I would like to know how to get rid of small flies in house plants?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By Ingrid from Plano, TX
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When I bring my plants indoors in late fall, I group them under lights ,in a cool room in the basement. I than fill 3 or 4 empty margarine containers with water and space them around the plants on the table. I water the plants very sparingly all winter. These pesky creatures love water. These margarine containers become their source of water, where they congregate and drown. Keep the containers filled with water to the very top at all times.
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I have gnats on my indoor ivy and have been spraying it with insecticidal soap, but I found one on the top of my coffeemaker. Is there any homemade ways to get rid of the darn things?
By Holly from Lancaster, Wi
Are you absolutely sure the gnats are from the plant? Sometimes what looks like fungus gnats come in through the drains, not the plants.
My mom told me to mix water, dish soap and lemon juice into a spray bottle and spray my plant's leaves, top and bottom, and also water them with this mixture to get rid of gnats and/or fruit spiders. I love my plants and many of them are too large or have very long vines to re-pot them to help solve the problem since both my husband and I both have seriously bad back problems.
Do you think it will hurt my plants? I love my plants, each one has either been a present from my husband on a special occasion or gifts from our daughter on mother's day or birthdays so to lose one would feel almost unbearable. Please tell me if this will work, I am hoping it will as we are also Retired Air Force and money is tight. Thanks for helping and God Bless.
By MoonLitBelle from Las Vegas, NV
Make sure that your dish soap is one of the very mildest-in other words, don't use anything marked 'concentrated grease relief', or as containing bleach or OxyClean type stuff.
Ivory dishwashing soap was the best thing, we Master Gardeners (university extension service training, repaid by doing volunteer work in the community) used it for years as a safe pesticide (mixed with water) but then the company changed it's formula, and now I'm not sure if it's still safe.
If your soap is VERY mild, go ahead and try the homemade pesticide on a weed, lol, and see what happens. If it's still alive in four or five days you are probably safe to try the home mix on your more precious plants.
How do I get rid of little bugs that look like fruit flies in my houseplants?
By Mitch88 from Ontario, Canada
This trick worked overnight! I work in an office and a coworker just brought in a newly potted plant. When she was watering it she noticed these pesky gnats and I told her to mix a drop of lemon essential oil and a drop of lemongrass essential oil and rub it around the lip of the pot. Voila! No more gnats! (07/30/2009)
Forget most, if not all, of the suggestions here and on other sites. I tried them all (soap, lemon, beer, vinegar, sand) on my house plants. The lemon one is particularly silly. I think they actually love it.
Now for what will work and it's very simple: Insect repellent wipes, i.e., mosquitoes, etc. The ones that come in those little packages.
Wipe the edges of your plant's pot and then for added benefit, leave the wipe for awhile under the plant itself (if the pot's big enough). They hate it and were gone almost immediately, never to return. (02/28/2010)
OK, forget everything you just read! The only way to get rid of (and by "get rid of" I mean kill them!) gnats from your houseplants is to kill the source of their food, which is fungus. Most remedies posted here will move them from one plant to a different food source only to return a day later. For the past several weeks, I've been inundated with tons of gnats from several houseplants that I purchased at the big box store. It's just inevitable. I've tried Windex. I've tried vinegar and orange juice with a shot of oil. I've tried drowning my plants overnight in a tub of water. I've tried skimming and baking the top three inches of the plant soil. I've tried spraying the plants with plant-based Raid. None of them work!
Finally, I went to Walmart and got Garden Safe Fungicide, which is sold in the outdoor garden area, not inside the store with the RAID and other pest control products. It worked in one day! I went from millions of little gnats buzzing around my eyes, trying to get up my nose and simply disrupting my life on a minute-by-minute basis, to having not a single gnat in my house overnight! Spray the fungicide liberally on the top soil of the plant, and on the leaves (both sides) until it runs off the leaves a bit and on the stems.
For an added bonus, spray the air, the area around trash cans, litter boxes, sink drains and even the overflow opening of your bathroom sink. Anywhere they might find a source of food. It works! (03/13/2010)
How do I get rid of gnats on house plants?
By MonicaC. from Harlingen, TX
The first thing I do is remove the soil from the plant and wash the roots very well with dishsoap and water. I wipe down the leaves as well with same solution, but make sure all soap is rinsed off. Get some new soil and repot your plant.
Normally I like to do this outdoors to all my plants, because if one is infested, all are. Just leave the used soil in your garden or spread on your lawn. No need to toss it when it can be put to use in your outdoor garden.
