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Nov 27, 2011 11:13 AM CST
Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas
Any tips on getting rid of houseplant pests? I tend to bring mine out in the warm months, and use homegrown compost to enrich the soil. Consequently I get fungus gnat issues every stinking year! Their larvae are killing some of my herb pots. Letting the soil dry out between waterings doesn't work for me, and also doesn't strike me as the sagest advice. If anyone has had success getting rid of them, please help!
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Nov 27, 2011 8:26 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Charter ATP Member Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Jenn, one woman (Critterologist - not sure if she's here or not) suggests using Hydrogen Peroxide when watering, she has said that it will kill the fungus gnats dead.
Someone else recommended using a layer of fine gravel (or some gravel-like substance like perlite) on the top layer of your soil.

I've also used bT dunks, crumbled and left in my watering can for a day or so - I just didn't use them in my houseplants.

For me, what worked best was "bottom watering" - putting water in a dish and letting the plants soak for a few hours so that the top layer of soil is never wet-wet. Now, these were my seed starting projects.

If your plants are not the type to be happy with letting them dry, you might want to lighten your compost mix with perlite, sand or perhaps some bark.

HTH!
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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Nov 27, 2011 10:56 PM CST
Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas
Thanks for the suggestions, Sheryl! Much appreciated.
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Nov 28, 2011 2:48 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
I agree with Sheryl. It sounds to me like your compost mix may be way too heavy and is retaining too much moisture. Fungus Gnats are usually present when the soil stays wet. I've been growing house plants for 45 years and for the past ten or twelve years I've been using a fast draining potting medium that consists of orchid bark mix and potting soil which doesn't allow the soil to stay drenched. I've never had a problem with fungus gnats so I can't attest to any remedy, but I've also heard of folks mixing hydrogen peroxide with water or putting a layer of some sort of grit on top of the soil to prevent the eggs that hatch from reaching adulthood and the flying stage.
~ 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!


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Nov 28, 2011 7:34 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Charter ATP Member Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
You are so welcome!
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Avatar for GardenGuyAZ
Nov 28, 2011 11:35 AM CST
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Southwest Gardening Plumerias Organic Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Butterflies Bulbs Charter ATP Member Container Gardener
A remedy I just read and am trying is to put a bowl of vinegar by the plants. It seems to be working, the gnats are attracted to it and drown in the vinegar. I have also cut back on watering, since it is cooler now, hopefully this will help. I'm finding the regular vinegar works better than the white vinegar.

Alan
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Nov 28, 2011 7:35 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Charter ATP Member Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Ugh, yeah - they love vinegar!
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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Nov 29, 2011 7:31 PM CST
Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas
But now what do y'all mean by "regular vinegar?" If you say regular vinegar to me, white is exactly what I think of, LOL! Apple cider? Red wine? Which do you find the most successful for catching gnats?
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Nov 29, 2011 7:37 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
I think of regular vinegar as white distilled vinegar too ... maybe cider vinegar is what everyone else thinks is the regular kind? White distilled vinegar has a lot of uses:

http://www.vinegartips.com/Scr...
~ 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!


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Nov 29, 2011 10:33 PM CST
Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas
So true. I don't generally use white vinegar for cooking, but I do use it to clean a lot of things, including countertops and laundry! Love the stuff. Thanks for the link! There are quite a few items listed that I haven't used vinegar for. Now I know. As for the gnats, heck, I'll just try a bowl of white one week, and apple cider the next by way of an experiment. I'd give the little stinkers fancy balsamic if that's what it took! :D
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Nov 30, 2011 12:27 AM CST
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Fort Leonard Wood, MO (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
(Smacks head! Why didn't I think of that!!uh, Now they tell me!) I had to resort chemical warfare to get rid of my gnat problem. I was surrounded by clouds of them outside in Missouri and they liked my pots enough that they came inside every winter☺ ugh! I ended up diluting Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub down for my houseplants and turning them into poisonous 'final meals' for the gnats and the woolly aphids that were on the roots of some of them. I was already using vinegar to mop the floors and clean the house with...maybe I should have let my mop bucket sit out for a few days... Rolling on the floor laughing
Avatar for GardenGuyAZ
Nov 30, 2011 9:02 AM CST
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Southwest Gardening Plumerias Organic Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Butterflies Bulbs Charter ATP Member Container Gardener
Regular vinegar in our family, the one my Mom always used, was the apple cider vinegar. I do tend to use the white vinegar more often as well though.

Found this link interesting on the various vinegars, and what they are used for.

http://recipes.howstuffworks.c...

























Last edited by GardenGuyAZ Nov 30, 2011 9:10 AM Icon for preview
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Nov 30, 2011 12:40 PM CST
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: New Jersey Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
I add a few splashes of white vinegar to my dishwasher .. no soap residue left on anything .. but glad to know about setting a cup out for gnats!!.. thanks!!!
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Nov 30, 2011 10:34 PM CST
Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas
Definitely lots of great tips here. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Dec 1, 2011 10:00 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Charter ATP Member Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Yeah, someone should probably do a 'tip of the day' on vinegar, and/or peroxide... lots of people know about them, but I'm betting lots of people don't.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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Dec 8, 2011 4:58 PM CST
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Fort Leonard Wood, MO (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
Peroxide? (off to google that, too) Thumbs up
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Dec 8, 2011 5:04 PM CST
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Fort Leonard Wood, MO (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
Bwaahaaha! I start typing into google and the list of things that start with "Uses for" is: Vinegar, Tee Tree Oil, Peroxide! The three things that I really seem to need to know more about!
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Dec 10, 2011 7:06 AM CST
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: New Jersey Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
have to love that
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Dec 10, 2011 12:41 PM CST
Name: 'CareBear'

Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents Dog Lover Hostas Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Sempervivums
Just thought I should tell all that Clorox bleach is a no no for mixing. Some items could release the chorine trapped in the water into gas and WILL DAMAGE YOUR LUNGS.
Love you all too much not to give a warning out.
Stush
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Dec 10, 2011 2:35 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Charter ATP Member Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Stan, honey, darling, boo-boo face - Clorox *is* chlorine, as in chlorine bleach.

I bet you're thinking about Ammonia, maybe?
http://chemistry.about.com/od/...

Thumbs up
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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