The pesky little gnats that flit around houseplants are fungus gnats. These are generally harmless, but are an indication of overwatering and/or rotting of the plants. There are a variety of methods to combat fungus gnats and their larvae, including home remedies, homemade sprays, and natural insecticides. Read on to learn how to get rid of those pesky fungus gnats.
Fight fungus gnats: the following tips and tricks will help you
Fungus gnats look like fruit flies or tiny mosquitoes, but are not related to them. They don’t sting, but are quite uncomfortable. Fungus gnats are found in damp sewer areas, household drains, and damp potting soil. They lay their eggs in moist soil and their larvae are only half a centimeter long and are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. But what can you do about these pesky little insects? Here are a few tips and home remedies to help you fight fungus gnats…
Fungus gnats are harmless but quite annoying
How to get rid of fungus gnats naturally?
Make your own solution with washing-up liquid
Homemade sprays with dish soap can help a lot in the fight against several types of pests. You can make a spray like this yourself quickly and easily. Check out the recipe.
Rotting leaves and roots provide food for fungus gnat larvae
- 1 tbsp washing-up liquid
- 1 liter of water
- Mix water and dish soap well and pour into a spray bottle. This will give you a 2 percent solution.
- Test the spray on a single leaf first before spraying the whole plant.
If the leaf is damaged, treat it with a 1% solution made with 2 tablespoons of dish soap and 1 quart of water.
Dissolve dish soap in water and fight fungus gnats
There are other things you can do to successfully combat fungus gnats. Submerge the affected plants along with the pot in a bucket full of water and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dish soap to the water. After about 15 minutes, let the water drain completely from the flower pot.
Mist the leaves and soil of your houseplants
Make your own solution with olive oil soap
Olive oil soap and all-natural soaps contain fatty acids. These are the active ingredients in insecticidal soaps. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap with 1 liter of water for a 2 percent solution, or 2 teaspoons again with 1 liter of water for a 1 percent solution. If the tap water is hard, use bottled water to prevent scum build-up on the plant. Pour your homemade solution into a spray bottle and shake vigorously. Then spray the plant itself and the soil. However, be aware that some plants are sensitive to soapy water. Test the solution on a single leaf first and wait 24 hours before treating the entire plant.
Olive oil soap is a natural home remedy for fungus gnats
Repot infested plants and water properly
Allow the top 2-3 cm of soil in the flower pot to dry out before watering the plant. If the soil stays moist for a long time, it is better to repot the plant. Remove dead or rotting roots before transplanting the plant into the new flowerpot. Add new soil to fill up the root ball and tamp gently. Water thoroughly after repotting and allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
If the soil stays wet for a long time, you need to repot your houseplants
Throw away the old damp soil!
Remove the plant from the pot, remove as much soil as possible without damaging the plant, and then repot it
To combat the larvae, you can add up to half a centimeter of garden sand (not play sand) to the top of the soil. This dries much faster and the fungus gnats cannot lay their eggs.
Spread garden sand over the soil
Every other time you water your infested plants, add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water. This will kill the larvae of the fungus gnat.
Add vinegar to the irrigation water
A natural trap
Put some apple cider vinegar or red wine in a bowl and then add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Place the bowl near the infested houseplants. The mosquitoes will fall into the bowl and die. Replace the solution every few days.
Fungus gnats drown in a solution of apple cider vinegar and dish soap
However, when your houseplants are repeatedly attacked by fungus gnats, getting rid of them completely can be a serious challenge. Don’t give up anyway and you will successfully fight the fungus gnats!
You can also make sticky insect traps yourself