and Compost Piles
To discourage fungus gnat infestations in your potted plants, here are some suggestions for prevention, exclusion and suppression methods:
- Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth over exposed parts of soil
- Beneficial Not pathogenic nematodes (Steinernema feltiae)
- Fungus Gnat Predator as predatory mites (Hypoaspis miles or Hypoaspis aculeifer) and predatory rove beetle (Atheta coriaria), you can release 10,000 predators per 200 – 1,000 square feet depending on pest levels.
5- Yellow sticky traps for fungus gnats
Place yellow sticky cards in the grow area which covered with a glue that will trap adult fungus gnats, bringing down their numbers. Keep your sticky yellow cards up until Fungus Gnats are completely gone which can a few days to a few weeks, Yellow sticky traps can be cut into smaller squares, attached to wooden skewers or sticks and placed in pots to trap adults.
Home Remedies to destroy fungus gnats larvae:
- Drenching the soil annually in an insecticidal soap; It soaks into the dirt in a pot, killing larvae without damaging your plant.
- Applying detergents and nicotine from tobacco brewed into a toxic tea.
- Use peppermint, cinnamon as a Natural Flying Insect Killer, a combination of peppermint, cinnamon and sesame oils, is a non-toxic spray that will get rid of gnats and other insects that gather around windows.
- Potatoes Slides Trap fungus gnats away from plant roots
An effective means of detecting the presence of fungus gnat larvae is to insert 1/4 inch slices or wedges of potato into the growing medium. Larvae will migrate to the potato and start feeding within a few days. The potato slices should be turned over to look for larvae present on the underside.
After a few days in a pot, remove infested chunks, dispose of them, and replace with fresh ones.
- Soap Vinegar Bait for trapping Adult Fungus Gnats:
- Fungus gnats are lighter than liquid, so they’re able to walk across the surface without sinking. Dish soap breaks the surface tension of the liquid, causing them to drown in the vinegar in the trap.
- Drop a small bit of ripe fruit such as banana or cantaloupe into the vinegar. Make sure the bait is large enough to protrude above the surface of the liquid. It will attract adult gnats faster than vinegar alone.
- Soak plant containers in 1 part bleach and 9 parts water for 10 minutes to disinfect. Wash with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
Insecticides Gnaticides Vs Natural Remedies, which work well?
The most effective treatments are those that are persistent; killing adults for up to three days. A number of pyrethroid-based insecticides, with extended persistence, are available for use on houseplants including those containing the following active ingredients: bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, and lambdacyhalothrin. Short-persisting contact insecticides such as those containing pyrethrins, soaps, oils, and neem, do not provide sufficient long-term control of fungus gnat adults and require repeat applications at short intervals (couple of days) to exhibit effects.
When using these products on houseplants or interiorscape containers, if possible move plants outdoors for treatment as a precaution, and wait about a day after applying the chemical before bringing them back inside.
Getting Rid of Fungus Gnats in BathroomAlso Drain Gnats lay eggs in sinks and around, they tend to hatch and buzzing around your food and hit your face, Pouring Vegetable Oil, neem oil, petroleum oil are good remedies to get rid of drain gnats and fungus gnats around sinks and inside pipes.
More about that: Kill Kitchen and Bathroom Gnats
Best Fungus gnats natural control
- SM-90 – Use 1 part SM-90 to 5 parts water and water your plants with this mix – brute force attack to kill larvae directly
- Use Mosquito Bits applying the biological larvicide “BT” or “BTi” Bacillus thuringiensis to kill gnat larvae; subspecies israelensis is best, sprinkling on soil by Powder and dry formulations of BTi
- Can’t find bacillus thuringiensis or SM-90? Start trying hydrogen peroxide to kill fungus gnats by use 1 part 3% pure hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water – another type of brute force attack to kill larvae directly.
Nothing are going to work unless stopping overwatering your plants
Do Not use Alcoholic wine or Chlorine water to kill soil larvae, or your houseplants will be destroyed.
Nothing is 100% effective; just mix them to make a powerful tool to kill fungus nats.
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