How To Get Rid of Gnats On Plants

How To Get Rid of Gnats On Plants: You have beautiful houseplants in your apartment or house but unfortunately, you have noticed that they also attract small insects.

Flies fly everywhere inside and this is a problem, especially in places that are supposed to remain hygienic like the kitchen.

There are of course reasons why these insects like to hover around your plants. Interflora explains to you what these reasons are, to understand how to get rid of these unwanted insects.

There are some simple tips to scare them away, such as cloves and lemon, and allow you to finally enjoy your beautiful plants without being bothered. In addition, these parasitic insects can be dangerous for houseplants.

What Are Fungus Gnats?

Fungus gnats are tiny black airborne insects that commonly inhabit the damp soil of indoor plants as well as in greenhouses and nurseries.

These pests are relatively short-lived yet their rapid reproductive rate poses a considerable challenge in swift elimination as explained by Darren Royer an integrated pest management technician at Longwood Gardens.

The larvae of fungus gnats have a voracious appetite for consuming organic matter in the soil along with the roots and stems of various plants.

To effectively address an infestation it becomes crucial to understand and tackle both the adult gnats and their larvae targeting their presence in diverse areas of the plant’s environment. [how to get rid of gnats on plants]

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Why do my plants attract gnats?

The midges that fly around your plants are most certainly sciarids, which we colloquially call soil midges. They like the warmth and humidity of the soil and live in the soil of green plants, which they consider to be strategic places to lay their eggs.

These small insects measuring 1 to 2 millimeters, continually continue their life cycle if you do not intervene, and it could go from bad to worse. Flies will lay eggs again and again until the soil is completely infested with eggs.

When these hatch, the larvae must feed and they devour the roots. It can get to the point where the plant no longer has sufficient roots to feed itself.

Fortunately, there are tips for getting rid of these pests that damage your green plant. Follow these tips to dare to put green plants in your kitchen again without gnats constantly flying around the food.

No need to choose strategic locations for your indoor plants, thanks to these simple and effective tips. [how to get rid of gnats on plants]

Kill the larvae and sanitize the soil

The first tip is to first kill the midge larvae already present in the soil. You must dry out the first five centimeters of soil, by not watering your plant for a few days. The larvae will die because the soil will no longer be warm and humid enough.

In addition, midges will no longer come to lay eggs in this soil, which they will no longer consider suitable for laying eggs, being usually attracted by the humidity of the soil. If you want to prevent insects from approaching the pots, it is possible to cover them so that flies no longer have access to the soil.

The soil can be covered with clay balls, for example, gravel or even sand. Coffee grounds can also be used as a repellent. Simply spreading coffee grounds on the ground will deter them from coming back.

Read also: How Much Does it Cost to Renovate a Garden?

If your pot and your soil are infested with larvae of all kinds, the most radical solution is repotting. Uproot your plants. Remove the soil around the roots and replant the plant in a new pot with new, fresh soil. Then take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming back.

The third solution to get rid of midge larvae is a soapy solution. Prepare a solution with dish soap. Spray this solution on the plant and of course on the substrate. Dish soap kills the larvae but sometimes you have to do it several times.

To ensure that the larvae have risen to the surface, you can attract them by spraying the plant with water for the first time, then wait a few minutes before spraying with the soapy solution.

Be careful not to poison the plant with the dishwashing liquid. So dilute the soap well in plenty of water. [how to get rid of gnats on plants]

Attracting midges to trap them or to keep them away

Now that you have made sure that you have eliminated all the larvae and that your substrate is completely free of these parasites, you can deal with the fate of the flies that still fly around the houseplants.

The solution is to set a trap for them. Different types of traps are more or less effective, some of which are more like grandma’s tricks. The best-known trap, the most classic, but perhaps the least aesthetic is the famous adhesive tape.

Have you ever wondered why those sticky strips are always a questionable yellow? Quite simply because these insects are attracted to the color yellow. It must be admitted that they are not aesthetically pleasing and that their effectiveness is not always the fastest since you have to patiently wait for the flies to pass by to stay stuck to the strip.

It may be more effective to attract them beforehand using one of the following tips to better trap them. Apart from the yellow that attracts them, there is nothing better to attract midges than using their sense of smell. Sciarids are attracted to the smell of olive oil.

You can pour some olive oil into your sink hole and flies will come inside. Once stuck to the viscous walls of the pipes, they will have difficulty getting out.

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Note that a good cleaning of the pipes with baking soda will sanitize your pipes and prevent parasites from settling in them since the pipes can also be a source of pollution. appearance of flies. Soda, which is natural and non-dangerous, should be preferred before considering the use of more radical chemicals.

Honey also attracts midges. If you place a pot of liquid honey near your plants, insects will land and drown there. Smells of ripe fruit, such as shriveled apples, also attract flies. By placing fruit near your traps, such as duct tape, you increase the chances of trapping them. [how to get rid of gnats on plants]

Other smells that work very well are those of vinegar, as the famous quote says “You attract flies with vinegar”, but also cider. To ensure that the cider sufficiently attracts flies, you can add sugar to it.

The last solution to getting rid of flies is to chase them away. Instead of attracting them with scents, use scents to scare them away. Lemony and clove odors are not appreciated by insects of all kinds. The essential oil usually used to chase away mosquitoes on the terrace in summer has the same effect on midges.

Spray your plants with lemongrass essential oil and flies should stop hovering around them. To enhance the effect, plant cloves in half a lemon. Cloves are not at all to the taste of flies. The smell of cloves combined with the acidity of lemongrass essential oil should help keep ascariasis away for good.

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