Tiny Soil Flies - Knowledgebase Question

Gages Lake, IL (Zone 5A)
Avatar for julian_420
Question by julian_420
August 18, 2005
I have several plants in my room, both tropical and domestic. I love it because it makes it look like an indoor jungle. My problem is that there are these tiny flies( they are not white flies) that appear to live and lay their eggs in my soil because I see them fly out when I move the soil around. I think the peat moss in my soil makes a good habitat for these pests. I-Bomb insect spray helps but not much. They bounce around from plant to plant. I haved waged a war to exterminate these pests but I seem to be losing. How do I win? Please help!..

Answer from NGA
August 18, 2005
What you describe sound like fungus gnats. These pests breed in moist potting soil and you can break the breeding cycle by allowing the surface of the soil to dry out. If you have plants that need moist soil simply place a quick draining and fast drying layer of gravel or sand on top of the potting soil. You have to be a little patient with this method because you have to wait through the next generation's maturation before they are gone for good. In other words, once the generation now already in the soil become adults and die off without being able to reproduce, there should be no more gnats. Another method is to use a product called Gnatrol as a soil drench, another is to use an insecticidal soap as a soil drench. Of course, always follow the label instructions carefully. Another way to control fungus gnats is with yellow sticky traps. You can make them yourself. Paint a piece of wood or cardboard yellow and cover with vegetable oil or anything sticky and clear. Suspend above the plants. The gnats are attracted to the color yellow. You should be able to trap out most of the trouble makers! Good luck with your eradication project!

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