The Q&A Archives: Little Bugs!

Question: Dear Whom It May Concern,
I have quite a few house plants and most of them have little flying bugs they look like Fruit Flies, and have wings they also seem to come out when I water my plants. A few of the plants that have the bugs, are a Spider-Plant, Diffenbachia, (3) Dragon Tree's, some Succulents, and a Cactus. Just to name a few. I am giving the 100% Distilled Water.
Sam Falk

Answer: How aggravating! It sounds like a fungus gnat infestation. 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 tiny pebbles 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. If it's really bad and the above methods don't work, you might want to repot into fresh soil and discard the old. Good luck!

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