House Plants/Gnats


Hi, the pots of my house plants seem to be infested with fungus gnats. The tiny bugs are always flying around everywhere and it's getting pretty annoying. Especially when I water the plants the bugs always come flying out and it seems impossible to stop them. I have looked up ways to kill these insects but nothing is really showing up. I have tried to make an apple cider vinegar trap but it doesn't appear to be working. I also have an insecticide based on pyrethrin, will this work? If not do you have any tips on how to effectively eliminate the fungus gnat problem with my plants? Thank you


You may have gotten some bad potting soil if you recently repotted them. If not you may be over watering them and that will cause root rot which attracts fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are in the same family as fruit gnats that show up out of no where if you leave overripe bananas on the kitchen counter. They are attracted by the scent and fungus gnats are attracted by the smell of rotting house plant roots. To eliminate them you can water your plants with 1/2 water, 1/2 rubbing alcohol which will kill the larva in the soil and cut back on how often you water them. Let them dry out more between waterings to eliminate the root rot. An hour after watering empty all excess water in the drain trays so they are not sitting in water constantly. That causes more root rot. They must dry out between waterings. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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