The Q&A Archives: Insects

Question: There are many very small black flys flying around all of my plants. It started on one plant and then it got to some of the other ones. I do not think that they do any thing wrong but they are in my way. I read about fungus gnats and I think that they are that. What are the flys, how do I get rid of them, and are the putting my plants in amy danger to my plants?

Answer: They probably are fungus gnats. These little pests feed and breed in decaying organic matter - in this case, moist potting soil. You can put a temporary barrier over the potting soil in your containers; plastic wrap or aluminum foil works well. Keep it on for a week or two and the gnats should die off. Or, cover the soil with a half-inch layer of sand or decorative rock. Either will keep the gnats from living in the potting soil. After you've covered the exposed soil, set a couple of traps to get the gnats that are flying around. I put an inch of vinegar in a glass or bottle and set a few of them in among the houseplants. The gnats are attracted to the vinegar, fly in and drown.

Best wishes with your houseplant collection.

« 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 clintbrown and is called "Dicentra"