Fungus Gnats Management Guidelines--UC IPM (2022)

UC IPM Home > Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf > Fungus Gnats

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Fungus Gnats

Revised8/13

In this Guideline:


  • Identification
  • Damage
  • Life cycle
  • Management
  • About Pest Notes
  • Publication
  • Glossary

Fungus gnat adult caught in a yellow sticky trap.

The shore fly (right) has a more robust body and shorter antennae than a fungus gnat (left).

Fungus gnat larvae.

(Video) HOW TO PREVENT + GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS | Plant pest management deep dive– everything I know! 🤓

Shiny trails on the soil surface made by fungus gnat larvae.

Fungus gnats are small flies that infest soil, potting mix, other container media, and other sources of organic decomposition. Their larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in soil, but also chew roots and can be a problem in greenhouses, nurseries, potted plants and interior plantscapes. Adult fungus gnats may emerge from houseplants indoors and become a nuisance.

IDENTIFICATION

Fungus gnats (Orfelia and Bradysia species), also called darkwinged fungus gnats (Sciaridae), are dark, delicate-looking flies similar in appearance to mosquitoes. Adult fungus gnats have slender legs with segmented antennae that are longer than their head. Their long antennae distinguish them from the more robust shore flies, which are also found in greenhouses, associated with algae and decomposing organic matter, but have short bristle-like antennae. Although a few species are up to 1⁄2 inch long, fungus gnat adults commonly are about 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 inch long. Wings are light gray to clear, and the common Bradysia species have a Y-shaped wing vein.

Because adult fungus gnats are attracted to light, you first might notice these pests flying near windows indoors. However, in comparison with more active species such as the common housefly (Musca domestica), fungus gnats are relatively weak fliers and usually don’t move around much indoors. Fungus gnats often remain near potted plants and run across (or rest on) growing media, foliage, compost, and wet mulch piles.

Females lay tiny eggs in moist organic debris or potting soil. Larvae have a shiny black head and an elongated, whitish-to-clear, legless body. They eat organic mulch, leaf mold, grass clippings, compost, root hairs, and fungi. If conditions are especially moist and fungus gnats are abundant, larvae can leave slime trails on the surface of media that look like trails from small snails or slugs.

DAMAGE

Adult fungus gnats don’t damage plants or bite people; their presence is primarily considered a nuisance. Larvae, however, when present in large numbers, can damage roots and stunt plant growth, particularly in seedlings and young plants. Significant root damage and even plant death have been observed in interior plantscapes and in houseplants when high populations were associated with moist, organically-rich soil. Thus, a houseplant that is wilting may not indicate a lack of water, but rather root damage by fungus gnat larvae or (more commonly) other causes of unhealthy roots. However, too much or too little water, root decay fungi, and improper soil conditions (e.g., poor drainage, or waterlogging) are much more common causes of wilted plants.

(Video) Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Serious fungus gnat damage is more common in greenhouses, nurseries, and sod farms. Although larvae also feed on plant roots outdoors, they don’t usually cause serious damage.

LIFE CYCLE

Fungus gnats develop through four stages—egg, larva (with four larval stages or instars), pupa, and adult. The tiny eggs and oblong pupae occur in damp organic media where females lay eggs and larvae feed. At 75ºF, eggs hatch in about 3 days, the larvae take approximately 10 days to develop into pupae, and about 4 days later the adults emerge. A generation of fungus gnats (from female to female) can be produced in about 17 days depending upon temperature. The warmer it is, the faster they will develop and the more generations will be produced in a year.

Fungus gnats have many overlapping generations each year. Outdoors, they are most common during winter and spring in interior areas of California, when water is more available and cooler temperatures prevail. They can occur during any time of the year in moist coastal regions and indoors.

