If your plants are being infected with tiny little flies they are probably gnats. Today we will show you how to get rid of gnats in plants!
Commonly know as ”no-see-ems” due to their small size, gnats are small flies in the suborder Nematocera. They can be both biting and non-biting. The most common species are black gnats, drain flies, sand flies, fruit flies, midges and fungus gnats.
Fungus gnats are the ones that are commonly found around plants and the onse you need to be careful of. Fungus gnats have long thin wings and long legs, and they are mostly black in color with less than half of an inch in length. They can do some damage to your plants, and that’s why it’s important to learn how to get rid of gnats in plants.
What Attracts Gnats to Plants
Fungus gnats are more attracted to the moist soil than the plants themselves. The female gnats will leave eggs on the top of the soil. These eggs, once they hatch, will feed on the plant roots and decay the organic matter, which will take much needed nutrients away from your plants.
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants
Fortunately, there are a few natural things you can do and make to get rid of gnats inside and outside your house. Say no more to those annoying little pests and let's dive into some tips on how to get rid of gnats in plants!
#1. Separate the Infected Plant
Before even starting to treat your plants infected with fungus gnats, you need to separate then from the healthy ones. This way you will protect your plants that are not infected.
Check all your plants well and the ones that have tiny flies around, move them to a different room where you can start the treatment and prevent the others from getting infected with gnats.
#2. Change the Top Layer of your Plant Soil
This is a great way to get rid of gants, because you don't have to get rid of your plants. Instead, just remove the top layer of your soil and replace it with new soil. Since gnats like moist soil, replacing the old moist dirt will solve the gnats problem. Discard the old soil well and do not use it in any other plant.
Another method you can use is to place a thin layer of sand on top of the soil surface. Adult gnats don't like to lay eggs on sandy surface so that is a nice, quick fix!
#3. Don't Water so Often
This method works best on houseplants, because most houseplants don't need to be watered so often. Water your plants less than you used to and that way the top layer will dry better.
When you water frequently, this keeps the soil moist even at the surface which is where the female adult gnats will hatch their eggs.
You can also switch to bottom watering instead of top watering. When you water from the bottom, you don't overwater your plant and this way the plant roots get all the water they need while the too soil remains water-free and gnats free!
#4. Use Some DIY Solutions
Going the natural way is the best when it comes to protect your plants. This DIY solution will help you get rid of gnats while protecting your plants from chemical damage.
DIY Soil Drench Solution
- 1/2 cup of peroxide
- 1-2 cups of water
- 2/3 drops of liquid dish soap
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- After mixing, pour the mix over the soil at the plant roots.
- keep pouring until the mix starts to come out the base of the pot.
Homemade Insecticidal Recipe
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap
- 1 gallon of distilled warm water
- Mix the ingredients in a large container. Making sure to mix well.
- Place the mix in a spray bottle.
- Spray over the plant's stems, leaves and undersides.
- You can also spray around your house in every crevice that can allow gnats to access your house.
DIY ACV Trap
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dish Soap
- Plastic wrap
- A shallow bowl
- Pour the ACV in the shallow bowl and then add a few drops of dish soap.
- Place the plastic wrap over the top of the shallow bowl.
- Make some holes over the plastic wrap using a toothpick.
By making this trap the fungus gnats will get attracted to the liquid and fly directly onto it. Once the fly into the liquid, they will be covered in the dish soap and drown. The soap makes the gnats unable to fly and that causes them to drown.
#5. Use Plants that Repel Gnats
This method works best for outdoors plants! Place some plants that repel gnats around your garden that will keep gnats away from your plants.
Gnats and other insects can't stand the strong scent of the plants, therefore, they will stay away from your garden and your precious plants.
#6. Repot your Plants
If the infraction is too deep and you are not willing to wait till gnats disappear, simply remove the plant from its pot and change it.
Gently remove the plant, being careful not to damage the roots and remove the soil. You can use the same pot once you thoroughly disinfected it. Clean the roots as well in a safe way before repoting.
Place your plant in the disinfected pot and add new soil, remembering not to overwater and use any of the previous methods to keep the gnats from coming back.
Once you have used any of these methods and you successfully got rid of gnats, keep in mind that you must constantly keep checking and taking care of your plants so gnats don't come back.
Now that you know how to get rid of gnats in your plants let's roll our sleeves and get to work!
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