pests - Knowledgebase Question

Kensington, Ma
Question by annkavi
December 7, 2009
I have several house plants thriving. Though recently I've developed a fly problem. I bought some insect repellent at HD over the weekend, but it doesn't seem to have worked. Should I be spraying them daily, at the root or base? Maybe something else I should try. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Answer from NGA
December 7, 2009


It sounds like a fungus gnat infestation. These little flying insects 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 decorative rock on top of the soil -- either one of these will dry out faster than the soil. This should stop the breeding. Or, you could cover the tops of the pots with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to exclude the pests. Be sure to cover all of the soil surfaces in all of your houseplants. Or, you can use Gnatrol or Insecticidal Soap as a soil drench. Good luck with your houseplants!

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