The Q&A Archives: Soil Bugs

Question: Some of my houseplants have small gnat-like flying bugs, which I believe are called soil gnats or soil bugs. What causes them, and how can I get rid of them?

Answer: Your houseplants probably have an infestation of fungus gnats. Generally the adults aren't harmful. The eggs they lay turn into maggots that feed on decaying organic debris. The gnats prefer moist soil conditions, so wait until the top of the soil has dried out before watering your houseplants. If you're growing plants that require constantly moist soil, place an inch or two of decorative rocks on the soil surface to keep the gnats from accessing the soil to feed and breed.

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