Fungus Gnats are one of the harmful insects for plants, especially houseplants. They are small, dark, soil-dwelling flies that feed on organic matter in potting mix and other growing media. They can harm the roots and stunt the growth of young plants and seedlings. And potting soils for indoor plants are a habitat with an excellent source of food for the larvae to grow. They can quickly infest the entire container, all the way down to the base of the pot, and will even feed on fallen leaves lying on top of the soil.
So if your plants are getting into trouble with this hated insect, you shouldn’t ignore this article today. Here are 5 easy ways to remove this hated pest from your houseplants. These ways are safe and friendly-environment such as water houseplants sparingly it means you should water less than that just enough for the need of plants, you can make traps by using potatoes or enhance beneficial nematodes into your soils, and more. Check them out to know more information.
#1 Water Houseplants Sparingly
The easiest way to reduce fungus gnat populations indoors is to simply stop watering your plants as much. Adult fungus gnats are most attracted to a soil that is moderately damp, with a moisture content of 52%. In addition to limiting water, you’ll also want to ensure your potting soil drains well.
#2 Insect Traps
While setting up some insect traps won’t rid you entirely of these meddlesome pests, it can certainly help cull their numbers. To catch larvae, slice up a raw potato into disks or wedges and nestle them into the soil. Larvae will infest the potato, keeping them from feeding on plant roots. After a few days, remove the potatoes from the soil and replace with fresh ones.
#3 Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is excellent pest control for soft-bodied insects because it punctures the body and dries them up from the inside out. To tackle both adults and larvae, carefully sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the surface of the soil, to a depth of a ¼ inch. Leave it for one week before gently mixing it into the top layer of the soil. To prevent DE from washing away when you water your plants, simply water from below.
#4 Beneficial Nematodes
Beneficial nematodes are teeny tiny roundworms that feed on various types of soil-borne pests. Operating as both a predator and a parasite, Steinernema feltiae is a species of nematode that is very effective against fungus gnat larvae.
#5 Sterilize Your Potting Soil
A sure-fire way to kill off fungus gnats for good is to sterilize your soil with heat. This is most definitely the nuclear option since it’s time-consuming and somewhat labor-intensive. There are two ways to accomplish this, the faster way (with a microwave) and the slower way (using solar heat).