Special Gift Offer
URL:
http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/newsletter/2008/11/25/fungus-gnat/
Share:

Fungus gnat

By: Garden Gate staff
Adult fungus gnats are generally considered a nuisance. But the larvae, in large enough numbers, can be a real problem.

problem solver

Fungus gnat Bradysia spp.

IDENTIFICATION — If you’ve noticed tiny flies that take flight from your house plants when you water, they may be fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are actually small dark gray flies about 1/8 in. long. They thrive with plenty of moisture and decaying plant matter. Most of their lives are spent as larvae feeding below the soil surface on organic debris and plant roots. After pupating, females can lay up to 300 eggs.

DAMAGE — Adult fungus gnats are generally considered a nuisance. But the larvae, in large enough numbers, can be a real problem. They feed on root hairs and small feeder roots, which causes stunted growth, off-color leaves or, in cases of severe infestation, leaf drop.

CONTROL — There are several simple ways to prevent fungus gnats from taking over. Avoid overwatering, use a sterile potting mix to keep from passing larvae along and remove plant debris from the soil surface.

If you do see these winged visitors hovering around your plants, cut a small cube of raw potato and push it into the soil of each plant to attract the larvae. Remove the potato piece after a few days and discard in the trash. Add another potato cube if you still see gnats around.

For severe infestations, try Gnatrol®. It’s a special strain of Bt bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis), which is safe for home use. Ask for it at your local garden center.

Published: Nov. 25, 2008
Share:
Tags:
  • None
GDT Notes Ad_Gift Guide 2020_zone5

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

GDT Ad_GiftGuide2020_zone6

Also in This Newsletter


gg_online-ed_zone10_v03
GDT Free Issues zone7and11 Mobile_Spring
Last Week’s Newsletter

November 18, 2008

Daylily rust

Like other rust diseases, daylily rust causes orange spots and streaks on the leaves.

GG_Sub-Ad_Zone15_v03