Houseplants can add beauty to your home as well as work to improve the air quality in the process. They are a nice addition to any type of home décor. However, have you noticed that since adding houseplants to your home, you have been battling a gnat problem? Is it possible that your houseplant is attracting this obnoxious pest? A Five Star Termite & Pest Control is here to talk about fungus gnats and houseplants, and how you can avoid this problem.
Where Do Fungus Gnats Come from?
Fungus gnats are often confused for fruit flies. They look very similar to one another, but don’t have the same behaviors. Fungus gnats will be found lingering around the soil in houseplants. This is where these small black flies lay their eggs. As their larvae hatch and continue to grow, they will feed off the roots and other organic matter found in the soil. If you see small black bugs flying around your plants rather than fruit, you are dealing with fungus gnats, not fruit flies.
Fungus Gnats Do Not Kill Houseplants
Usually, the main concern is the health of the houseplant. Understandably, you may feel worried about your plant when you learn that larvae are feeding on the roots. You don’t need to worry in this case. Fungus gnats only feed off rotting plant roots, but if the infestation becomes too intense, it can potentially cause a problem.
How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants
Fungus gnats, much like fruit flies, have a very short lifespan. They will all be dead within a few days when you get rid of the larvae. There are a few steps that can be taken to help you get rid of these fungus gnats completely.
• Cut Back the Moisture– These insects have to have moist soil conditions to thrive. If you avoid overwatering your plants, you are less likely to have a problem.
• Change the Way You Water– Most people water their plants from the top, but this is where fungus gnats thrive. Try watering from the bottom up by filling the drip pan with water and allowing your plant to soak up the water through the drainage holes. Dump out remaining water after letting is soak for 30 minutes.
• Remove Gnat Infested Soil– By removing the top inch of potting soil and replacing it with sterile soil, you will remove the eggs that are planted there and the larvae as well. Make sure you get rid of it outside or you may have more problems with other plants.
• Never Reuse Potting Soil– It may be tempting to simply reuse potting soil from a different houseplant when you are repotting something. This can cause a fungus gnat problem and should be avoided.