The Q&A Archives: Flies Around Houseplants

Question: I have a plant in my office that I will see these tiny flies around it. What is causing them? They seem to hover around the soil especially.

Answer: It sounds like you may have some fungus gnats. They breed in moist soil, so
one way to stop them is to avoid overwatering the plant and allow the top surface of the
soil to dry out completely. You could also put a thin layer of sand or gravel over top of
the potting soil. This works well if you have a plant that needs a constantly moist soil, because the
gritty layer will drain and dry out quickly while the potting soil itself stays moist. Another solution is to apply a product called Gnatrol to the soil according to the label instructions. Whatever you
do, it will take a week or two to see results because you have to wait for the current
generation(s) to mature and die off. Luckily they don't live for very long and they don't do
harm except to plant roots so the problem is pretty easy to contain.

« 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 Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"