MANAGEMENT

Most of the fungus gnat’s life is spent as a larva and pupa in organic matter or soil, so the most effective control methods target these immature stages rather than attempting to directly control the mobile, short-lived adults. Physical and cultural management tactics—primarily the reductions of excess moisture and organic debris—are key to reducing fungus gnat problems. Commercially-available and naturally-occurring biological control agents can also control this pest. Insecticides are considered an important control option in some commercial plant production but generally aren’t recommended for fungus gnat management in and around the home.

Monitoring

Visual inspection for adults usually is adequate for determining whether a problem exists. You will see adults resting on plants, soil, windows, or walls, or you might see them in flight. Besides looking for adults, check plant pots for excessively moist conditions and organic debris where larvae feed. Yellow sticky traps can be used to trap adults. Chunks of raw potato placed in pots with the cut sides down (not the peels) are sometimes used to monitor for larvae.

Water and Soil Management

Because fungus gnats thrive in moist conditions, especially where there is an abundance of decaying vegetation and fungi, avoid overwatering and provide good drainage. Allow the surface of container soil to dry between waterings. Clean up standing water, and eliminate any plumbing or irrigation system leaks. Moist and decomposing grass clippings, compost, organic fertilizers, and mulches are also favorite breeding spots. Avoid using incompletely-composted organic matter in potting media unless it is pasteurized first, because it will often be infested with fungus gnats. Improve the drainage of the potting mix (e.g., increase the proportion of perlite or sand in the mix). Minimize organic debris around buildings and crops. Avoid fertilizing with excessive amounts of manure, blood meal, or similar organic materials. Screen and caulk leaky windows and doors to help prevent pests from coming indoors.

If you have infested plants, don’t move them to new areas where flies can emerge to infest other pots. In some cases you may wish to toss out severely infested plants.

Purchase and use only pasteurized container mix or potting mix. Commercial growers often treat potting soil with heat or steam before using it; this will kill flies and the algae and microorganisms they feed on. Home gardeners can solarize soil:

  • Moisten it.
  • Place it in a bag of transparent plastic or black plastic.
  • Make the pile no deeper than about 8 inches.
  • Place the bagged soil on a slightly elevated surface, such as a pallet in a sunny location, for about 4 to 6 weeks.

See the Pest Note: Soil Solarization for details. Store pasteurized potting soil off the ground and in closed containers to prevent it from becoming infested before use.

Trapping

In home situations where fungus gnat adults are a nuisance, it may be possible to reduce the problem by using sticky traps available at retail nursery and garden centers. Yellow sticky traps can be cut into smaller squares, attached to wooden skewers or sticks and placed in pots to trap adults. Also, raw potato chunks placed in the soil are very attractive to fungus gnat larvae. These may be used not only to check pots for larvae but also to trap them away from plant roots. After a few days in a pot, remove infested chunks, dispose of them, and replace with fresh ones.

(Video) UC Ag Experts Talk: Management of Fungal Diseases in Processing Tomatoes

Biological Control

Three commercially available biological control agents can be purchased to control fungus gnats in pots or container media (Table 1). These include Steinernema nematodes, Hypoaspis predatory mites, and the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti). Several Bti products (Mosquito Bits, Gnatrol) are readily available in retail nurseries and garden centers, so these products may be the most convenient for home gardeners to use. Bti does not reproduce or persist indoors, so infestations in potting media might require repeated applications at about five-day intervals to provide control. Nematodes and Hypoaspis mites must be mail-ordered and are live and perishable products, requiring immediate application. Nematodes can provide relatively long-term control of fungus gnat larvae, and they can be self-reproducing after several inoculative applications to establish their populations. Steinernema feltiae is more effective against fungus gnats than other commercially available nematode species. Mix Bti or nematodes with water, and apply as a soil drench, or spray onto media using a hand-pump spray bottle or other spray equipment, following label directions.

Several natural enemies help to manage fungus gnat populations in outdoor systems, such as landscapes and gardens, and indoors in greenhouses and conservatories, including the predatory hunter flies, Coenosia spp. These flies catch and consume adult fungus gnats in mid-air, and prey on fungus gnat larvae in soil while developing as larvae themselves. Conserve these and other natural enemies by avoiding broad-spectrum insecticide applications.

