How do you get rid of Fungus Gnats?
So many people have been asking lately about how to get rid of gnats flying around their plants and driving them crazy. First of all, just know that you are not alone. This happens to a lot of planty people, especially during winter months when soil tends to stay damp for longer due to cooler temperatures. I can remember having them in my bedroom and being afraid to sleep for fear of one flying in my mouth.
Fungus gnats are small black insects that fly around your plants (especially when you move it), or windows. They are attracted to soil and moisture. This is the perfect breeding ground for them to lay eggs, which is one of the reasons it seems they never disappear when you kill all of the adults--there is a constant cycle of life.
Your soil can contain many stages of life from a freshly laid egg to larvae, which is pretty gross to think the cycle of gnat life is happening many times in many pots of soil.
First tip that I can give is let your soil dry. This is something that will kill eggs, as they cannot live without moisture in the soil. Most plants do not want to sit in damp soil for long anyway, especially during winter. They are using less energy and require less water. Letting your soil dry between watering is okay for most plants and vital to helping your gnat issue.
A home remedy that has been found useful is mixing one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with four parts water. This needs to be done after you have allowed the soil to dry. The soil will fizz for a few minutes after application; this is normal. The larvae will die on contact with the hydrogen peroxide.
Another useful method is allowing your plant to dry and then watering with a mix of neem oil.
For the super annoying adults, I would recommend buying yellow sticky fly tape from a hardware store. Cut into small strips before peeling the water paper off. Pop a piece on top of the soil, or wrap around a small stick and push into soil. This will attract the adults.
Make sure your soil is extremely well draining, especially this time of year. Soil that has been okay during summer months, may not do the trick during winter. Ensure you have tons of perlite in your soil mix and even some peat moss and orchid bark. This is great for air to get to the roots.
Hope this has helped!