How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats on your Indoor Plant Naturally

How to recognize, restrain, and rid your indoor plants of fungus gnats with a few simple tips.

By: Lively Root
October 21, 2019
Fungus Gnat
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We're just going to say it: fungus gnats are a nuisance, especially on houseplants. These tiny flies can infest your indoor plant's potting mix, feeding (and thriving) off the fungi and organic matter in the soil. Left untreated, they'll eventually chew on the rotting roots of your plant – in other words; you will want to act as soon as possible.

If you've noticed dark, tiny flies hovering near your houseplants (or light sources), we recommend starting here:

Soil and Water Management

First, always check your indoor plant's soil moisture with Lively Root's digital thermometer. Overwatering is a common culprit as it creates poor drainage conditions for fungus gnats to thrive. Avoiding soggy soil is as simple as ensuring good drainage with consistent water. Allow the surface of your container to dry out between waterings and wash the saucer of any standing water. We recommend only using pasteurized container mixes when repotting your indoor plants.

Methods to Eliminate Fungus Gnats

Fortunately, it's best to go the natural route here. If you have flies, remove the top inch of potting soil from your plant and replace it with new, sterile (aka fly-free) container soil. This step is essential because the fungus gnats have laid eggs and larvae in this top layer of soil. You'll want to get rid of the larvae buried deep down. Please dispose of the soil in a sealed container and place it in the trash to avoid spreading them to your other plants. To deter gnats from laying eggs further, try topping your soil with mosquito bits that are pet friendly and organic. Keep air ventilation circulating with a slight breeze if the air is high in humidity.

As an insurance policy for the future, try adding an Arber's Organic Bio Insecticide (pet friendly) or neem oil mix to your new topsoil (where gnats usually lay their eggs). This application will help with various pests and is acceptable to reapply every 10-14 days.


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