How Do I Get Rid of Gnats in My Potted Plants

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by Adobestock/Amelia

When a few plants were kept too damp at the Ogden Publications headquarters, many were asking “How do I get rid of gnats in my potted plants?” Although there are over 2,000 species of fungus gnats worldwide, they all have one thing in common: they’re annoying. While fungus gnats don’t pose a threat to humans, they can become a large nuisance in homes and greenhouses. The larvae stage feeds on organic matter and roots and can cause damage to plants. The larvae and adults can spread plant pathogens like black root rot, Botrytis blight, Fusarium wilt, Pythium blight, and Verticillium wilt.

Fungus Gnat Lifespan

To get rid of fungus gnats you will need to consider the fungus gnat lifespan, which includes eggs, four stages of larvae, pupa, and adult. Depending on the species, adults can lay up to 200 eggs. Eggs are laid where fungus is growing, which usually corresponds to damp soils. The larvae feed for around two weeks. When temperatures are low, this stage can last longer. They pupate near the soil surface for 3 to 7 days. Adults live a little over a week.

Fungus Gnat: Dry Soil Treatment

“We manage pests by using a combination of non-chemical solutions to control and prevent pest problems,” Lauren Fordyce says. Fordyce is an Urban and Community Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Educator at the University of California. She helps clients with houseplants and indoor and garden pests. IPM is an integrated approach to solving pest problems. The goal is to sustainably manage pests.

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