If you’ve started a collection of houseplants then chances are you’ve had a few hitchhikers in your home as a consequence.
Fungus gnats are one of the most common and annoying of these unwanted visitors, so we’ve found a few different methods you can use to try to evict them from your plants and your home.
What are Fungus Gnats & Why are they hanging out around my plants?
Fungus gnats are tiny black flies that are attracted to damp soil. Especially at this time of year when the light levels are decreasing, and our plants are taking longer to dry out as a result we can begin to accidentally over water our plants.
Where do fungus gnats come from?
So, like most pests it’s hard to identify exactly when or where they’ve came from. Fungus gnat larvae are normally brought in from infested potting soil, or soil in a new houseplant. They can also let themselves in.
What do fungus gnats eat and what damage can they cause to plants?
So other than being super annoying adult fungus gnats don’t cause damage your plants. Fungus gnat larvae mostly eat things that live in your soil like algae & organic matter. So what’s the problem? The problem is if they start to feed on live roots this can cause damage to your plant resulting in misshapen growth & sometimes plant death.
How to prevent Fungus Gnats
Although fungus gnats are largely unavoidable, there are some techniques you can try to prevent them:
- Water your plants less. Rather than sticking to a schedule use your finger or a chopstick to determine if your plant really needs watered.
- Bottom watering your plants is also a good way to deter them as the top layer of the soil won’t become saturated, the eggs are laid on top of the soil.
- Sticky traps last a long time so sticking these in your pots will help to tackle them early on.
- Fungus gnats lay their eggs in the top inch of soil so you could remove and replace it with fresh soil. Also adding a layer of fresh perlite/shell to top dress your plants can help to deter them.
We hope this will help to shed some light on your new house guests & help you give them their eviction notice.