Table 1. Commercially Available Biological Pesticides and Natural Enemies for Controlling Fungus Gnat Larvae.
Biological Comments
Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti) (Gnatrol) A naturally occurring, spore-forming bacterium produced commercially by fermentation. Bti applied at labeled rates provides temporary control and is toxic only to fly larvae, such as mosquitoes, black flies, and fungus gnats. Repeat applications commonly are needed for long-term control. This Bt is a different subspecies from that applied to foliage to control caterpillars. Bt labeled for caterpillars is not effective against fly larvae.
Hypoaspis (=Geolaelaps or Stratiolaelaps) miles A light-brownish predaceous mite adapted to feeding in the upper layers of moist soil. Preys on fungus gnat larvae and pupae, thrips pupae, springtails, and other tiny invertebrates. Commercial mites commonly are shipped in a shaker-type container used to apply them. Recommended rates in commercial nurseries are about 1/2 to several dozen mites per container or square foot of media. Make applications before pests become abundant. Hypoaspis probably won’t perform very well in individual houseplants and probably isn’t a good choice for use in homes.
Steinernema feltiae This nematode is effective when temperatures are between 60° to 90°F and conditions are moist. You can apply it as a soil drench and to media using conventional spray equipment. Nematodes reproduce and actively search for hosts, so under moist conditions they can provide season-long control after several initial applications to establish populations.
Chemical Control

Insecticides are rarely warranted to control these flies in and around homes. However, if you do apply an insecticide for fungus gnats, consider using Bti or Steinernema feltiae nematodes to control the larvae; see the section Biological Control for more information.

If Bti or nematodes aren’t available and high populations are intolerable, pyrethrins or a pyrethroid insecticide may provide temporary, fast-acting control. Spray the surface of potting soil and plant parts where adults typically rest. Do not aerially fog indoors or attempt to spray adult gnats in flight. Be sure the product is labeled for your particular use (e.g., for "house plants") and read and follow the product's directions.

Pyrethrins have low toxicity to people and pets and are the active ingredients in the botanical pyrethrum, which is derived from flowers of certain chrysanthemums. Many products include a petroleum-derived synergist (piperonyl butoxide, or PBO) to increase pyrethrum effectiveness. Pyrethroids (e.g., bifenthrin, permethrin) are synthesized from petroleum to be chemically similar to pyrethrins; they often are more effective and persistent but are more toxic to beneficial insects. When using these products on houseplants or interiorscape containers, if possible move plants outdoors for treatment as a precaution, and wait about a day after applying the chemical before bringing them back inside.

For information on managing fungus gnats in commercial flower, nursery or greenhouse operations, see the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Floriculture and Ornamental Nurseries and the book Integrated Pest Management for Floriculture and Nurseries.

WARNING ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES

ADAPTED FROM

Dreistadt, S. H. 2001 Pest Note: Fungus Gnats, Shore Flies, Moth Flies and March Flies. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Div. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 7448.

REFERENCES

Cloyd, R. A. 2010. Fungus gnat management in greenhouses and nurseries . Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Publication MF-2937:

Dreistadt, S. H. rev. 1986. Fungus Gnats and March Flies. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Div. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 7051.

(Video) How to Kill Thrips, Spidermite, and Fungus Gnats the EASY way.

Dreistadt, S. H., J. K. Clark, and M. L. Flint. 2001. Integrated Pest Management for Floriculture and Nurseries. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 3402.

Harris, M. A., R. D. Oetting, and W. A. Gardner. 1995. Use of entomopathogenic nematodes and a new monitoring technique for control of fungus gnats, Bradysia coprophila (Dipt.: Sciaridae), in floriculture. Biological Control 5:412-418.

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Floriculture and Ornamental Nurseries. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 3392.