Madi from Oceanside, CA
Almost everyone who grows houseplants has experienced these little black gnats. They are called fungus gnats. They inhabit the fungus and decaying plant material found at the base of houseplants. The fungus gnat's lifespan is as follows:
Adults live about 7 to 10 days and deposit eggs on or in moist soil. The females lay from 100 to 300 eggs in batches of 2 to 30 each in soil containing decaying organic matter. The eggs hatch in 4 to 6 days and the larvae feed for 12 to 14 days. The pupal stage is about 5 to 6 days before adults emerge. Repeat.
The adult gnats are an annoyance, but they won't hurt your plants. The larvae, however, can damage the feeder roots and root hair causing a general loss of vigor to some plants. The best way to prevent fungus gnats is to use a sterile potting soil mix when re-potting (one that is free of bark chips) and to make sure your pots have good drainage. These guys need a moist environment to feed and continue breeding. So if possible, it's a good idea to let the surface of the soil dry out as much as you can (without injuring the plants) between watering. This works well to kill the larvae.
Here are some other things to try:
Use any type of lemon scented spray. I use lemon scented ammonia. Wipe down the area with the lemon scented ammonia or spray the area. You will notice there are very little or no gnats at all instantly. (06/30/2008)
Don't pour coffee into the soil anymore. You can pour it outside. Also for others, only put coffee grounds into a compost bin and not directly around plants. (06/30/2008)
I just mix up some soap water in a spray bottle to get rid of the gnats. (07/01/2008)
Don't know about the gnats. Scooping the top layer and replacing it with some of that baked soil sounds good. But the roaches...Boric acid will kill them. Put it into crevices or sprinkle it around the cutouts of pipes under the sink or wherever you think that they come in. It doesn't lose its efficacy, so will last as long as they walk across it, then groom themselves. Your roach problem will disappear. Put a straw near the openings if they are small and blow some of the Boric acid into the hole or crevice. (07/01/2008)
By Thrifty Me
Pour a little salt and a some of baking soda down the drain. Then pour white vinegar. Let it fizz overnight. Follow the next morning with boiling water. If this doesn't work, the drains may have something in there that needs to be cleaned out. Then try the process again. It absolutely works! We had a million and they're gone! (07/11/2008)
I have had them from time to time. I don't know how you feel about Raid or any other house bug spray. But, when I do get them, I take the plant out doors in the morning, spray the top soil really well and let it sit outside for the rest of the day. If it's too cold at night to leave it for another day, I usually put it where my washer and dryer are for at least another day. Then move it back. It always kills every part of the life cycle. (08/29/2008)
River city, wickedly humid. I've used diatomaceous earth (D.E.) with lasting success for some time. Think of it like inhaling powdered glass, sprinkling powdered glass on your corn flakes.
Not very 'humane', but it does make short shrift of the little vermin. For my indoor trees, Potassium permanganate ( @pharmacist: It's for my citrus plants! Would this face lie? ) kills fungus. Soil fungus+Trees in poor soil=good thing --usually, but I do use it on plants subject to root-rot, once in a while. It's inexpensive, very little is needed and it works fast. And environmentally safer than detergents when used on its own. No household cleaners, bleach.
On the other hand, D.E. is excellent on orchids, since their fungal 'partner' is selective, and vital. Potassium permanganate breaks down quickly into non-toxic salts, utilized in by the plant.(as Na, oxides) -- Not for foliage.
Soap: mycelium (living fungus) is usually a waxy/greasy kind of business in peat, soaps like 'Safers' are OK for control. I've used dish soap which is a little harder-hitting. Problem is that permanganate soaps really aren't very picky, and most fungi, even if they're not feeding the plant directly, help keep clean water in the soil. Bacteria, small insects, fungus are all fair game to detergents.
D.E. doesn't change soil Ph. It is inert, like sand, only much finer. Neighbours with houseplants. That neighbour you just can not relate to? Just because gnats can't spawn in your pots anymore, that won't keep them from trying. And I guess it wouldn't be 'acceptable behaviour' to sticky-trap a few doors and windows shut. What-to-do. Or maybe it's just this darn humidity. Maybe gnats would go away on their own, or maybe green thumbs just wouldn't be as irritable. Thanks for some good tips posted, happy hunting!
By some guy from Edmonton
We just had this problem, I bought my dad house plants for Christmas, completely re-did his living room. It looked great, until we started getting gnats everywhere. Thank you everyone for letting me know what was doing it, we just put our plants outside and will be working on DE-GNATTING them.
Here's some advice for those of you with gas heaters. We have several gas heaters, and since it's winter time we've been using them. I noticed today while turning one on about 16 gnats dead on top of it. On the ground underneath it were tons more dead gnats. So we have our own gnat killers. We're trying the ACV trick too, just to make sure. (02/08/2009)
Windex. You'll have little gnat bodies everywhere. (02/13/2009)