By Naomi Roberts, founder of Quash & Crazy Indoor Plant Person.
Love your plant babies, but not your fungus gnats?
If you notice these little bugs flying around your plants, it is important to take quick action to get rid of them, as one adult can lay up to 200 eggs and it only takes a mere 17 days for an egg to hatch and become an adult…. I’ll leave you to do the math.
In this post, I'll explain why plants attract fungus gnats and give you some tips on how to eliminate them naturally.
Fungus gnats are attracted to the moisture that surrounds plant roots. This is especially true for potted plants that are overwatered. Overwatering creates a damp environment that is conducive to the growth of fungus, mould, and other microorganisms that fungus gnats feed on.
These small pests lay their eggs in the moist soil around the plant roots, where larvae hatch and feed on the organic matter in the soil. This results in weakened plants that are more susceptible to disease.
The good news is that there are several ways to get rid of fungus gnats and prevent them from returning. Here are some things you can try:
1. Dry out the soil
Fungus gnats thrive in moist soil, so the first step in getting rid of them is to dry out the soil. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering to deprive the gnats of their habitat. Soil moisture meters are an inexpensive and easy way to manage when it’s time to water.
2. Improve drainage and aeration
Poor drainage and aeration can lead to moisture buildup in the soil, providing a breeding ground for fungus gnats. Repot the plants in well-draining soil and ensure proper airflow by pruning overgrowth and removing crowded plants.
3. Avoid over-fertilising your plants
Too much fertiliser can cause soil to retain excess moisture, which makes it an ideal breeding ground for fungus gnats.
4. Apply nematodes
Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on fungus gnat larvae, effectively controlling their population. Mix nematodes with water and apply to the soil of the infested plants.
5. Apply neem oil
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that disrupts the hormonal balance of the gnats and prevents them from maturing. Mix neem oil with water and spray on the soil and foliage of the affected plants.
6. Use natural insecticides
You can also use plant-based insecticides specially designed to kill fungus gnats, but make sure to follow the instructions carefully, and choose non-toxic options as much as possible.
7. Clear debris regularly
It’s important to keep your plants clean and free of dead leaves, which can encourage the growth of fungus and other unwanted microorganisms. Gnats are attracted to decaying or damaged plant tissue. Plants that are stressed or injured produce chemicals that can be detected by gnats. This can lead to an infestation of gnats that can further damage plant tissue and spread disease.
Fungus gnats are pesky insects that will multiply like wildfire, so you must get ontop of them pronto.
Don’t have time to take on all these things? Neither did I, and that’s why I founded Quash.
Our Quash Indoor Insect Traps are non-toxic, set-and-forget fungus gnat traps.
They do the heavy lifting for you, while you get on with your life. Utilising patented technology, Quash seductively lures in your insects with a UV light, sucks them down with a vacuum fan, and traps them on a sticky glue pad. Non-toxic, easy to clean and inexpensive to run. They will work to catch mozzies, fruit flies and moths too.
I'm Naomi, founder of Quash. I created Quash after I looked for and couldn't find a way to enjoy a buzz-free home life - without resorting to nasty toxic chemicals or dangerous electrocuting zappers.
Our kitchen is a busy place, and fruit flies are not welcome. Being a busy working mum, I'm all about reliable and easy solutions to problems.
Are you trying to make your home a no-fly zone?