Nielsen, G. R. 1997. Fungus Gnats. Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont Extension. Publication EL 50:

Stapleton, J.J.; C.A. Wilen, and R.H. Molinar. Pest Notes: Soil Solarization. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 7441.

Wright, E. M., and R. J. Chambers. 1994. The biology of the predatory mite Hypoaspis miles (Acari: Laelapidae), a potential biological control agent of Bradysia paupera (Dipt.: Sciaridae). Entomophaga 39:225-235.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION

Pest Notes: Fungus Gnats

UC ANR Publication 7448

Authors:
  • J.A. Bethke, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego Co
  • S. H. Dreistadt, UC Statewide IPM Program, Davis

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

(Video) Fungus gnats and indoor plants | Sanitation when starting garden seeds at home 2/4/2022

Top of page

FAQs

How do you treat fungus gnat infestation? ›

Hydrogen peroxide solution is a quick, cheap, and effective way to kill larvae on contact. Mix four parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide and spray down your soil. Fungus gnats are annoying, but they're no match for a plant parent with a plan.

How often use neem oil for fungus gnats? ›

Use neem oil spray

Soak the top 5-10cm of the soil with your neem oil spray about once a week for at least two months (or for one month after you stop seeing the flying adults). Outside of your neem oil soak, remember to let the soil dry out between watering.

Does neem oil work on fungus gnats? ›

Watering with a dilute neem oil solution can help to kill fungus gnats, and also repel them in the future.

How long can fungus gnat eggs lay dormant? ›

Adult fungus gnats only live for about a week, but the eggs they lay will sit in the soil for three days and hatch into nymphs, which will live in the soil for about two weeks before growing wings.

What kills fungus gnats instantly? ›

A peroxide solution apparently kills larvae and eggs on contact, effectively killing off all infant gnats and disrupting the lifecycle. You should be able to buy hydrogen peroxide from any high street pharmacy or online. Mix 1 part 9% hydrogen peroxide with 6 parts water.

Is neem oil or hydrogen peroxide better for fungus gnats? ›

The peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on contact. Neem oil is also an effective soil soak to combat fungus gnat larvae. Dilute the oil with water per the manufacturer's directions and directly drench the soil at the roots of the plant. You can also spray the upper portion of the plant to keep adult gnats at bay.

Can you spray too much neem oil? ›

You can put too much neem oil on plants if you apply it several times a week. You can also put too much if you have not diluted the neem oil before use. If you use too much neem oil, it will burn the leaves, may cause them to turn yellow, and even kill beneficial insects.

Can I spray neem oil on plants everyday? ›

As Neem Oil doesn't work right away, make sure to repeat cleaning and spraying your plants for a few days in a row. If your plants aren't dealing with any current pests and you're using Neem Oil for pest prevention, you can spray them once per week to keep protecting your plants against any pests and infestations.

How does cinnamon get rid of fungus gnats? ›

Control Fungus Gnats, Cinnamon A Natural Option

The method of using the cinnamon powder is very simple, all you have to do is sprinkle enough cinnamon across the top layer of soil. This antifungal material is an effective way of eating the fungus you will normally find in decaying plant matter and potting soil.

What eats fungus gnats? ›

Nematodes (Steinernema) and predatory mites (Hypoaspis) feed on fungus gnats and their larvae and can be applied to the potting mix as eggs that will hatch and begin to feed. They will gradually attack the problem until there is nothing left for the predators to feed on.

How do you mix neem oil for fungus gnats? ›

Gently stir 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent into a gallon of water to serve as an emulsifier (i.e., it allows the oil and water to mix). Then add 2 tablespoons of 100% percent cold-pressed raw neem oil. Pour 2 – 4 cups of the mix directly onto the soil in your containers when it's time for the next watering.

