What are Gnats? How serious can they be? How do they grow and How to prevent plants from them? These are the burning questions nowadays.
Everyone who has houseplants in their homes and wanted to know about them and their rapid increase.
Here in this article, we will cover maximum information about what gnats are, how they form, and how they could reach your houseplants.
Stay with us till the end so that you will come to know about how to control them and how to save your plants from various diseases.
What are Gnats?
If you are frustrated by the tiny insect-like flies that appear every time you go near your houseplants to water them, you might be dealing with Gnats.
Specifically, these are known as fungus Gnats. These are the form of pests that are fascinated by damp and fully drained potting soil of houseplants.
The Gnats require humid soil to lay their eggs. In the damp soil, they feed their larvae which are not good for your plant’s health.
How Do They Look?
Talking about the looks, the Gnats usually look like small mosquitoes. They are weak fliers. These fungal pesticides belong to the Orfelia and Bradysia species.
They have thin legs, transparent wings (some have light grey wings), and segmented antennae. These antennae are bigger than their heads. Gnats are very small insects.
The maximum growth of an adult gnat is about 1/8 to 1/16 inches respectively.
How serious can Gnats be?
Interestingly, gnats don’t harm people or pets. However, the adult gnats don’t do much harm to your plants but the larvae munch on the tiny feeding roots of your plants.
It can affect the plant. If the plant doesn’t get enough nutrients from its roots, it may result in reduced growth.
As they are so small, they can easily reach your gardens or nurseries from minor openings. It takes only a few gnats to cause major damage to your plants because they reproduce so quickly.
Moreover, the destruction of roots allows the diseased pathogens to enter the plant. The first and foremost symptom that your plant shows if it gets affected by gnats is wilting.
It causes general deterioration of the plant. Additionally, if you notice that your very young seedlings are crumpling or look like they are rooted in their place or show no progress, and then it is the result of gnat damage.
How to deal with Gnats?
If you find gnats in your plants then the first and foremost thing that you should do is to keep the infected plants away from the other plants so that the situation would not get worse.
These fungal pesticides need a humid soil atmosphere for their growth and development. You have to work with the soil to prevent your houseplant.
Allows the Soil to Dry
The simplest way to defeat gnats is to let the soil dry for many days before watering again. The gnats and their larvae cannot survive this atmospheric condition and die.
Another trick to prevent your plants is to grow them in a sterile potting mixture because they don’t require much organic matter for the young larvae to feed on.
The pieces of raw potatoes grab the attention of adult mosquitoes. You can place the small pieces of potato flesh by the side of the soil and check under them often.
If you find the larvae feeding on the potatoes then remove them and again place fresh pieces of potatoes.
Repeat the procedure until you remove all the larvae and adult gnats from your houseplant.
The Yellow color also attracts the adult gnats. So, what you have to do is just place a large strip of yellow tape along with the adhesives on it.
Place it at the side of your plant and wait. The adult gnats come and stick into the tape. When you seed a large number of gnats stick to the tap, just remove it and place another strip.
In this way, you are successful in getting rid of gnats in a relatively short time. Moreover, it is a very easy and non-toxic way to remove these fungal pesticides from your nursery or houseplants.
Additionally, by this procedure, you will get to know about the population of gnats in your place.
How to Control Gnats Biologically?
The biological methods are applied to control these fungal pesticides when growing plants in nurseries.
But if the gnats problem is getting worse with the houseplants, the biological terminologies can also be applied at homes.
If you want to give the botanical controls a chance, “Bacillus thuringiensis”, a sub-species of israelensis (Bti) will work best for you. You can get this adhesive from your nearby nurseries.
Mainly, these botanical adhesives control the growth of mosquitoes. It is also effective in reducing the growth of gnats without harming people or pets. You have to mix a dose in water and pour it into the infected plants.
These adhesives are also available in the form of granules. You can place the granules into soil to control the larvae production and growth.
Good Housekeeping Practices
Before starting a new seedling, you have to do a thorough cleaning of the greenhouse or your nursery. Because the sprinkles of soil and weed on the floor of your place are appealing to fungus.
Mostly, these fungal pesticides are prone to moist and humid soil. By using a well-drained potting mix and letting it dry out completely before watering again, you can prevent your plants from getting any fungal disease.
What are Gnats and how to Control them – Final Thoughts
Gnats are mosquito-like insecticides that are harmful to plants either indoor or outdoor. More than adults, the young larvae are more dangerous because they attack the roots. There are several methods to control the growth and reproduction of gnats.
Here, in this article, there is a brief description of what are gnats. How they are formed, how they spread, and how to control them.
If you are anxious about your infected plants. You should go through this article as it contains all the important things that you can do to resume the growth of your plants.
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