Gnats on Houseplants

I have problems with gnats (I think that is what they are). I've noticed them throughout the house and they are coming from my plants. What can I do to get rid of them. Should I re-pot them? Thanks for any suggestions.

Hardiness Zone: 4b

Marsha from Norfolk, NE


Gnats on Houseplants

Believe it or not I have read that a cat box can attract them and is a perfect breeding ground for them. So do you have a cat? Perhaps that is the drawing card to the gnats? (10/25/2007)

Nasty Gnats on Houseplants

I used a commercial insecticide called Wilson's Fungus Gnat Spray. Used it once spraying only the soil. Seems to work like a charm.

This insecticide has me a bit worried though. If it's that strong, what's it doing to me?


By Fungus Gnat FRee

Gnats on Houseplants

I have found 3 sources for the Gnats/fruit flies. 1. They come up through the drains from the sewers and lay their eggs in the vent in bathroom sinks. 2. their eggs come in with new plants or potting soil purchased at garden or any store that sells either. In Western New York we have to bring in certain plants for the winter.I raise some exotic plants that go dormant and then in Spring we revive them when they come in there are always Gnat eggs in the soil.


The vinegar in a water bottle with a paper funnel will eliminate many of them, but the problem is that they lay eggs before capture and will still thrive. It really just "lessons" their numbers. Cut garlic works at keeping them aways from things (damp soil/fruit) where they will lay eggs. Someone told me to try fresh orange peels, but I haven't tried it yet. The smell will attract them but the oil in the peel will kill the eggs. You have to make sure there is no fruit on the peel at all-so they said.

With potting soil for the indoor gardener-you have to bake it in the oven. I dump the bag or part of it-depending on the size into a large stainless steel bowl and bake it at 200 degrees for 30-45 min stirring it 1 or 2 X's. This ALWAYS works. Store bought soil will 100% of the time have eggs in it unless it is labeled sterilized.


The drain is the easiest-take some shaving cream or hair foam and spray it into the little vent hole in the top part of your sink while the drain is closed. This is a famous little hive for them. It is damp and only air passes through it. The tub really never gives them time without running water to get their eggs lain and hatched.

When bringing plants indoors for the winter I use a modest windex on the plant and soil. It also contains ammonia which can benefit green plants. It isn't something to do on a continuous basis. It is mild, doesn't harm any plant I've done it to and always eliminated the bugs. You may want to try it on a plant you're not greatly attached to-I wouldn't want to be responsible for any losses. As you might have guessed by now, I have been dealing with these "brats" for years-I haven't won the war, but I am staying a little bit ahead of them---finally! Thanks!


Tim (03/13/2008)

By tim clancy

Gnats on Houseplants

Mix in about a Tablespoon of joy lemon dishsoap when watering. (so far it hasn't hurt my plants and I've been doing it for about 3 months.) It does the trick. I have seen maybe one or two flies but that's better than 30 sometimes in one day. Try the dish soap it really works. I have fungus flies... not fruit flies though, don't know if that matters. (03/30/2008)

By brenda

Gnats on Houseplants

Sand doesn't work. Don't waste your time and money. You can take the plants outside and scoop some of the top layer of soil off. That gets rid of some of the adults and eggs. I use fly strips to catch the flying adults and I also cut those gluey mouse traps and put them in and around the plants to catch the little B******S!!I have tried all of these measures posted here with no luck, (except throwing the top layer off, it does help.) I am currently trying Plant Gel I got off the internet from a place called DNB Designs in Colorado Springs, Co.


I don't know if it will solve my gnat problem or not. I just re-potted them today. Time will tell. (It may be food to them, Ha!) I have already ridded my plants of quite a few of them by scooping that layer off. Anyway, good luck to all and if anyone figures it out please, do tell! Thanks. (04/18/2008)

By Pauly

Gnats on Houseplants

I had gnats in all of my houseplants for a year. I found Garden Safe Fruit and Vegetable insect killer at wal-mart. It works. I have not seen any more gnats. It's very safe since you use on fruit and vegtables. (04/23/2008)

By sue

Gnats on Houseplants

I was told to use bleach in the drains at night. I put it in all the drains and it seemed to help. It didn't take care of all of them, but it sure did help a bunch! I'm going to try the soapy water and maybe the vinegar/lemon juice. Thanks for all the good ideas. (05/18/2008)


By Yellow Rose

Gnats on Houseplants

Use Dry Sand (not salty sand from beach!) and Cover only the top of the soil. When the Weather is nice, open the window to refresh the air very well. And about adult flies,
they doesn't live for long time. They will die by themselves soon or later. So, take it easy about them and do not use any chemicals! It's not good to you and your environment. (05/21/2008)

By by mind fresh

Gnats on Houseplants

I tried the tip with the apple cider vinegar and the dishwashing soap. I also added a squirt of honey. I put this in a custard bowl in my house plant yesterday. After 24 hours I have about 30 gnats floating in it. My cat hasn't bothered the bowl. I think the vinegar drives her away. (06/03/2008)

By hpeter

Gnats on Houseplants

I had a problem this year and tried a couple of mothballs sitting on a paper towel in the pot. Left it there for a couple of days and voila' NO Gnats. (06/10/2008)

By Lynn

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