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I Have Two Houseplants, A Peace Lily And A Dieffenbachia….

Stephanie Asked

I have two houseplants, a peace lily and a dieffenbachia. I left them outside for about a day and i’ve recently noticed that the dieffenbachia has a lot of what seem to be baby mosquitoes. There are so many I had to take my plant out of my room. Now I’ve noticed the same with my peace lily, though not as many. How do I get rid of these mosquitoes? I dont want to throw my plants away.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Stephanie in California: So, first things first: we need to properly identify the insect that you are calling a mosquito. If these are truly mosquitoes they are not going to damage your plants but will be a nuisance to you. They may lay eggs in the damp soil but will not do damage to the root system or to the foliage on either of your houseplants. My guess without actually seeing these insects is that they are fungus gnats, which are very annoying but again do not do much damage to your plants other than lay their eggs in the soil. If this is the case then purchasing a package of sticky white fly traps will do the trick. You should be able to find these at any of your local garden centers. The idea here is to stop them from reproducing and by killing the adult gnats in the flying stage you are at least getting rid of one generation. This does not mean that there are not more that will hatch in the soil and eventually fly around, so leaving the traps out for a month or so should get rid of all generations. Otherwise you should try to collect one or more of the insects and take them to your favorite garden center to have a knowledgeable staff member identify them and give you suggestions in terms of eliminating them. If these insects are not on the actual foliage of your plants then they should be just fine.

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