The Q&A Archives: Fungus Gnats

Question: My wife needed to replant some of her house plants. She bought a bag of your potting soil. She replanted her house plants.Then it wasn't long after that we had a lot of these little black bugs that look something like gnats or fruit flies.They are very small. We tried everything and we can't get rid of them they are all over the house. They are walking on tables, on us, they are every place in the house. We never had such a problem until we used your product. We don't have the bag the stuff came in or anything like that because she used the whole bag doing her plants and it was put out in the trash. We have used your products ever since we got our house -- for the lawn, trees, etc. and never had any trouble until now. So what do we do to get rid of these little flying gnats or what ever they are? They came out of that potting stuff we bought. We check under all of the leaves of the plants, wash and spray anything that looks like it could be something but they are still here. We don't know what plants they are coming from now. We bought the potting soil at the HOMEDEPOT garden center.

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 turkey 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.

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