Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Controlling Fungus Gnats in Houseplants


Fungus gnats are those little bugs you see hopping around when you water your house plants. Sometimes you see them fly across your computer screen. Fungus gnats love your houseplants and this time of year is when you notice them most. Fungus gnats are generally more of a nuisance bug but the can damage your plants when the hatch and feed on the plant roots. Their lives are very short: the adult fungus gnat lives about 10 days, but in that time can lay up to 200 eggs. Fungus gnats thrive in wet, soggy soils, so avoid over-watering your plants and empty any standing water that might collect in the drain saucers under the plants. water left in the drain saucers under the plant.
An easy way to control fungus gnats is to place yellow sticky traps near your plants. The gnats will be attracted to them and stick to the trap. Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) applied to the soil will help prevent the adult fungus gnat from laying eggs. Mosquito Bits contain BTi, a naturally occurring insecticide which can be applied to the soil to kill the insects as they hatch.

 Systemic Insect Granules are another effective insecticide, when applied to the soil surface and watered in. Systemic products are absorbed by the plant and last up to six weeks. It will kill the larvae when they hatch and chew into the plant roots.
 Insect sprays include Insecticidal Soap, Neem Oil and Permethrin. A good time to spray is right after you water your plants. That is when you’ll see the adults scurrying around on the surface of your plants. Fungus gnats can be a nuisance in the fall and winter, but with the right treatment, they can be controlled.
Bring your plant questions to The Flower Bin Diagnostic Center We’ll identify the problem and offer you solutions. 

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