Getting Rid of Fungus Gnats

July 26, 2018

A sink with plugs in the drain and a small amount of standing water.Yea, Yea, we've read all these tips on how to get rid of them and most help, but they just don't get rid of all of them. Well, I'm here to tell you a good way of getting rid of them for good and I mean all of them. We had them in our bathroom, kitchen, and everywhere. They were driving us crazy!


If you go read about them you'll find out they breed and live in your drains and houseplants. I put all my plants outside too, just in case they were in them too.

Now when you thinking about these flies and how they breed and live, I had to tell myself to cut off how they breed and it might help. So I went and bought plugs for every drain in my house, even for the bathtub. If you get them at the Dollar Store there pretty cheap.

I also taped an old cut up sock around the washing machine drain to keep them out of there too. Be sure not to block off all the air to this drain as it will not drain without air being able to go in. That's why I used the old sock, it still lets air in for it to drain right.

I plugged up all the drains and kept them plugged all the time. If you look at the picture, I always leave water in the sink with the plug in to make sure they can't go around the plugs too. If I needed the sink for something, I always put about 4-5 inches of hot tap water in the sink before I unplugged the sink for use. This will wash down the drain any flies that hatched while the sink drain was plugged. Then I always remembered to plug it back up.


I did this for around 3 months or so, because most of the ones flying around died after a month or so. But I kept the drain plugs in, and still do today, just in case. They couldn't breed so they all went away after that.

So think about it. If they can't breed they can't come back. This worked for me, hope it helps you guys too. Thanks for reading this.

Link: Go here to read about these little flies

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July 28, 2011

If fungus gnats are a problem with your houseplants here is an easy solution that has worked for me every time. Fungus gnats lay their eggs and develop into adults in the top 1/2 inch of the soil and they need moisture to survive.


They have a 2 week life cycle.

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23 Questions

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February 3, 2009

Does my Spider plant soil have fungus gnats? After watering my indoor potted plants, within about 36 hours, I noticed a soil surface infestation of what looks to be fungus gnat larvae. A large number of the larvae look like whitish thin worms from 1/4 in. to 1/2 in. long. I wasn't able to see the notorious black tip on the end of the body. The rest are about the size of a nail head with 6 legs and antenna.

Also I am finding a number of what looks like large eggs, about 3/16 in. diameter from God knows what insect species. They are yellowish to amber in color with watery yellowish goo inside and a thin brittle clear shell. What the heck could they be? Aliens? Am I wrong about the fungus gnats? Any suggestions? Help!


By Racer (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

EWW! I would take the spider plant out of the soil, shake the roots gently, wash in warm water carefully. I would use new potting soil that has been microwaved for about 30 seconds or so to kill any critters..let it cool for a few minutes. Then replant the spiderplant in the soil, and spray the spider plant with water with a small amount of dishwashing detergent to keep off bugs.


See if that works. Hope this helps. I would also freeze any potting soil overnight in the bag in a trash bag to kill any critters. I do the freezing this with all flour and such to kill any eggs of bugs or anything gross like that. Good Luck, I love spider plants!

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

Absolutely, change out that soil! If you can afford it buy new soil.

Spider plants are really easy to propagate. Cut off some of the runners and root them in other soil just in case it does not take well to the soil-switch!

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 270 Feedbacks
February 5, 20090 found this helpful

You can also give your plant out of the pot a bleach rinse, 1 TB to 1 gal of water. THEN get new soil. AND bleach your pots to kill any residue. Anytime you bring in plants in the fall from outside, seal them in a large plastic bag, spray some house/plant spray which will kill friends brought it. Must leave the plant in bag a couple days--read instructions.


Yes, those little balls are the egg sacks and hold many new bugs ready to infect other plants too.

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I am so sorry I have nothing helpful to say...I just had to say, eww

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

Pour cold tea onto your plants. This acts as an insecticide! Good luck

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By Jazzylazzy (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

It might be something called scale. If the outside of the pot is sticky and the plant has a sticky residue, then this is the likely culprit. You can save the plant by spraying it with an insectide and then repeating it in a week.


Look online for pictures. Make sure to isolate the affected plant from any others in the house until it is cleared. I have saved several plants from this problem Good Luck.

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January 26, 2010

How do I get rid of household gnats in potting soil?

By Tammy from VT


January 28, 20100 found this helpful

I have this problem no matter how many times I've changed the soil. I have no solution as of this date.

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January 28, 20101 found this helpful

After you repot in clean soil, you might add a thin layer of sand to help keep them from getting to the potting soil. Best to use a growing sand that will be salt free.. a fast remedy is to mix up any liquid insecticide that is safe for the plant, even diluted down a couple of times and then use this mixture to water the plant, this will kill the larvae in the wet soil. There is also a product called Gnatrol you can use. It is Bt and only effects the larval stage so is slower to gain control.

