Fungus Gnats Driving You Gnatty?
Fungus gnats typically arrive with warm weather, 70+ degrees Fahrenheit. Tiny, but very annoying, they are a frustrating part of keeping plants, but there are some things you can do to prevent and combat them.
How to Prevent Fungus Gnats:
- Empty saucers, cachepots, etc of excess water - standing water is fungus gnat heaven.
- Ensure pots have good drainage if you plant directly in them - excess water gets trapped at the bottom of pots with no holes and fungus gnats thrive in that muck. Shop pots with drainage holes here.
- Water according to the needs of the plant - very wet potting mix attracts fungus gnats.
- Check new potting mix before using it - potting mix that's been sitting outside for months often already has fungus gnats hatching out in it. If you do find gnats, use it for outdoor plants only or sterilize it with heat.
How to Combat Fungus Gnats:
- Try to hone in on specific plants that gnats seem to be coming from and isolate them if possible.
- Capture adult gnats with sticky traps placed near plants.
- Wipe out gnat larvae with Mosquito Bits - an all-natural and animal safe bacteria that kills mosquito and fungus gnat larvae before they mature into breeding adults.
- Covering the surface of the soil with horticultural sand can also trap juvenile larvae in the soil and end the life cycle (just remember that the soil won't dry out as fast with sand on top, so go easy on the watering).