Have you noticed a lot of tiny flying pests in your house, especially in areas around your plants? Chances are you have fungus gnats or fruit flies. They can appear to be more frequent after you have watered your plants.
Here 4 ways to get rid of those pesky gnats and fruit flies. Plus 3 preventative tips!
Make the Natural Habitat Inhospitable
This means drying out the soil they live in because fungus gnat larvae need moist soil. If you let it dry out completely before your next watering, it will get rid of the gnats in the soil and discourage new adults from laying their eggs.
Use a Soap-and-Water Mixture
Take a cup of water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap or liquid Castille soap. Spray the top of the soil with this to kill the larvae. Repeat this process again in a few days to ensure that you have killed all of the larvae.
Use Sand or Gravel
Fungus gnats only lay their eggs in the top inch of soil. Replacing that top inch with sand or gravel creates a dry environment and robs them of nutrient-rich fungus to munch on. Without their needed source of food available, they won’t want to lay their eggs.
You can also use decorative aquamarine rocks and add a splash of color to some of your favorite plants.
Dispose of the Top Layer of Soil Outdoors
The eggs can still hatch. Let them hatch outside rather than somewhere in your home. You don’t want to just move your pests from one part of the house to another.
By taking all of these steps, you can naturally control and prevent fungus gnat infestations.
Here are three steps you can take to prevent these pesky pests from ever entering your life in the first place!
Don’t Overwater Your Houseplants
Neither fungus gnats nor their larvae can survive in dry soil, so let your soil dry out completely between watering as often as possible.
Water From the Bottom
This will help the topsoil (where the gnats lay their eggs) stay dry while keeping your plants hydrated.
Store Extra Potting Soil in an Airtight Container
If you keep your potting soil in the bag it comes in, fungus gnats can easily get in and lay their eggs. However, the eggs need air to survive, so airtight containers like buckets with tight-fitting lids will keep the larvae at bay.