If you ask any owner of an indoor plant what their worst pet peeve is, they will most likely respond “house gnats.” We all adore houseplants, but it can be really bothersome when those tiny gnats begin to buzz around the monstera or Calathea you’ve thoughtfully placed in your cosy plant nook. Gnats are tiny, flying insects that prefer damp soil as their home. Once they’ve found it, they can multiply rapidly. A female gnat’s short life span of roughly seven days allows it to lay anywhere from 100 to 150 eggs. Thus, you can see how their population could skyrocket if you do not take prompt action to eradicate gnats from your houseplants.
Luckily, most adult gnats do not harm plants. An example of this is the fungus gnat that is frequently found inside dwellings. They are not as vicious and bloodsucking as their cousins the mosquitoes. Large populations of larvae, however, have the potential to harm young plants’ roots and limit plant growth. So, how would one handle an infestation of gnats? Let’s investigate.
Fungus Gnats in Houseplants: What Could Be the Cause
Let’s quickly review the reasons of gnat infestations in houseplants before learning how to handle an infestation. Wet soil is, of course, the most frequent reason. If the soil is moist and humid, you will always notice these small bugs fluttering around your plant. It’s also known that fungus gnats hitchhike. Thus, there’s a good probability that these avian intruders will be accompanying you if you choose to move any of your outside houseplants inside for the winter. The same holds true for recently acquired plants. It is well known that these undesirable hitchhiker pests reside in newly planted plants. Fortunately, you may take action as soon as you see fungus gnats in your immediate surroundings because they are usually apparent. Here are a few solutions for fungus gnat infestations in indoor plants.
Fungus Gnats in Your Indoor Plants: What You Can Do
1. Mosquito Bits
BTI, often known as mosquito bites, is a microbial pesticide that has been shown to be very successful in managing fungus gnats. Bacillus thuringiensis, or BTI, kills larvae of fungi as well as mosquitoes. The bacterial toxin harms the inside intestine of gnat larvae that consume it. This results in their instant death within a few hours, or occasionally over the course of a week or two, contingent upon the amount of toxin they consumed. If you’re worried about risks to people or other living things, rest assured that BTI presents none. However, because they must be consumed in order to be effective, they are ineffective against eggs or adult fungus gnats. Fungus gnat adults and their eggs do not consume food.
How to Apply:
Make a tea by combining four teaspoons of mosquito bits with one gallon of water to treat gnats in indoor plants. Give the pieces at least thirty minutes to soak in the water. Use the tea to water your plants after 30 minutes, skimming off the floating granules. Make four to six inch deep holes in the soil around the plant using a chopstick for optimal results. By doing this, the BTI solution will be absorbed more deeply into the soil.
2. Sticky Yellow Traps
By assisting in the capture of soaring adult gnats, the sticky trap stops female gnats from depositing more eggs in the ground.
How to Apply:
Your indoor plant pots should have the Yellow Sticky traps placed close to the rim. Any newly emerging gnat adults will be trapped and killed by this. Try tapping the sides of your pot or stirring up the soil’s surface to improve your chances of capturing the flying gnats.
3. Bonide Systemic Granules
Imidacloprid is the active component in Bonide Systemic Granules. Imidacloprid interferes with the feeding and reproductive activities of gnat larvae, causing them to eventually perish.
How to Apply:
Till the top two to three inches of soil are covered with Bonide Systemic Granules. Give the plant its regular amount of watering. The slow-release Bonide granules are said to be effective for up to eight weeks on the product label.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Natural dehydrator, diatomaceous earth is a mineralized dust from fossils. By eliminating all lubricants and waxes from the gnats’ outer cuticle, it kills them.
How to Apply:
Apply diatomaceous earth to your potted plant’s topsoil. Soil will remain dry as a result. After applying diatomaceous earth, give your plants a few weeks of “bottom watering.” Since the material loses its effectiveness when wet, you should try to keep it away from moisture as much as possible.
5. Beneficial Nematodes
It has been shown that beneficial nematodes are quite successful at keeping gnats away from indoor plants. tiny flying intruders can be attacked by tiny minuscule worms, who can eliminate them without endangering other organisms. Gnat larvae and beneficial nematodes are parasitic on each other. They infiltrate the insect’s body and release microorganisms that coexist peacefully.
After then, these bacteria grow and release poisons that eventually aid in the gnat larvae’s eradication. The cost of helpful nematodes, which are used to eradicate gnats from houseplants, is their sole drawback. To completely remove the gnat population, they also have particular requirements for humidity and temperature, and in certain situations, more than one application may be needed.
How to Apply:
To properly create the solution, refer to the instructions included on the product’s label. After that, you can apply the nematode solution to the damaged plant’s soil surface using an injector hose, sprayer, or watering can.
Does vinegar help to get rid of gnats in houseplants?
Although employing vinegar can occasionally be detrimental to plants, a DIY gnat repellent combo of dish detergent and apple cider vinegar is believed to work well. Vinegar’s acetic acid has the ability to change the pH of soil, making it more acidic and perhaps harming plant cell structure.
Is hydrogen peroxide effective in getting rid of fungus gnats?
It is believed that hydrogen peroxide works well to kill larvae that are close to the soil’s surface. One part hydrogen peroxide to four parts water is the mixture that should be sprayed on the afflicted plant to get rid of gnats.
Is neem oil effective in removing fungus gnats from houseplants?
It is believed that neem oil is not very effective at killing gnats on houseplants. Neem oil has a limited effect on gnat larvae in the soil because the larvae must feed on the plant that has been treated with neem oil for the oil to take action.