The Q&A Archives: Gnats

Question: How can I get rid of gnats on some of my house plants?

Answer: These are little flying insects that look a lot like fruit flies. They live in moist soil and breed at the soil surface. The best way to control them is to allow the top layer of the soil to dry completely between waterings. If the plants need a moister soil and thus more frequent watering, you could put a layer of sand or grit on top of the soil -- either one of these will dry out faster than the soil. This should stop the breeding. If it's any comfort, the adults don't live very long. In the meantime, yellow sticky traps will also help to control the adults. Another option is to scoop out the top couple inches of soil (where eggs may be), and replace it with fresh soil. Good luck!

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