Will fungus gnats ever go away? ›

As the adults lay their eggs and multiply, the infestation continues to grow. Rest assured, however, that you can get rid of fungus gnats without having to trash all of your plants. If the infestation is new, let the soil of infected plants dry out completely, which kills the larvae.

What temperature kills fungus gnat eggs? ›

According to Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, heating the soil to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit for at least thirty minutes may help eliminate the fungus gnat larvae and egg.

Will fungus gnats lay eggs in dry soil? ›

How to Prevent Fungus Gnats. Neither fungus gnats nor their larvae can survive in dry soil, so let your soil dry out completely between watering as often as possible. This will help the topsoil (where the gnats lay their eggs) stay dry while keeping your plants hydrated and happy.

What kills gnats permanently? ›

Here's how it works: Bleach is a most effective method of removal for gnats that tend to congregate around drains. Whether it's your sink, bathtub, or shower drain, pouring a half cup of bleach down the drain should wipe them out.

What is the lifespan of a fungus gnat? ›

The larvae feed for about 2 weeks and then pupate near the soil surface within thread chambers. After 3 to 7 days in the pupal stage, adults emerge and live for about 8 days.

What deters fungus gnats? ›

Fruit flies and fungus gnats, both commonly referred to as 'gnats,' rely heavily on their strong sense of smell to navigate. You can take advantage of this trait and repel gnats by using scents they hate such as peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, vanilla, lavender, citronella, and DEET.

Why are there so many gnats this year 2022? ›

Since fungus gnats typically live and breed in your indoor plants' potted soil, too much moisture and organic matter in the soil is likely the cause.

Does a layer of sand stop fungus gnats? ›

A layer of sand over your houseplant soil may solve your fungus-gnat problems. They're actually a common indoor pest called “fungus gnats,” and their favorite living and breeding quarters is the moist soil of potted plants.

Why do fungus gnats keep coming back? ›

Gnats, especially fungus gnats, are attracted to damp soil and that's where they lay their eggs. If you're overwatering your plants, these bugs will find their way there and start laying eggs. They can lay up to 800 eggs in one breeding cycle so this can become a major problem very quickly.

What is the ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water for fungus gnats? ›

Water your plant with a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and four parts water. The solution will kill the larvae, but is harmless to your plant. Reapply the hydrogen peroxide solution once a week until you see that the fungus gnats are gone.

Will perlite stop fungus gnats? ›

I put a layer of perlite on the top of the soil of all of my plants, as it was the only effective way I could find to prevent fungus gnats from infesting my soil!

Can I drown fungus gnat larvae? ›

If the plant is of a type that cannot be allowed to dry out, immerse the pot in water and allow it to stand for an hour or so. This should drown the fungus gnat larvae. If this doesn't work, drench the soil with a pesticide labeled for use on houseplants and for control of fungus gnats.

Which plants do not like neem oil? ›

Neem oil shouldn't be used on herbs such as basil, caraway, cilantro, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, or thyme. Spraying neem oil on plants with delicate or wispy leaves, such as arugula, lettuce, peas, and spinach, should be done with caution because it can cause foliage burns.

What is the ratio for mixing neem oil? ›

Mix 70% NEEM OIL at the rate of 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) per gallon of water. Thoroughly mix solution and spray all plant surfaces (including undersides of leaves) until completely wet. Frequently mix solution as you spray.

What time of day should neem oil be sprayed? ›

Neem oil works as a preventative method as well as pest control for an existing infestation. Use neem oil during the morning or evening hours. Avoid using neem oil during the middle of the day, as the combination of neem oil and direct sunlight can burn the plants.

What happens if you use too much neem oil on plants? ›

If used too frequently, neem oil can harm plants by coating them in a thin layer of oil and thus choking their leafy pores, which are critical for photosynthesis, transpiration, and oxygen release. Neem oil can also cause foliage burns if applied during the wrong time of day.

