Watching tiny bugs flying around your favorite houseplants isn’t a pleasant sight. If you’ve spotted these tiny flies, you’re most likely dealing with a fungus gnats infestation on the plant. Fungus gnats are small, dark flies that feed on the fungus. Overwatered houseplants often have fungus developing on their soil and that’s what these unwanted guests will come after. If you see gnats on a plant, the first thing you should do is to isolate it right away. Doing so will prevent it from spreading to your healthy plants. Don’t worry, though. The problem isn’t irreversible. In fact, there are some simple natural ways to get rid of gnats in plants and prevent the problem from returning.
6 Practical Tips how to Get Rid Of Gnats In Plants Naturally
Are you wondering how to get rid of plant gnats? You shouldn’t have to use chemicals to get rid of gnats in plants. There are several natural ways that are just as effective and will drive these pests away for good.
Here’s how to get rid of gnats in houseplants:
1: Repot The Plant Using Fresh Soil
So you’re getting fungus gnats because the soil in the pot is developing fungus. The most straightforward approach is to repot the plant in fresh soil. Gently remove the plant from the pot and give it a little jerk to get rid of the old soil clinging to the roots. Layout the roots over a newspaper to dry it out. Remove any rotting roots using sharp pruning shears.
Remove all the old soil from the pot and sterilize it with a bleach solution before refilling it with fresh potting soil. Replace the roots in the potting soil. From this point onwards, water the plant less frequently, letting the soil dry out a bit between waterings. This will prevent the development of fungus and future gnat infestations.
2: Diatomaceous Earth For Gnats In Houseplants
Diatomaceous earth is very effective against many pests, including fungus gnats. It dries out and kills the plant gnats. Once you’ve repotted the plant in fresh soil, sprinkling this powder over the soil surface will kill any bugs that return.
3: Layer With Gravel Or Sand
Fungus gnats lay their eggs on the soil surface and feed on fungus developing on the soil surface. Covering the soil with sand or gravel prevents them from accessing their preferred moist surface, preventing them from laying eggs in the inhospitable conditions. A layer of gravel or decorative stones over the soil surface of your houseplants also adds an additional aesthetic appeal to the indoor environment.
4: Sticky Traps
Still thinking how to get rid of gnats in houseplants? Yellow sticky traps are widely available at garden centers. They are effective in attracting and killing many kinds of pests, including fungus gnats. Hang these traps from the branches of the plant or the sides of the pot and watch them do their magic.
5: Fungus Gnats Cinnamon Treatment
Does cinnamon kill fungus gnats? While it does not kill off fungus gnats directly, it works by killing off their food source. Cinnamon is a natural fungicide and helps treat the fungus in your soil, putting off the gnats.
6: Fungus Gnats Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment
Vinegar is almost always available in most homes. Are you thinking about how to get rid of gnats in houseplants with vinegar? Fill a shallow dish with a mixture of a few drops of dish soap and apple cider vinegar and place it next to your plant pot. Adult gnats are attracted to the mixture and fall into the dish when they land for a drink. Repeat the process for a few days until the bugs are all gone.
Plant Gnats FAQs
1: How To Keep Gnats Away From Plants?
So you now know how to get rid of gnats in plants naturally. But how to keep gnats out of plants? Preventing a gnat infestation isn’t hard. As long as you use a pot with good drainage, choose light, well-drained potting soil and prevent overwatering the plants, gnats won’t bother your houseplants. Gnats thrive in moist conditions. Make sure the soil dries out a few inches from the top before watering it again.
Also, when bringing a new plant home from the nursery, examine it closely for bugs on the plant or the soil. Choose a healthy, bug-free plant to bring home. Once the new plant is home, keep it isolated from other houseplants for the first 2 weeks. Only once you’re sure that there are no problems should you keep them with the rest of the indoor plants.
2: What Is The Best Gnat Killer For Indoor Plants?
Neem oil is a natural, non-toxic insecticide that kills a variety of bugs, including gnats. It acts upon contact so you’ll need to make sure it covers the plant and the soil completely to get rid of the gnats. Drench the soil with a diluted solution of neem oil. Also spray the plants with neem oil to keep fungus gnats at bay.
3: How Effective Is Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants Gnats?
Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a soil drench to kill fungus gnats larvae. Prepare a solution using 3% hydrogen peroxide using one part of peroxide and 4 parts of water. Drench it in the soil around the plant. Use this method in place of watering and repeat it a couple of times until the problem is gone.
So now you know how to get gnats out of plants. You also know how to keep gnats away from plants so you don’t have to deal with these unsightly bugs in the first place. Either ways, follow all or some of the natural remedies and preventions highlighted above to keep your plants healthy, attractive, and pest-free.