How to Identify and Control Fungus Gnats on Houseplant: Pro Advices

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Fungus gnats can be described as tiny black flies you find buzzing around indoor plants. They are not fun and can cause severe damage to houseplants. These annoying little bugs can be eradicated with these great tips. Although adult fungus gnats can be pretty harmless, larvae can cause severe damage. The larvae feed primarily on fungi and algae, but they also feed on the roots of plants, which can cause root damage and stunted growth. It is best to eliminate fungus gnats immediately you spot them. Learn how to identify and control fungus gnats on houseplant.

What are fungus gnats

Fungus Gnats is a tiny, fruit-fly-sized pest that mainly affects indoor houseplants. Adult gnats attract to the moisture in potting soil and lay up to 200 eggs on an organic matter close to the soil surface. The eggs hatch into larvae after three days. These larvae burrow into the soil to eat fungi, decaying plant matter, and other insects. Repeat the process two weeks later when adult gnats emerge. Adults can live up to one week. Fungus gnats can’t bite or spread diseases, so they are harmless to humans.

Those fungus gnats can pose a problem to houseplants if they multiply and feed on the roots of plants. Fungus gnats can also spread Pythium, which is a group that causes “damping off” in seedlings. To end a fungus-gnat infestation, you must use consistent management and preventive techniques. We’ve provided a list of some of the best methods to get rid of adults and prevent new gnats.

Learn now: How to get rid of springtails in your soil

How to identify and control fungus gnats on houseplant

How can you tell if your plant has fungus gnats? They look very much like small black flies or mosquitoes. It’s not difficult to determine if your house plants are suffering from fungus gnats. Scrutinizing the soil is best to determine if your plants have fungus gnats. You may notice black flies or other insects around your plants. This is a sign of a fungus-gnat infestation. You should be aware that not all bugs and insects are fungus-gnats. Therefore, you may need to look for other signs to confirm they are. Now, we will teach you how to identify and control fungus gnats on houseplant.

Search for fungus gnat larvae

Look around at the ground surrounding your houseplant. Are there any white larvae on the ground? The larvae of fungus gnats look like tiny white specks in the soil. These are fungus gnat larvae that have just hatched. Take a look at your plants. There are some signs that fungus gnats can cause damage to a plant. You should check if the plant has begun to wither or wilt. If the plant is withering, it could indicate that the fungus gnats are causing damage to the root system. They have been eating the plant’s potting dirt.

You should look out for yellowing or falling leaves. Plants will shed older leaves to make way for new growth. This is normal if the plant loses more leaves than expected or is losing both old and young leaves. The root systems of house plants are often damaged by fungus gnats, which eat the roots. The plant can’t get the nutrients and water it needs to survive without damaged roots. The leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall off. Check the soil for fungus and inspect the roots to see if the leaves are yellowing. If there are still healthy sections of the roots, you might be able to save them.

You should also check the growth rate of your seedlings. Do your seedlings or delicate young plants grow at the right speed? Are they making the expected progress and growing at the correct pace? You might have fungus gnats if your plants are not growing at the expected rate. Young plants stunt by fungus gnat larvae.

How to control fungus gnats on houseplant

Use a hydrogen peroxide

3% Hydrogen Peroxide can use to control larvae. Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 4 parts water. This solution must use to water your houseplant only when the top of the potting medium has dried. When adding the peroxide solution to the soil, you might hear an “effervescent” sound. After the peroxide has killed the gnat larvae, it will break down in the soil. It is entirely safe for your plants. It should work the first time, but you may need to do it again.

Allow the potting soil to dry out

Because fungus gnats prefer damp environments, house plants’ potting medium mustn’t always be damp. Although it is tempting to water your house plants often, you could be attracting pests by watering too frequently. Your plants will thrive if you water them regularly. You already know that mold is a favourite food of fungus gnats. Allow the soil’s top 2 inches to dry completely between watering. This will make it more difficult for fungus gnats to thrive. Feel the plant’s surface layer before you water it. Do not water if it is damp. You can water it if it is dry. Female fungus gnats are attracted to constantly wet soil. The eggs will not hatch into larvae if the soil is dried.

Repot the plant to stop fungus gnats

You can always report a plant with good nutrition if you find larvae-infested soil. Take the houseplant out of its container and dispose of the soil. Every plant has its own sensibilities. You must know how to best pot the plant you have. After removing the container, it is possible to report the plant. You should ensure that you don’t have any decaying material in your containers. This will help prevent fungus gnats from spreading. You should water your plant only as needed. Do not leave the soil wet as this can attract fungus gnats.

Use yellow sticky cards

Sticky yellow fly trap cards can capture fungus gnats in your houseplants. If you have a large population, this is an effective method. Flytrap cards that are yellow are commonly used by adult fungus gnats. Gnat Stix is a sticky yellow-card product that can be found online and in local nurseries. Simply place the sticky cards under the pot’s canopy to use this method. The sticky area will trap the gnats as they move toward the yellow card. This will help reduce the next generation of larvae.

Use Insecticides to control fungus gnats on houseplants

Many homeowners want to get rid of the problem of fungus gnats as soon as possible. Because they react differently to different treatments, you will need to use other insecticides for adults and larvae. The larvae are most likely to be born on the soil surface, so spraying the insecticide directly onto the soil is essential. Spray directly the insecticide onto the plant. However, gnats will often infest the soil and head for the roots.

A milder or more realistic option can be used, such as Neem Oil and dish soap. However, they are less effective against fungus gnats than other commercial options. You want to find highly effective and reliable insecticides that will get rid of gnats quickly and long term. Look for products with permethrin and bifenthrin as well as cyfluthrin and lambda cyhalothrin.

Use a biological control

Insect-parasitic Nematodes are a way to biologically control fungus. Steiner Feltiae can be used to treat the soil in house plants for fungus gnats. They are used to kill gnat larvae by being poured onto the soil with a solution. The roundworms will then alarmingly destroy the fungus larvae. Microscopic worms infiltrate the gnats through the mouth and breathe through other orifices. They then release bacteria which actually kills the gnat. This method can take up to four days to kill fungus gnat larvae. These microscopic roundworms eat the fungus larvae.

Conclusion

It can be challenging to get rid of fungus gnats. However, these tips will help you. Your watering schedule is key to keeping fungus gnats away. This can be adjusted, and these pests won’t bother you. You must ensure that your house plants thrive and that problems don’t get in the way. We hope now you learn everything about how to identify and control fungus gnats on houseplant.

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