Sorry gnats Background: How do these little creatures live?
The infestation by fungus gnats is particularly annoying in the home on houseplants. Because they feed on the roots of the plant and thus prevent healthy growth, they can also cause great damage in agriculture. So that the fungus gnat doesn't get a chance in your apartment, we'll show you some of the best home remedies for combating it. Because fighting fungus gnats is not only possible with chemical agents.
How do fungus gnats damage plants?
The real culprits are not the adult sciarids, but the sciarid larvae. They have a size of about five to ten millimeters in length and are glassy grey-white. The larvae of the pests are mainly found in the potting soil, as they feed on the roots and dead plant remains.
Especially with cuttings and seedlings, the chance of survival is very low because they need healthy roots to absorb nutrients. But the fungus gnats can also cause considerable damage to adult plants, since damage to the roots makes it easier for bacteria to penetrate the plant.
Sciarid gnat damage
The fungus gnats, which are between four and seven millimeters in size, are often confused with fruit flies. One big difference, however, is whereabouts:
Whereas black flies are always around rotten fruit and leftover food, fungus gnats prefer plants and lay their eggs in the moist substrate of these plants. The moist substrate acts as an attraction for the fungus gnats. It is not the mosquito that causes the damage to the plant, but its larva.
The damage to the plants is particularly evident in the larval stage. The direct damage caused by fungus gnats primarily affects cuttings and seedlings, as their defense mechanisms are not yet fully developed. If these young plants die or the small stems have been eaten hollow inside, then it is mostly fungus gnats (larvae). In addition, in the case of an infestation by stunted growth, an excessive number of small mosquitoes can be found near the soil of the affected plant or white larvae with a black head in the plant soil.
Causes of infestation by fungus gnats and their larvae
It is often possible that the fungus gnat has already laid its eggs in the plant in the store, so that the larvae can already grow there. So without seeing them, you drag them home with you. When airing, fungus gnats can also get into the apartment through the open window and nest in your apartment. Above all, they prefer moist soil and are very happy to settle in such flower pots.
Get rid of fungus gnats: 5 home remedies that help
You can fight the infestation by fungus gnats not only with chemical but also with biological means. This should always be preferred to chemical agents. Here we show you 5 biological fungus gnat home remedies with which you can fight fungus gnats:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a pure miracle cure as it fights many insects. Fungus gnats are also sensitive to baking soda. An ideal household remedy.
Sprinkle some baking soda on the soil and then moisten it. The larvae that are in the soil absorb the baking soda and die over time.
2. Fruit Juice
Like most insects, fungus gnats love sugar. Store-bought fruit juices often contain a lot of sugar, which magically attracts the little animals. Simply place a glass filled with fruit juice next to the affected plant overnight.You can carry out this method for several weeks and after a certain time you will definitely notice that it has minimized the population of fungus gnats
What fungus gnats really hate is parsley. Therefore, simply distribute a bit of finely chopped parsley on the potting soil. The fungus gnats stay away from the plant in no time.
4. Coffee grounds
If you are just about to throw your old coffee grounds into the organic waste bin, please put the reverse gear back in, because coffee grounds also help you to fight fungus gnats. Spread it evenly over the ground.
The larvae and the mosquitoes themselves do not like this at all. Hopefully, after a few days, the fungus gnat infestation will be a thing of the past.
It's hard to believe, but there are also "animated" remedies that help against fungus gnats. Nematodes are small roundworms that act like parasites. You can bring them into the potting soil with the irrigation water, where they get into the sciarid fly larvae through the body openings. Once in the bloodstream, they release bacteria that kill the larvae.
Fighting fungus gnats: chemistry
You should only use the chemical means in an emergency, if the fight with the biological means didn't work. If you go to a specialist shop, you will quickly notice that there are many different insecticides. For this reason, it is important that you get good advice in order to find the right remedy. It should only harm the fungus gnats (larvae) and not the plant itself!
Tip: If you want to dose the chemical agent at home, then make sure to pay attention to the manufacturer's dosage.
Tips and tricks to prevent fungus gnat infestation
To prevent an infestation from fungus gnats in the first place, there are a few things you can do. So you don't even have to declare war on the fungus gnats and their larvae.
Tip 1: Always make sure that the soil of your houseplant is not too damp, because that's exactly what fungus gnats like. Therefore, you should probably also change the watering behavior: You should make sure that you only water your plants when the top layer of soil has dried. In addition, there should be no water in the flowerpot.
Tip 2: If you have to repot your infested plant, then clean the old flower pot very thoroughly, as the larvae of the fungus gnat like to settle there.
Tip 3: Unfortunately, fungus gnats can also get into your home through freshly bought soil. The little animals like to sit in cheap soil in particular. Therefore, always pay attention to the quality when buying new potting soil.
Mourning gnats: goodbye!
We have now shown you some tips against fungus gnats on how you can combat fungus gnat infestation with home remedies. Of course you and we also want that the fungus gnats and their larvae do not get into your apartment in the first place. Therefore, good and individual care of your plants is essential. Because only proper care is the basis for a healthy plant that is less susceptible to pests!
Here you will find a large selection of healthy houseplants that will definitely reach you without pests. I promise!.
Leave a comment