The minor black bugs you notice swarming about your indoor plants are fungus gnats. It’s not enjoyable to have them around, and getting rid of fungus gnats in houseplants can indeed be difficult. Fortunately, I’ve got some terrific advice to help you get rid of these pesky little critters.
Fungus gnats in indoor plants
How to get rid of them six ways to keep fungus gnats away from your houseplants?
- Make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Allow time for the container material to dry.
- Transplant the plant or replace the growing medium if necessary.
- To catch and trap fungus gnats, employ yellow adhesive cards.
- Insecticides should be applied to the potting soil.
Use a biological pesticide
Fungus gnats are innocuous as adults, but their larvae can cause injury. Most of the time, larvae feed upon algae and fungi, but they can also eat on root system in the soil, causing root damage & stunted growth. Fungus gnats should be exterminated as soon as possible. Continue reading to find out how to eliminate fungus gnats in houseplants and avoid future infestations.
What Are Fungus Gnats, so How Do They Infest Houseplants?
Fungus gnats aren’t particularly large. In actuality, they only reach a length of about a quarter of an inch. You may believe that their larvae are too little to cause any harm, yet their larvae may harm your plants.
Bolitophilidae, Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, & Diptera are all members of the Fungus Gnat family. Fungus gnats prefer wet areas and go out of their way to find them. They are most commonly seen in moist forest regions, where they feed upon mushrooms & decaying plant materials.
- Because fungus gnats don’t hibernate like other insects in the winter, they can be a nuisance all year.
- Gnat larvae prefer moist areas to feed on decaying plant debris and algae.
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The following foods attract fungus gnats
- Plants that have been overwatered in the house (waterlogged soil)
- A bright source of light
- Mildew and mold
- Conditions that is wet or warm
- If this sounds like your house or garden, it’s time to work on making it less gnat-friendly.
A slice of raw potato can be used to test detect fungus gnat larvae in an organic method. Place potato slices or wedges on the soil’s surface and leave these like that for a few days. The larvae will begin feeding on the potato on the slice/underside. Wedge’s Check how so many larvae have worked their way to the blades or slices by turning them over. Several pieces can be used to lure gnats from your soil.
Fungus Gnats: How to Spot Them?
It’s not difficult to identify if your houseplants are infested with fungus gnats. And perhaps the most effective way to know for sure is to inspect the soil thoroughly. If you detect some black flies or bugs buzzing over your plants, you may have a fungus gnat invasion.
Of course, not all mosquitoes and bugs are fungus gnats, so search for other telltale indicators to confirm they are fungus gnats.
Fungus gnats can also be identified using the following methods:
Please take a close look at your plants to see how they’re doing. There are some telltale symptoms, such as when fungus gnats are now harming a plant. Examine the plant for signs of drooping or fading. A fading or drooping plant could indicate that fungus gnat has begun to devour the plant’s potting soil, causing damage to the root system.
Examining the plant
Examine the plant for yellowing foliage or leaves that have fallen off. It’s natural for plants to lose their older leaves to make room for new growth. This is not typical if the plants are losing more leaflets than expected, or perhaps both young and old leaves.
When fungus gnats consume the stems of indoor plants, the plant’s nutrition system is usually damaged. The plant can’t get nutrients or water to the leaves or the remainder of the plant if the roots are injured. The leaves begin turning yellow & fall off as a result of this.
Leaves turning into yellow
If your plant’s leaves are yellowing, look for fungus gnats in the soil & examine the roots for harm. If there are some healthy root portions left, you might well be capable of saving all the root systems.
If you have sprouted, keep an eye on their progress. Are your saplings’ or immature soft plants’ growth rate and improvement appropriate? You may be working with fungus gnats if they don’t seem to be growing as quickly as you’d want. Fungus gnat larvae can stunt young plants.
Fungus gnats and how to get rid of them?
In interior plantscapes and with houseplants, significant root damage and even plant mortality have been noted when high populations were linked to damp, organically rich soil. Therefore, a wilting houseplant may not be a sign of a water shortage but rather root damage from fungus gnat larvae from other causes of unhealthy roots.
You may do a few things to get rid of fungus gnats if you have an infestation. There are a few techniques to get rid of fungus gnats, as mentioned above.
Fungus gnats can be removed with a hydrogen peroxide plus water solution
For controlling larvae, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is an efficient chemical. To go and get treatment of fungus gnats, combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide and four parts water in a spray bottle.
Only use this solution to water your home plant whenever the lid of the potting material is dry. You may notice an effervescent sound while pouring the peroxide mixture into the soil. The peroxide will decompose in the ground once it has completed its task of destroying the gnat larvae. It will not affect your plant in any way. You may need to try the same thing if it doesn’t work the first time.
To get rid of fungus gnats, enable the gardening soil to dry up
The climate becomes excellent real estate for mold and algae to flourish if your plants are continually irrigated. As you probably already know, mold & algae are two things that fungus gnats adore. You can establish cold soil conditions for fungus gnats by permitting the top two-inch soil to dry thoroughly between waterings.
Inspect the upper layers of your house plants before watering them. Do not water if it is moist or damp. You can water it if it is dry. Female fungus gnats like moist soil in which to lay their eggs. The eggs do not hatch into larvae when the soil is dry.
To keep fungus gnats away, repot the plant
You could always report the plants in clean soil with good nutritional value if the soil is infested with larvae, and you might not want to kill the gnats. Extract the plant pot from its pot and throw away the contaminated soil. Ensure the roots are clean and that any excess dirt is shaken away from the plant.
Because each plant has its own set of sensitivity, it’s crucial to research the best way to report the plant you’re working with. You can write the plant once you’ve cleaned out the container. Fungus gnats can quickly spread if there is decaying plant waste in receptacles or near your recently potted plant.
How long does it take to get rid of fungus gnats?
Getting rid of fungus gnats can be time-consuming, but with persistence and the right approach, you can effectively eliminate these pests. The length of time it takes to get rid of fungus gnats depends on several factors, including the severity of the infestation, the type of plants you have, and the methods you use to control the problem.
Generally, it can take a few days to several weeks to get rid of fungus gnats, but the most common time frame is around two weeks. During this time, you’ll need to be vigilant in your efforts to control the population, including regularly inspecting your plants, using insecticides, and improving the overall health of your plants.