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

Are you wondering how to get rid of fungus gnats? Why are you so anxious? Go through the article, you will find both natural and the fastest solutions.

Jimena Bolívar Profile Picture

Jimena Bolívar

March 30, 2021

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


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 hard.

There are both natural and immediate ways of getting rid of fungus gnats. To get rid of gnats using natural methods which are more permanent and safe. Whereas if you want to get rid of them fast, you will have to use certain pesticides. In this article, we have tried to find out different ways. Let’s dive into it.

How to get rid of fungus gnats in plants naturally

Natural beings need natural means of extermination! Though natural methods of getting rid of fungus gnats are not precisely fast, it’s more effective, and the impact is more permanent. This ensures that there will be no further infestations in the future. Natural methods are more applicable to the larvae of fungus gnats, which you need to identify first.

Larvae and maggots are usually of ¼ inch size, have shiny blackheads, and elongated, whitish/transparent bodies. If you manage to notice them in their larvae stage before the eggs hatch, then that will save you half the trouble.

Some natural ways will kill two birds with one stone and remove or reduce both larval and adult gnats. Either way, these methods are very useful. But they also need to be carried out carefully. Here are some natural and effective ways to get rid of the larvae—

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.

Apply soil drench:

Pure Neem oil 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 PeroxideHydrogen 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 the pest pressure is really high, do it every 5 to 6 days.

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.

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 then add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the mixture for more effectiveness. Spray the mixture on top of the soil, and it will kill the larvae. Do it 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.

Dispose of 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.

Add a layer of river sand:

If you add a layer of sand, especially 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 pay eggs on the top inch layer when it is damp. 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.


Do wear a mask when you're spraying insect killers, 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.

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-

Use selective biological pesticide:

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 damaging larvae without damaging the plant in any way and leaves no harmful residue either.

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.

Use flypaper:

Flypapers are usually hung in horse barns to catch the outdoor flies, but it 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.

Insect killer:

Simply use insect killer sprays, preferably one with a combo of peppermint, cinnamon, and sesame oils, to kill the gnats. 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 to do. Make sure to keep these procedures regularly to get rid of them soon.


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!

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!

Posted in:

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!



You may also like:

Keep Learning!

Our Best Tutorials (for beginners), the Best Inspiration and Our Latest Projects Straight to Your Inbox! You can unsubscribe at any time, but almost everybody stays. We must be doing something right!