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Looking to eliminate fungus gnats?

Anyone who's ever grown plants of any kind in their house knows the terror of fungus gnats. These tiny black bugs can overrun your garden in no time, and they're notoriously difficult to get rid of. Here are a few tips on how to get rid of fungus gnats for good.

Here are some of the most effective fungus gnat home remedies.

Removing sources of moisture

Fungus gnats thrive in wet and damp environments. To discourage them from setting up shop in your home, reduce moisture levels by fixing any leaky pipes or fixtures, ventilating bathrooms and other moist areas, and keeping the soil in houseplants dry.

Make use of sticky traps or fungus gnat trap

Fungus gnat traps are a great way to reduce fungus gnat populations. These devices lure the insects with bait before trapping them inside. Some of the most popular types of traps include yellow sticky cards for gnats, apple cider vinegar traps, or using petroleum jelly and a jar lid.

If you want to get rid of the adult fungus gnats flying around your home, sticky traps are your best bet. You can find these in most homeware stores; just put them near gnats in plants or on top of the soil.

Garsum Yellow Sticky Fungus Gnat Trap

You could also try making homemade bug sprays to kill the adults.

Using insecticides

If your fungus gnat problem is severe, consider to consider using an insecticide to get rid of them. It's best to choose a product that specifically targets fungus gnats and follow label instructions carefully. Always make sure to use the product in well-ventilated areas and keep it away from children and pets.

STEM Kills Flies, Mosquitoes & Gnats: Plant-Based Active Ingredient Bug Spray

Introducing beneficial insects

You can also combat fungus gnats by introducing beneficial predators such as nematodes or predatory mites into the area. These small creatures will hunt down and feed on the gnats, helping to reduce their populations over time.

Applying an insecticide drench to manage gnats in potting soil

If you have a large infestation, you may need to apply an insecticide drench to the soil. This concentrated insecticide can be mixed with water and applied directly to the affected areas. As always, read and follow label instructions carefully before using this method.

Allow the plant to dry out

Overwatering a plant can create an ideal environment for fungus gnats to thrive, so it's important to ensure that the soil isn't too wet or damp. Allowing the soil to dry out for a few days can help discourage the insects and reduce their populations significantly.

Use oil like insecticidal soap or neem oil to repel fungus gnat

Although not as good as Bt, natural pesticides can kill fungus gnat larvae if they soak into the soil. It is important to remember that spraying the leaves will not get rid of fungus gnats.

Construct an apple cider vinegar trap

To make an apple cider vinegar trap, fill a container with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. The liquid must be at least 14 inches deep. Place the trap onto the base of the damaged plant or on top of the soil after adding a few drops of liquid dish detergent.

These traps must be refreshed every few days as they attract and kill adult fungus gnats. The gnats are attracted to the smell of vinegar, and the soap lather stops the insects from resting safely on the surface, instead pulling them in and drowning them.

Make a potato trap

Cut a potato in half and put the cut side facing downwards on the ground. The fungus gnat larvae will be attracted to the potato. Check for larvae every day and replace any parts that have them.

Fungus gnats hydrogen peroxide control

A hydrogen peroxide solution is one of the most efficient natural ways to get rid of bugs from houseplant soil, and it is especially good against fungus gnat larvae. Water your houseplant soil using a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and six parts water, be careful not to get the solution on the leaves. Let the soil to dry completely between waterings until the larvae no longer emerge.

Any remaining adult fungus gnats must be killed to prevent any future egg-laying.

Choose your potting mix carefully

Fungus gnats enter wet bags stored outside and invariably come in fresh potting mix. Peat and coir-based potting mixes dry out faster and are less prone to attract gnats, but bark and compost-based mixtures are more sensitive.

Make use of natural predators

Predatory mites (Hypoaspis) and Nematodes (Steinernema) feed on fungus gnats and their larvae and can be added to the potting mix as eggs that hatch and start feeding. They will attack the problem gradually until there is nothing left for the predators to feast on.

Cinnamon and chamomile tea

Chamomile and cinnamon can help get rid of gnats. Make a strong tea with chamomile. Then add water to it. Use this mix to water your plants like normal. Then sprinkle cinnamon on the ground around the plants. Do this for 3 weeks or until the gnats are gone.

Diatomaceous earth of food grade

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a fossil-based powder that's deadly to small insects upon contact. You can buy it food grade from reputable retailers such as garden centers or Amazon. You should get the food-grade DE and not the pool version. When placing DE, do so on top of existing soil for potted plants or mix it into new potting soil.

STEM Kills Flies, Mosquitoes & Gnats: Plant-Based Active Ingredient Bug Spray

Dispose of the top layer of soil

If the eggs have yet to hatch, let them hatch outside your house. You want to get rid of the bugs completely, not just move them to another room. Following all these steps, you can avoid and control fungus gnat infestations without using chemicals.

Avoid overwatering your houseplants

If you overwater your plants, it will make a place for gnats. To get rid of them, make the environment dry. This will make it so they can't live there anymore.

Water from the ground (bottom watering)

Bottom watering is a good way to keep your plants moist. It also keeps the topsoil dry, where gnats lay their eggs.

Take away

If you are wondering how to get rid of fungus gnats, you can consider several things. Fungus gnats can be a real nuisance in houseplants, but they can be controlled with natural remedies. A potato trap, hydrogen peroxide solution, and DE food grade are all effective ways to get rid of these pesky bugs. 

Choosing the right potting mix for your houseplant also helps prevent an infestation of fungus gnats in houseplants. 

Additionally, natural predators such as nematodes and predatory mites can be added to the potting soil.

Finally, avoid overwatering your plants and use a bottom-watering method to keep the topsoil dry. If you follow these steps, you can get rid of fungus gnats without using harsh chemicals.

Check our in-depth article on "how to get rid of spider mites naturally" and "11 proven steps for hydroponic pest control"


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What is a fungus gnat? Where do fungus gnats come from?

Fungus gnats are small black bugs found in many indoor and outdoor gardens. They typically come from moist, nutrient-rich soil, and they can quickly overrun your garden if you don't take steps to prevent

How do you get rid of fungal gnats? What kills fungus gnats

You can use a few different methods to get rid of fungus gnats and prevent them from returning. Some of the most effective techniques include using sticky traps, watering plants less frequently, and incorporating natural predators like Nematodes into your garden. You can also try cleaning up any plant debris or organic matter harboring the gnats, or using a homemade spray made from garlic and soap to kill the pests.

What causes fungus gnats in house?

Fungus gnats are typically caused by excess moisture or poor drainage in your garden. They can also be introduced to your plants by bringing home infected soil, potting soil, or other materials from outside.

Can you get rid of fungus gnats completely?

While there is no guaranteed way to completely eliminate fungus gnats, there are several methods you can use to get rid of them and prevent them from returning. These include sticky traps or Nematodes. You can also water your plants less frequently and remove debris or organic matter harboring the gnats. Another effective method is spraying your plants with homemade garlic and soap spray.

What do fungus gnats eat?

Fungus gnats feed on the roots, leaves, and stems of plants. They can cause severe damage to garden plants by eating away at the plant tissue and leaving behind trails that can weaken or kill the plant. Some species of fungus gnats can also transmit diseases from one plant to another through their mouthparts or feces.

What eats fungus gnats?

There are a number of predators and parasites that feed on fungus gnats. Some of the most common include predatory mites, parasitic wasps, nematodes, and ground beetles.

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