Nashville, Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Chattanooga TN
Have you noticed tiny flying gnat-like bugs swarming around your indoor plants? More than likely, they are probably fungus gnats, which typically cause no harm to the actual plants. The moist soil attracts these annoying pests, and not the plant themselves. Although these gnats are more of a nuisance than anything, here are some ways you can rid them from your house.
First, understand what attracts fungus gnats. The larvae stage lasts about two to three weeks, which could pose a threat to your plants. The larvae tend to feed on decaying plant matter or algae and fungi in the plant’s soil. However, they sometimes feed on the roots of plants, which will cause the foliage to become yellow or wilt. It is for this reason that you will want to be sure that you trim away old, dead leaves or stems from your plants. Be sure also to remove any dead pieces of plant that have fallen on the top of the soil.
Riding fungus gnats from your home begins with changing the soil’s environment. Fungus and algae grow in moist soil, so try watering your plants less often so that the top layer of soil can dry out. Frequent watering creates the ideal environment for algae and fungus growth. So, be sure not to over water your plants or keep them positioned toward the sun, if possible, to allow the soil from remaining saturated all of the time. Just be sure the soil does not remain saturated, which attracts these fungus gnats.
Another tip is to try using a repellant, such as dryer sheets. This may sound crazy, but research from the Kansas State University discovered that the fabric softner in dryer sheets will repel fungus gnats. Lay a few of these over the soil of your problem plants to ward off fungus gnats. If fungus gnats are a problem in your home, place dryer sheets near or around potted plants.
A third option is to catch the adult fungus gnats using a yellow fly trapper. Oddly enough, the color yellow attracts these adult gnats. Although there are various types of fly traps available in stores, you can just make your own by gluing yellow paper to sticks, and coating the paper with petroleum jelly. These traps are safe and easy to use inside as well. You will be surprised at how cheap and easy this solution may be to your problem.
Insecticides work well as a last resort. Be sure when choosing one that you look for the ingredient Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis), or an insecticide that is labeled specifically for treating plants with fungus gnats. Also, be sure to store insecticides away from children and pets, as well as away from eating areas (even your pet’s eating area and food bowls).
Experiencing pest problems? Call Ameri Care Services today at (615) 893-7111. We provide pest control services to the Mt. Juliet, Hermitage, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee areas, and we can customize a pest control treatment plan just for you.