The Q&A Archives: Kitchen Gnats

Question: I love my kitchen herb garden around my windowsill and sink. I am worried, however, about the small gnats that are starting to get into my mint, cilantro, and other herb plants. How can I get rid of these swarming pests?

Answer: You're probably dealing with fungus gnats. These tiny little flying insects feed on decaying organic matter and breed in moist places. If you can place a barrier between the soil surface and the insects, they'll soon run out of food and moisture. Use a layer of decorative rock over the soil surface to prevent them from landing and laying eggs. Be sure to carefully wash the leaves and stems of your plants to remove adults, and eggs, too. You might also want to make a sticky trap, just for insurance. Take a square of bright yellow cardboard or paper and smear both sides with petroleum jelly. Then hang or mount the trap at foliage level near your plants. The insects will be attracted to the bright yellow color and will become hopelessly stuck on the surface when fly too close.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"