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January 29, 20100 found this helpful

Those are fungus gnats, and they are difficult to get rid of completely. Thankfully they seldom really harm the plants, though they are a real nuisance. In addition to the tips below, hanging a sticky fly strip near your plants will trap a lot of them. Another tip I have seen is to put raw potato cubes near your plants and change them every three days. I think they are supposed to lay their eggs there instead of in the soil. (The worst infestation I ever had was when I had a 50 lb bag of potatoes near my plant lights in the basement, and there was a bad potato near the bottom that I didn't find for some time, so I guess they really like potatoes.)

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February 7, 20100 found this helpful

I was looking for a solution to my gnat problem. I opened a brand new bag of potting soil for some seedlings, and gnats came swarming out of the bag. I talked to my Aunt who has worked at a florist for years and said they microwave their soil for a few minutes and let it cool down before planting. It kills the larvae. Be careful, microwaving for too long can cause the soil to catch fire. Also the house will get a woodsy smell to it after doing this, she suggested microwaving some lemon juice to get rid of the smell.

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November 20, 20101 found this helpful

First I soak planters in mild chlorine bleach then rinse. This water is poured over the gravel walk behind house and kills the moss/mold on pavement. We have plants lining walk and this has never bothered plants.
I have problems with soil gnats every year when I bring my household plants back into house after they've lived outside, plus, I have 3 cats. Finally found a solution ~5 yrs ago and works every time.

After repotting, add a thin layer of larger particle activated charcoal (can get at pet/fish shop) just on top of the soil. I then cover this with plastic mulch - some colors like blue or yellow enhance the colors of the plant. My favorite is blue, the green plants and/or pink blooms seem more vibrant.

The charcoal takes care of the gnats (as I've read they like moist soil) and the cats won't disturb the plastic mulch. If you have really large planters, I'd try the volcanic rocks that you might use for landscaping or grills. Had these in some really large planters with taller inside bushes. Cat could get into planter, but, jumped out quickly when she touched the rock.
Happy indoor planting !!

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August 14, 2015

What are the little gnats in my potting soil?

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November 18, 2012

Does anyone have a solution for getting these pests out of your house plants? I've used every solution posted for eliminating potential breeding grounds (and the flies themselves), but no one has touched on how to do this short of throwing away my plants.

By Allie A.

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March 8, 2011

I have been having a problem with fungus gnats in and around my potted plants. I was told that if I diluted regular Listerine, 1 to 1 with water and spayed the organic soil mixture, the solution, would kill fungus gnats and their eggs that live in the manure.

If anyone knows this to be true please give feed back. Have tried other solutions, but to no avail.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Lady Belle 13 from Philadelphia, PA

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December 31, 2008

I have a fungus on my grass. I had a commercial service which I gave up on it and after that is when I got this fungus. It seems the grass is very weak do to all the chemicals this company laid on it and the fungus just took over. Any suggestion on a natural product, I'm afraid to use any more chemicals. Thank you.

Hardiness Zone: 10b

Carlos from Florida


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
December 31, 20080 found this helpful

You might want to change your pH. I'd call or go in to a local plant Nursery. Look in your yellow pages or Google "Plant Nursery & your City & State" & I bet they'll have lots of natural products. They may even be able to help you over the phone. You'll need someone who knows about Florida specific soil. If I remember (from when I was young & lived there) Florida has sand & not dirt for soil. Also, because it's "Tropical" I bet there's a lot of people with fungus in their grass. Call a local Plant Nursery & ask when the horticulturist that works there will be in.

* Don't use Vinegar, because it will kill your grass. You'd have to dilute it a WHOLE lot!

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By alabama boy (Guest Post)
January 5, 20090 found this helpful

Beer on a day when its not going rain for a few days. The yeast in the beer will eat the fungus.

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September 11, 2004

How do I get rid of little flying black bugs that seem to be in my potting soil? Where are they coming from?


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February 22, 2015

I have had my fiddle leaf plant for several years. How do I get rid of the tiny bugs everywhere?

By Geraldine

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December 30, 2014

What can we use to rid ourselves of these gnats? I sprayed throughout the house with HotShot and it worked a little. I don't know if they were all asleep or just hiding away. They're everywhere. Thanks for your help. God bless.

By Sam

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July 20, 2013

Fungus gnats are in my closed top terrariums. I have tried every method that I have found on line (yellow paper with fly strips, and I have killed a lot, but not all). I found out that plants brought inside can have them so I took them all out on the front porch and put sand in the top. I discontinued watering on top and put a tray under them to water. (Someone suggested vinegar and that works.) I also put my potting soil in the freezer. I haven't put it in bake yet but will try.

I have reworked four, washing the soil completely off roots, and cleansing the jars and rocks. After reworking two recently, one of them I discovered has a few gnats. I haven't tried insecticides because I had planned to sell them, but until I solve the problem completely, that's out. Help! I am working hard and everything works but not completely. If insecticides are used, do I spray the soil or all the plants?

By Barbara

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May 23, 2012

Is there any way to get rid of gnats and larva in my new terrarium or do I have to dump all of the soil, rinse the plant roots and start over?

By Patsy A

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February 19, 2017

Gnats are a nuisance, especially when your house plants are covered in them. Get tips on getting rid of gnats on houseplants in this page.

Spraying a houseplant with gnats.

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