bonsai tree care - Knowledgebase Question

West Middlesex, pa
Question by markrossi123
January 8, 2012
i bought a bonsai tree and there is little bugs that look like nats that are in the soil and on the leaves? how do i get rid of them? also it has been drop[ing its leaves is this normal just like full size trees outside or is this because of the bugs on the tree? please write back asap i would like answers to fix this problem
from, mark:)

Answer from NGA
January 8, 2012


Sounds like you're dealing with fungus gnats. Fungus gnats feed and breed in decaying organic matter so the potting soil you're using for your bonsai provides an almost perfect environment for them. They are opportunists and tend to fly in when doors and windows are open. There's really nothing you can spray to keep them from entering your home, but you can eliminate their breeding and feeding sites to keep the population under control. One of the easiest ways to control them is to place a barrier between moist potting soil and the little pests. You can simply cover the soil with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or cover the top of the soil with pea gravel or decorative rock such as those used in aquariums. Whatever you use, make sure there are no tiny entrance holes for the gnats - they're sure to find them. To capture any that are just flying around you can prop yellow sticky traps at foliage level. For some reason the color yellow attracts them and if you smear a piece of bright yellow construction paper or poster board with petroleum jelly the gnats will land on it and get stuck. Replace the sticky traps every few weeks and eventually you?ll reduce the population of gnats in and around your bonsai. Both of these solutions are child and pet-friendly and both work for me and my houseplant collection. Another option is to use Gnatrol as a soil drench Best wishes with your houseplants!

Fungus gnats don't really bother plants - they feed on the decaying organic matter in the potting soil - so I suspect your tree is dropping leaves just as a full sized tree would. Hope this information is helpful. Good luck with your fungus gnat eradication project!

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