How to Get Rid Of Gnats in the House
Gnats are similar to mosquitoes, but are small and dark flies. In many cases they pass for fruit flies in the eyes of people, but they breed in damp houseplant soil and love humid environments. You might start noticing plant damage such as rotting roots, yellowing of the leaves, wilting and stunted growth. This is because the larvae eat the root hairs, stems and roots in general. Fly adults feed on soil fungi usually on the top and this is also where they lay the eggs. Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with these dark flies anymore. There are remedies that can work great in getting rid of these damaging flies.
- Get sticky traps – This might sound childish but it is a method that actually works. You can get sticky cards with the sole purpose of insect control indoors. The brighter the color of the cards the better since they attract the flies. You can choose yellow cards in this case and wait to see the magic. The houseplant sticky cards can be purchased at greenhouse supply stores or home and garden stores. If you want to be creative and economical, you can make your own traps. You simply need to apply honey or petroleum jelly on index cards and there you have a trap.
- Dry out the gnats – It is a risky method that can end up killing the plants if not well strategized. The point here is to let the soil dry to a point when the plants starting to wither. With such dry conditions, it is hard for the flies to breed. Any existing larvae will also dry with the soil, thus ending the breeding cycle. You must, however remember to water the plants soon after withering starts to ensure they don’t die.
- Use effective killer sprays – You can make your killer spray by mixing lemon dish detergent, liquid soap and water before drenching the soil. Another effective spray will be that made of vodka and water. It should however be tested on a leaf before spraying the entire area just to be sure the alcohol isn’t that harsh to the plant. An unburned leaf should give you a go ahead with the spray. Rubbing alcohol and water can also make a good killer spray that can be used every three days for a period of two weeks.
- Tobacco use as a remedy – You, however don’t want to use this remedy on plants that you or your pets eat. Break several cigarettes and create a light tobacco layer on the soil. Nicotine works by repelling the flies easily ending your infestation.
- Try preventative measures – You can prevent gnats by taking measures such as putting a sand layer on the soil to deter breeding. You can also reduce plant watering and get rid of any water that collects in the pot saucer. Plant debris on the soil should also be removed since it attracts the flies to feed.