How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats At Home

Karin Carr, Owner
Published on October 3, 2022

The other insects on your plants may or may not be visible, but fungus gnats are right in your face (they are drawn to the carbon dioxide we breathe).

Have you ever purchased houseplants for your home or office with the intention of bringing some nature indoors but noticed after a week or so that obtrusive small black flies are darting in and out of your line of sight with your computer screen? Ugh! You have a problem with fungus gnats!

Although fungus gnats resemble tiny mosquitoes or fruit flies, they are unrelated and do not bite. They can spread from cut flowers, especially from rotten old vase water, or even from plants with unsterilized soil (poinsettias can be the worst).

In moist plant soil, residential drains, and sewage areas, fungus gnats can be found. In wet soil, fungus gnats lay their eggs. Prior to developing into adult gnats and flying out of the plant soil onto your face, their larvae, which are only one-hundredth of an inch long, are almost impossible to notice. They eat plant roots, soil-borne leaves, and decomposing plant matter. It takes them around 10 days to grow. Indoors, they can reproduce all year long.

This issue is being exacerbated by the gentle care you provide your indoor plants, including watering them. The fungus gnats will like staying in your home if the soil of your houseplants is continually moist. The growing medium used for houseplants is another factor. Numerous potting mixture types contain components that hold onto moisture, and everything that promotes moisture also promotes fungus gnats. We ought to purchase this from facilities that pre-treat the land to get rid of any potential bugs.

How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats At Home

Quick Fixes

  1. Soil Dehydration. Many infestations are caused by overwatering plants. You can theoretically make your plant soil dry and unfriendly to gnats by having to wait longer between watering sessions.
  2. Sliced potatoes. Remove any fallen or rotting plant components (leaves and roots) that provide food for fungus gnat larvae. If you want to determine if you have them, place a few fresh potato slices on top of the dirt. Examine the bottom after a few days. Do they appear chewed? Fungus gnat larvae have been discovered in your plants.
  3. Flypaper traps. Flypaper traps will catch many of the adults, but they will not protect your plants’ roots.
  4. Cinnamon & Chamomile Tea. Strong natural fungicides like chamomile and cinnamon eliminate the principal food source for gnats, rendering the soil uninhabitable.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide. Make a solution of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to four parts water and apply it to the soil to destroy the larvae. The peroxide will kill the larvae while causing no harm to the plant. In fact, it’s even helpful in modest quantities. Water with an extra oxygen molecule is the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide. That oxygen aids the plant’s absorption of nutrients from the soil and may even make the roots healthier.

It could be extremely difficult to entirely eradicate fungus gnats on your own if they frequently infest your plants, especially those in your office. In one instance, the gnats were entering through the ventilation system from another office, as I’ve seen!

Cover the surface of the soil with a fungus gnat repellent such as diatomaceous earth or cinnamon powder to keep them from returning. Neither is detrimental to plants and using either can protect your garden against a wide variety of creepy crawlies. Cinnamon is an effective insect repellent that works well against flies, ants, and other pests, while diatomaceous earth is composed of microscopic shards of silica that kill insects. When you have the right information, eliminating gnats from indoor plants is a breeze.

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