How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats
Indoor plants are a fun and decorative way to bring the great outdoors in, but sometimes they can come accompanied by tiny, unwelcome guests, otherwise known as fungus gnats.
While fungus gnats cannot harm humans, they can harm your precious potted plants residing indoors and outside. With this guide, you’ll be able to identify fungus gnats and the damage they cause, learn how to get rid of fungus gnats in plants, and how to get rid of fungus gnats in your home with simple and effective neonicotinoid-free methods that are also safe for plants, animals, beneficial bugs, and pollinators!
What are Fungus Gnats?
If you notice mosquito-like bugs with long, slender bodies hovering or walking on the soil of your potted plants or moisture-heavy area and think, “those look too small to be mosquitoes”, it’s likely you have a family of fungus gnats who decided to make your plants their new home sweet home..
Closely resembling a mosquito but averaging about the same size as a fruit fly, adult fungus gnats have grayish-black bodies and clear or dark-ish clear wings. Adult fungus gnats generally live for about one to two weeks and complete a life cycle from egg to adult in 18 to 30 days.
So, what brought these tiny pests to your potted plants in the first place?
What Causes Fungus Gnats?
Unlike fruit flies which like to hover around fruits and vegetables, fungus gnats prefer moisture-rich environments like the soil of overwatered potted plants, overwatered lawns, or other areas where standing water is present that cause fungi to grow. These areas often include flat roofs, leaky pipes, areas in or outside of your home that are not draining properly, water damaged walls, but more often than not, you will find fungus gnats loitering around overwatered potted plants.
Identifying Fungus Gnat Damage in House Plants
Fungus gnat damage closely resembles root rot, including yellowing or dropping leaves, stunted plant growth, and wilting. If roots are extremely damaged, the plant will die.
Fungus gnats lay eggs (anywhere from 100 to 200 eggs) in the soil. Once hatched and in the larvae stage, fungus gnats then feed on the plant roots below the surface, making it difficult to identify them before damage occurs if adult gnats are not spotted around the plant’s surface first.
How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats In Your Houseplants & Outdoor Plants
Whether you need to know how to get rid of fungus gnats in your houseplants or your outdoor potted plants or garden, a garden-safe insecticide is a highly effective solution to stopping fungus gnats (and the damage they cause) in their tracks.
Since fungus gnat larvae need moisture-rich soil to survive in plants, you’ll want to empty any excess water from your plant (if possible) and allow the soil dry enough to reduce the soil’s moisture level. Then, begin your fungus gnat larvae killer routine by applying a garden-safe fungus gnat spray designed to get rid of fungus gnats at every stage of their life cycle. For instance, Organic Labs ORGANOCIDE® BEE SAFE 3-in-1 Organic Garden Spray is a triple-action insecticide, fungicide, and miticide fungus gnat spray designed to effectively get rid of fungus gnats in your houseplants or outdoor plants.
Meanwhile, the ORGANOCIDE® BEE SAFE Insect Killer is the perfect soil drench solution to stop current fungus gnats from causing infestation, and warding off any future infestations as well.
For extra support and to stop adult fungus gnats before they can reach your plants, you may want to set fly baits or sticky traps near your plants to catch any newcomers.
How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Your Home
If you notice a fungus gnat problem in an area of your home where there is excess moisture or standing water, your first step should be to eradicate the problem that caused the attraction in the first place. Don’t be afraid to apply a spot treatment using a bee-safe fungus gnat larvae killer to stop any future infestations, and be sure to set up plenty of fly baits and traps to stop adult fungus gnats from continuing the life cycle.
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For more on safely fighting off pesky insects like fungus gnats and the importance of Protecting the Bees with Organic Pesticides, be sure to follow Organic Labs on Facebook and Instagram!