The Q&A Archives: Gnats

Question: I have gnats. Is there something that can be used to get rid of them that will not harm my pets? I have heard that coffee grounds in the potting soil is an option. Is that true?

Answer: Fungus gnats can be so annoying! These little pests feed and breed in moist organic matter, which makes the soil of your houseplants a perfect place for them to live. I have two ways of coping with them. First, I trap the adults on yellow sticky traps hung in and around my houseplants. (You can make your own traps, or purchase them in most garden centers.) My second defense is to temporarily cover the surface of the potting soil with plastic wrap. This barrier effectively keeps adults from laying eggs in the soil and also keeps any little gnats from escaping from the soil. Eventually both adults and juveniles will die off. Some gardeners simply place a half-inch layer of decorative rock over the surface of the potting soil. Aquarium gravel comes in many colors and is relatively inexpensive. Coffee grounds aren't really a solution because they are organic in nature and the gnats will find them attractive.

Hope one - or all - of these suggestions help you control the fungus gnat population in your houseplants!

« 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 Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"