Can plants get too much neem oil? ›

Neem oil might kill some plants, especially if they are young and if the oil is applied too heavily. Test a small area of the plant and wait 24 hours before applying it all over. Apply neem in the evening for outdoor plants and out of direct sunlight for indoor plants to prevent leaf burn.

Should I rinse my plants after using neem oil? ›

Plants sprayed with neem oil don't need to be rinsed off, although fruit harvested within a week of spraying should be washed well with soapy water. Neem oil will dry in a few hours, but its insecticidal elements will break down completely within 2-5 days after the initial application.

Will cinnamon powder hurt plants? ›

Even with its strong smell, cinnamon will not cause any harm to the plants. In fact, not only will it not injure plants, its antibacterial qualities can also help to prevent mold or mildew from appearing on the soil surface as well, further protecting the plants.

Can you sprinkle cinnamon on soil? ›

Cinnamon gets rid of molds and mildew in house plants too. Simply sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the soil. Fungus shows up as discolored spots on the soil. It will also get rid of gnats if you happen to have them buzzing around your house plants.

Will cinnamon hurt house plants? ›

Accidentally break a stem on your precious houseplant? Make a clean cut and the base of the break, and dust liberally with powdered cinnamon to keep the cut from becoming infected and killing your plant. A cut stem end dried with cinnamon will heal faster.

Do fungus gnats live in soil? ›

Fungus gnats, also known as soil gnats, are small dark insects that look similar to fruit flies and live in the soil of houseplants. When you have them, you will notice them when you water your plants or disturb the soil in other ways. One way to get fungus gnats is to leave your houseplants outside.

What liquid attracts fungus gnats? ›

You can fill the bottom of a deep bowl with apple cider vinegar or red wine, then add several drops of liquid dish soap. Put it near your infested house plants. The gnats love it, and will fall into it and die. Replace it every couple of days.

What are fungus gnats most attracted to? ›

Fungus gnats are attracted to moisture. If you have real plants in your home and are over watering them that will be the place they swarm to. You can avoid this by not watering your plants until the soil is dry and the plants need it.

Can I apply neem oil directly on soil? ›

Why is Neem Oil preferred to other garden pesticides and insect repellents? Safe : Neem oil is safe to use and is non-toxic for the environment, humans, pets and even the plants and soil itself.

How do you pretreat soil for fungus gnats? ›

How to sterilize potting soil mix to avoid fungus gnats - YouTube

What carrier oil goes with neem oil? ›

Because of the potency of neem oil, it's a good idea to mix it with equal parts of a carrier oil — like jojoba, grapeseed, or coconut oil — when using it for larger areas of the face or body, or on sensitive skin.

Why can't I get rid of fungus gnats? ›

Let Your Soil Dry Out - The first thing you can do is make sure you allow more time to pass between waterings of your plants. Fungus gnats like to lay their eggs in moist soil, so if the top is too dry for their taste, they'll move on to another location (or die of old age in your window sill).

How long does BTI last in soil? ›

However, some toxin may remain in soil for up to six months. Rain, plant growth, and presence of invertebrates in natural soil do not seem to affect naturally occurring Bt.

How often do fungus gnat lay eggs? ›

Fungus gnat adults may lay from 30 to 200 eggs a day on top of moist soil.

Can fungus gnats lay eggs anywhere? ›

Fungus gnat lay eggs in moist soil or moist organic debris of plant origin. Some examples of habitat where females lay eggs include piles of leaves, garden and grass debris, compost piles and mulch. It takes about three days before the larval stage hatches from the eggs.

Do stones on top of soil prevent fungus gnats? ›

If you are in a constant battle with flies, Rose recommends using stones as a way to keep them under control. "Top the soil with a mix of fine sand and decorative rocks to prevent fungus gnats (which resemble small fruit flies) from laying eggs in the soil," she shares.

How long can fungus gnat eggs live in soil? ›

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

Adult fungus gnats only live for about a week, but the eggs they lay will sit in the soil for three days and hatch into nymphs, which will live in the soil for about two weeks before growing wings.

