Trying to enjoy the beauty of your house plants during your time at home, when you've noticed an increase in gnats around them can be enormously frustrating. Houseplant gnat infestations pose a common problem, given a lot of us work from home more frequently. However, we want to assure you that natural and environmentally friendly solutions are available that will help rid your beloved houseplants of gnats! By being mindful of precautions and knowledgeable regarding natural methods of pest control, you can keep your plants healthy and free from pests while remaining comfortable in your own home.
Why Do My Plants Have Fungus Gnats?
Fungus gnats are pesky little pests that can appear in houseplants, usually as a result of overwatering. They can also be brought indoors from outside, or even worse, buy infected plants from a garden centre. The fungus gnats feed off fungus on the surface of the soil and reproduce quickly when conditions are ideal to create an abundance! Overwatering is one of the most common causes for fungus gnats, as it provides moisture for fungus to thrive which leads to fungus gnats infestations. It is important to ensure that the soil of houseplants remain slightly dry between watering sessions in order to prevent fungus gnats from becoming too numerous.
- Plants From Outside
- New Plants From Garden Centre
How To Get Rid Of Gnats Naturally
Low to No Cost Methods
Fungus gnats can be a truly annoying presence in your home. If you've noticed little flying insects hanging around your plants, it's probably fungus gnats. One of the fastest ways to get rid of fungus gnats is to completely dispose of the soil from the culprit plant. This is because for every gnat that you see flying around the room, there are hundreds of eggs lying beneath the soil. To start, take out the plant and clean the roots with a sterilized knife or pair of sheers. While drying out any wet roots, empty and thoroughly clean its pot with bleach if possible. Afterwards, repot it using either new soil or a lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA), which helps regulate the amount of water required better than conventional soils. With this simple method, you'll get rid of fungus gnats in no time!
Bake The Soil In The Oven
Instead of using new soil for your plants, you can bake the soil you currently have. This will kill fungus gnats and other pests that may have taken up residence, as well as their eggs and larvae that could be lurking in the soil unseen. Before beginning the baking process, make sure to carefully remove all plants from the soil, shake off any extra dirt from their roots onto a baking sheet, then place it in an oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes. While the soil is baking, take advantage of this opportunity to thoroughly clean and sterilize the pot in which you plan on replanting your plant. Once cooled to room temperature, your baked soil is ready to repot with!
Cant Remove Plant From Soil? No Worries
If you cant remove the plant from its soil you can just bake the top 1 to 2 surface inches. Fungus Gnats generally just lay there eggs in the first few inches of soil so this is still very effective.
Use Cinnamon To Get Rid of Fungus Gnats
When fungus gnats enter your home, one way to reduce this infestation is by sprinkling some cinnamon on top of the soil. It acts as a natural fungicide and irritant, preventing fungus gnats laying eggs. However, for the best results in fighting fungus gnats it is essential to select ceylon cinnamon rather than regular cinnamon. This type of cinnamon is sharper and more concentrated, making it more effective in reducing fungus gnats from invading your home.
Let The Soil Dry Naturally Between Waterings
When it comes to watering houseplants, it is important to consider allowing the soil to dry naturally between waterings. Drying out the soil allows fungus gnats and other small pests an opportunity to die off. Fungus gnats thrive in wet conditions, so allowing the top layer of soil to dry will make it unattractive to them. In addition, this natural drying process helps preserve essential nutrients that are essential for healthy root growth. Avoiding over-watering your plants is just as important as providing enough water; letting nature take its course by letting the soil dry naturally can help keep plants healthy and safe from fungus and other pests.
Bottom watering your plants is an effective way to reduce fungus growth and fungus gnats. The moist environment on the top of the soil would be reduced when water comes in contact with the soil from the bottom, which makes it an ideal solution for fungus prevention. All you need to do is make sure that your pot has drainage holes and then place the pot in a shallow dish of water for 5-10 minutes so that the plant roots can soak up all the necessary moisture from the bottom. Doing this will help ensure that fungus won't have a hospitable environment to grow in.
These methods can be great for helping a get rid of fungus gnats but most of the time to fully stop them in there track you will need to apply stronger methods combatting the infestation at multiple stages of the lifecycle to fully eradicate them for good.
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