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Jude's avatar

The best way to get rid of Fungus gnats (house plants)

Asked by Jude (31966 points ) February 20th, 2011

I have one house plant who is housing a bunch of “little friends”. How do I get rid of them?

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9 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

A few years ago I had an infested pothos. I read up on fungus gnats online (there’s plenty of information to be found) and tried several recommended remedies: letting plants dry out well between waterings; putting a potato slice in there for larvae to grow on and then discarding it, several times in series; putting the plant outside on the porch on cold nights; etc. I didn’t notice that any procedure had an effect. The gnats would seem to disappear for a few days and then be back in full force.

As I often do with seemingly intractable problems, I got tired of trying before the problem was solved and just gave up for a while, figuring I’d come back to it later. I think the gnats got bored with the game once I was no longer playing, and they just left.

ccrow's avatar

I’ve tried those yellow sticky traps- they did catch gnats but certainly didn’t get rid of them. I’ve heard somewhere that you can put a no-pest strip near your plants but don’t know how well it works. I’m going to try spraying an oil soap type insecticide on the soil surface and see if that gets rid of the little buggers.

TexasDude's avatar

The following method works wonders for fruit flies. It may or may not work for fungus gnats, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Your mileage may vary.

Get a jar and put some apple cider vinegar in it. Then put plastic wrap on the lid and punch some gnat sized holes in it. Leave it out for a few days and discard once it fills up with dozens of little gnat corpses.

Coloma's avatar

Buy a Gecko or other small gnat eating reptile.
Go for the truly natural solution. haha

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

This really works, and it’s environmentally friendly, non-poisonous, and not that expensive——Sprinkle ground cinnamon all around the soil of your houseplants. The cinnamon powder kills the fungus gnat larvae by killing their main food source, the fungus in the soil. The adult gnats hate the cinnamon too, and it seems to kill them too, or drives them away. I learned about this helpful hint from an expert who grew orchids for a living. Try it, it works. I gave it a try a little while ago, and I haven’t seen a fungus gnat flying around in the past few weeks. ;)

Jude's avatar

Thanks, everyone!!

ccrow's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES – cool! I had heard of using cloves to discourage ants coming in the house, which I tried w/some success; I’ll try some cinnamon on my plants.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@ccrow The cinnamon treatment seems to work. I am hoping it will be a long-term thing, eradication. One of the bonuses of using cinnamon is that it’s also fragrant.

Jude's avatar

I just sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon on top of the soil. We’ll see how she works!

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