Houseplants forum→EVERYBODY got a sand treatment today.

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Picklepea23
Jun 10, 2021 7:17 PM CST
I've been noticing some gnats lately and while it hasn't been too bad, they really can get out of hand quickly. I cannot stand the buggers. So all my plants have been covered with sand! I sure hope it solves the problem once and for all.


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I also thought you guys may want to see the new ficus tineke plants I got in the mail! Had an excellent Etsy seller and they plants could not be healthier! What beautiful leaves! COVER WITH SAND.


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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 11, 2021 1:05 PM CST
What a lovely selection of plants! Fungus Gnats are usually present when soil remains wet for too long. I don't know if sand on top of the soil is effective at eradicating the gnats but it may cause additional issues with aeration and preventing the soil to dry quickly.

I hope you will keep us updated on the progress.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 11, 2021 3:06 PM CST
I agree with Lin. have never found snd to be effective for the reasons she stated. If the sand keeps the soil from drying out properly, then you may end up with more than a gnat problem.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Picklepea23
Jun 11, 2021 11:48 PM CST
Thanks for the concern! I check my soil with a moisture meter on multiple levels before I water anything. These guys are pretty dry by the time I get to them. I'm honestly surprised the fiddle looks so healthy because I do let it dry out pretty well. I think the gnats rode in on a new plant and then just went for it. Like I mentioned it hasn't been too bad. Not quite an infestation. I'm also so generous with the perilite.

I'm surprised you guys haven't had success with the sand. It's all over the internet as a solution. I tried gravel as well but it really annoyed me and I think the gnats could still get through it.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jun 12, 2021 5:31 AM CST
LOL, I'm old and I think we just have to learn what works for us and our growing conditions. I've been growing and tending indoor (and outdoor) container plants for 54 + years now and in the beginning it was all trial and error.

I've never used a moisture meter to rely on soil moisture but I've read numerous times that they are quite unreliable, so it's good to hear a report of one of them working! I've heard it mentioned in the past that gnat larvae is sometimes present in bagged potting soil so maybe that's where they originated and hopefully you can get rid of them quickly before more of them become free flying adults. I feel fortunate that I've only had fungus gnats a couple of times over the years and never in great quantities. I remember someone once talking about their plants having a fungus gnat infestation with black flies in the hundreds flying around! Blinking
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!



Picklepea23
Jun 12, 2021 9:36 AM CST
Eww! I have seen some really gross sticky trap pictures before and I don't know how people tolerate it till it gets to that point! The second a gnat tries to go up my nose I'm DONE. It really could have been bagged soil that was stored outside but I also think it's just buying anything from big box stores. Those poor plant babies can't escape over watering.
Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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Omie
Jun 12, 2021 11:24 AM CST
My little baby nepenthes pitcher plants are enjoying their regular meals of fungus gnats. nodding

Picklepea23
Jun 12, 2021 3:54 PM CST
lol omie, that's a unique solution to gnats!
Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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Omie
Jun 12, 2021 5:15 PM CST
It's true! Their adorable little pitchers are only about an inch tall, but when I look inside them i usually see one or two tiny gnats floating around getting digested. The liquid is sweet and attracts the gnats.

Picklepea23
Jun 12, 2021 9:15 PM CST
Nature is beautiful and also gross. Today was great tho! I only smacked down one gnat, but I'm going to wait a few days to make sure the breeding cycle is over and done with. I have a sweet little pink leaf coming in on the ficus!




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California
jasriniv
Jun 15, 2021 1:32 PM CST
Hmmm...what has worked ( somewhat ) for me is a combination of flushing the soil with Peroxide solution, using Mosquito bits tea, under watering and using Yellow traps ( yes they look SO gross). This becomes a rather systemic treatment method and I am hoping will eventually take care of all of them. I agree though that when they fly by my nose while I am on a zoom call, I want to burn the house!!!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jun 15, 2021 2:50 PM CST
Blinking I have a lot of plants and I hate bugs so I'm sure glad I don't have issues with gnats or other pests! If I had to deal with pests flying or crawling around, I'd throw every plant in the compost pile! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
Image
Omie
Jun 15, 2021 3:54 PM CST
Man, you guys! lol
Glad I'm not bothered by tiny gnats here and there. And yes one did try to fly up my nose, no biggie. ;)

Picklepea23
Jun 15, 2021 4:08 PM CST
I'm pretty generous with spiders because I know they are helping me, but gnats are a special spawn of satan. Thankfully they aren't that fast and I can smack them down.

As a little update, plants seem to be doing fine, and my yellow sticky traps aren't really catching anything. It seems like they can't breed in the sand because it drys out quickly. I think I need another day or two to be sure the adults have all died off, but it seems to be working.

I've tried peroxide, mosquito bits, and under watering. I think the peroxide has worked well in combination with the sand honestly. I mix it with some water and then spray the sand good and yeah, I've seen improvement!

I have 3 Stephania erecta bulbs in a different room that I'm too scared to cover with sand, but they say the best way to make those bulbs activate is to increase the humidity. I have little humidity bag on them currently but I'm also praying the gnats don't find them...
Missouri
gardenfanaticinMO
Jun 15, 2021 7:14 PM CST
Whenever I get fungus gnats I sprinkle a generous layer of Diatomaceous Earth on the surface of the soil. It gets rid of them in fairly short order.

Deanna

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