How to get rid of fungus gnats
and keep your homegrown plants healthy?

Are you wondering how to get rid of fungus gnats? No need to be anxious, we have some remedies you will find beneficial.

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Jimena Bolívar

March 30, 2021


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Introduction:

Have you started seeing those troublesome fungus gnats on your precious indoor plants? These are common pests that grow on humid soil and feed on fungus. So you must be wondering how to get rid of fungus gnats? It’s not at all complicated.

To slowly yet effectively get rid of fungus gnats, you should start topdressing the plants, applying soil drench, covering the draining holes, and using an apple cider vinegar mixture. These are natural methods, but you can use insect killers, selective biological pesticides, and flypaper if you’re impatient.

How to get rid of fungus gnats in plants naturally?

Getting rid of fungus gnats through natural methods may not be fast, but it is more effective. If you’re looking for a long-term solution that prevents infestations in the future, you need to use these methods. Also, if you observe larvae of fungus gnats, it is best to use this type of method to get rid of them for good!

Larvae and maggots are about ¼ inches big and have shiny blackheads with elongated, whitish bodies. If you manage to notice them in their larvae stage before the eggs hatch, that will save you from a lot of hassle.

You can kill two birds with one stone with natural fungus gnat removal methods. In other words, you will be able to reduce both larval and adult gnats through it. Either way, these methods are handy, but they also need to be carried out carefully. Here are some natural and effective ways to get rid of the larvae:

Here are a few natural techniques you can use to get rid of fungus gnats:

  1. Top-dress the plants
  2. Apply Soil Drench
  3. Cover the Drainage Holes
  4. Use an apple cider vinegar mixture
  5. Dispose off the top layer of soil outside
  6. Add a layer of River Sand

1. Top-dress the plants

You can top dress your plants with products containing Nematodes. These are microscopic roundworms that can penetrate the larvae of fungus gnats and then release a bacterium to consume the pest inside out. As a result, you can reduce the pest population significantly.

2. Apply soil drench

Pure Neem Oil contains a key insecticidal ingredient called azadirachtin. You can add this oil with a gallon of water and apply the mixture as a soil drench. You can also use Hydrogen Peroxide for the same purpose after mixing it with water in a 1:4 ratio. Water your plants thoroughly with either of these mixtures and let the excess drain. Don’t rinse the soil afterward. Doing this will ensure the effective control of soil-borne larvae. If there are too many pests, do it every five to six days.

Dyna-Gro NEM-008 Neem Oil, 8 Ounces

You will never regret getting this product for the soil drench!

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McKesson Antiseptic Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide does a wonderful job as a soil drench!

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3. Cover the drainage holes

Gnats typically remain near the upper surface of the pot’s soil. But sometimes, they might also make their way to the drainage holes on the underside of the pot to lay eggs there. In this case, cover the drainage hole with a piece of synthetic fabric. And attach it with tape or a rubber band. This will prevent the gnats from getting in or out of the hole and letting water pass freely.

4. Use an apple cider vinegar mixture

This one is both easy and effective. Take a cup of water and just add some drops of liquid dish soap and create a mixture. Simply that is enough, but you can also add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the mix for more effectiveness. Spray the mixture on top of the soil, and it will kill the larvae. Use this technique every few days to ensure you have killed all the larvae. You can also get the same result by using red wine instead of vinegar.

5. Dispose off the top layer of soil outside

If nothing else works, this is the best option. Since the eggs can still hatch, just remove the top layer of soil and keep them somewhere outdoors.

6. Add a layer of river sand

If you add a layer of sand, mainly river sand or Diatomaceous Earth, on top of your plants, adults can’t lay eggs there because they can’t lay eggs on the sand. They only lay eggs on the top layer when it is damp. So in fact, Diatomaceous Earth kills gnats on impact.

Quick Tip

Many plants get infested in the nursery. So it's highly recommended to quarantine any new houseplant right after you buy them, examine them properly, and then keep them with the other plants.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fungus gnats?

Do you want to get rid of the fungus gnats as soon as possible? That’s probably because you realized it too late, and the infestation is already out of hand. There must be a bunch of annoying gnats flying around your plants and your house now.

Though the adult gnats don’t bite and are mostly harmless for humans, they can still become a flying nuisance, just like mosquitoes and flies. Adult fungus gnats can be a huge pain. Most of the time, you realize that your plant has been infected by fungus for the first time when you see these little devils flying all around.

These gnats have a greyish-black body and look like mosquitoes. They have long legs and a pair of transparent wings. After you start seeing them, you undoubtedly try to find the answer to how to get rid of fungus gnats as soon as possible. So to exterminate those pests right now, you can do the following:

  1. Use selective biological pesticides
  2. Make yellow sticky card traps
  3. Use flypaper
  4. Use Insect killer

1. Use selective biological pesticides

You must have heard of mosquito dunks. We use it to prevent mosquito larvae from populating further. These products contain a beneficial bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis, a highly selective biological pesticide. It kills \ larvae without damaging the plant in any way and leaves no harmful residue either.

2. Make yellow sticky card traps

Sticky card traps are basically a yellow notecard covered in a sticky adhesive. If you cut them into small squares and place them directly on top of the soil or attach them to the skewers above the soil, adult gnats will be attracted to it because they are attracted to yellow. They will fly or crawl onto the card and then get trapped.

3. Use flypaper

Flypapers are usually hung in horse barns to catch outdoor flies, but they can also be really effective to catch adult gnats! However, I must warn you that these traps are usually overkilled for gnats, so they can easily get stuck to things like furniture, hair, and others.

4. Use Insect killer

Simply use insect killer sprays, preferably one with a combo of peppermint, cinnamon, and sesame oils, to kill the gnats.

Warning!

Do wear a mask when you're spraying insect killers on the plant, and don't stay near the area for a while after you do. These sprays can be harmful to the respiratory system. These are also highly flammable, so be careful about that too.

After you kill these insects, you need to quickly clean them up before their dead bodies start to affect the plant’s soil. It will also be an additional headache to clean the house after the gnats are killed by spray, but there’s nothing else you can do.

Conclusion

There are multiple techniques you can use to get rid of fungus gnats. Natural methods include: using apple cider vinegar, topdressing the plant, applying soil drench and covering the drainage holes. However, if you want a quicker solution consider using insect killers or selective biological pesticides.

Now you have all the tips on fully how to get rid of fungus gnats and to prevent them. Remember to start applying these procedures as soon as you identify the larvae or the insects. Also, check your other houseplants immediately after you notice the larvae in one of them, as the adult gnats can also lay eggs on other plants after maturing. Soon, all your babies will be free of fungus gnats!

If you’re interested in learning more about plants and how you can keep them safe from bugs, I recommend you read our post about getting rid of mealybugs!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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