Does neem oil work on fungus gnats? ›

Treating Fungus Gnats With Neem Oil

When the top three inches of soil are dry, we have found a few methods to kill a population of fungus gnats effectively, and the most common one is using neem oil soak. Use a high quality, non-diluted neem oil and follow the guidelines on the pack to do your own dilution.

Why do I have so many fungus gnats? ›

Fungus gnats infest homes when there is enough moisture in the property for fungi to grow. Water-related issues from leaky pipes in your basement to a malfunctioning appliance. However, the most common cause of fungus gnat infestations is over-watered indoor plants.

What is the best fungus gnat killer? ›

Hydrogen peroxide (the standard 3% topical variety) can be used as a soil drench. Mix one part peroxide with four parts water, and pour it through the soil at the root zone until it begins to come out of the base of the pot. The peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on contact.

Is there an insecticide for fungus gnats? ›

Steinernema feltiae is more effective against fungus gnats than other commercially available nematode species. Mix Bti or nematodes with water, and apply as a soil drench, or spray onto media using a hand-pump spray bottle or other spray equipment, following label directions.

Are fungus gnats hard to get rid of? ›

Fungus gnats are difficult to eliminate if you have a large number of indoor plants. The adults can easily fly or jump from one plant to the next, laying eggs wherever they find moist soil. Like fruit flies, the adult fungus gnats only live for a few days.

Should I call an exterminator for fungus gnats? ›

If you find presence of fungus gnats, you should call a professional exterminator. A professional will be able to identify all of the affected areas and offer solutions to prevent future infestations.

How do you keep fungus gnats from spreading? ›

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats
  1. Make the Natural Habitat Inhospitable.
  2. Use a Soap-and-Water Mixture.
  3. Use Sand or Gravel.
  4. Dispose of the Top Layer of Soil Outdoors.
  5. Don't Overwater Your Houseplants.
  6. Water From the Bottom.
  7. Store Extra Potting Soil in an Airtight Container.
1 Apr 2022

Does cinnamon deter fungus gnats? ›

A common and easily available natural fungicide, cinnamon powder is very effective when it comes to curbing fungus gnats. Effective against damping off, cinnamon powder destroys the fungus on which the larvae feed.

What predator eats fungus gnats? ›

Nematodes such as Stenernema feltiae and predatory mite Hypoaspis miles are both predators that attack the fungus gnat larvae in the soil. Both predators are very popular with experienced growers as a preventative measure.

What eats fungus gnats? ›

Nematodes (Steinernema) and predatory mites (Hypoaspis) feed on fungus gnats and their larvae and can be applied to the potting mix as eggs that will hatch and begin to feed. They will gradually attack the problem until there is nothing left for the predators to feed on.

What kills gnats permanently? ›

Here's how it works: Bleach is a most effective method of removal for gnats that tend to congregate around drains. Whether it's your sink, bathtub, or shower drain, pouring a half cup of bleach down the drain should wipe them out.

How long is the lifespan of a fungus gnat? ›

The larvae feed for about 2 weeks and then pupate near the soil surface within thread chambers. After 3 to 7 days in the pupal stage, adults emerge and live for about 8 days.

Do fungus gnats mean root rot? ›

If you've got fungus gnats, you most likely also have pythium root rot, as gnats can carry it.

Videos

1. #3 Controls & IPM Schedule | Integrated Pest Management Insect Prevention Indoor Gardens Greenhouse
(Monster Gardens)
2. How to Manage Common Grape Pests
(Utah State University Extension)
3. Identifying Insect Pests in the Home and Garden
(UCIPM)
4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Working with a Professional
(PestWorld)
5. Is Integrated Pest Management for Indoor Houseplants Right for You? — Vlog 015
(Summer Rayne Oakes)
6. September 2022 Chapter Meeting
(CNPS Sac Valley)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated: 10/17/2022

Views: 6700

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.