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I Have Gnats In My House Plants: What Do I…

Sheila Asked

I have gnats in my house plants: what do I do to get rid of them?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Shelia: Fungus gnats are more of a nuisance than anything. They will not harm humans or animals, but the larval stage of these gnats live in the soil of our plants and can damage the roots, so control is necessary to prevent plant stress. Good sanitation and drainage will help keep the numbers down. They like to lay their eggs in damp soil, so make sure the plants are not being overwatered and there is no standing water in the saucer. Sticky fly traps are a great way to eliminate these pests. You should be able to find these at your local garden center. They are exactly what they sound like. They are bright yellow and sticky and you can either lay them in the soil or just place them around the house and the gnats will find them. The flying adults are attracted to the color, and once they come into contact with the trap they will not be able to free themselves. This will prevent them from reproducing and stop the cycle. There may be many generations in one year but their life cycle is approximately one month long. Check and replace the traps once they are covered in these insects.

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