As a preventative measure you only need to do this once a year after the initial treatment. If maggots are found within the home, pest control and sanitation action should be taken as soon as possible. Fungus gnats will fly around the home but usually stay in the room where your plants are and very close to those plants, which they turn into their own homes. They have many different names which may vary upon regional dialect. So let me tell you how to get rid of these pests, what causes them, and how to prevent it from happening again. You can lay these small squares sticky side up on the soil (and if you want, stick them down with toothpicks). You just have to go through the process, which is a piece of cake. Fungus gnats' bodies contain what are called antifreeze proteins which make them especially hardy when it comes to cold temperatures. But most often they stick to the plants and soil. These gnats may live from a few weeks to a few months depending on their species. Then you place a few drops of liquid dish soap into it and stir lightly. This is particularly important if you're dealing with seedlings, cuttings, and young plants. Do Fungus Gnats Die in Winter? Here's What to Do, Perlite vs. Vermiculite: What's the Difference? The soap itself is not an effective means of harming the gnats biologically, other than drowning. You'll typically find fruit flies in the kitchen, in your banana bags, coming out of your trashcans, and often in the garbage disposal and sink pipes (flush those out ASAP with dish soap). I realized it last night as my cat was trying to catch something at the window only for it to end up on my computer screen. If they consume their entire food source (typically fungus around and the actual roots of plants) the colony can die of starvation. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. For now, feel free to continue reading. Fungus gnat eggs are generally planted in overly moist soil, though outdoors they're known to even use moist, rotting wood. It's been in the 40's the past week and they always … They’re about 1/8 inch long with long legs and one pair of transparent wings. The larvae can survive freezing, though may suffer some tissue damage in their heads and "tails.". The larvae have a thin body, usually white or a pale see-through complexion. In the first days of their lives, larvae feed as much as they can in order to gain enough energy and nutrition for the third life-phase – the pupa stage. As you can imagine, the population can explode exponentially pretty fast. You'll want to use this pellet solution for two or three months if you want to be extra thorough, though two or three times total seems to do the trick. As always, when I deal with an issue I try to write about it, not only so I can reference it later but so I can share it with the world. As you can guess, I'm writing about how to get rid of fungus gnats because it's a plan I'm enacting right now. Mosquito Dunks - This is really the only method to take care of the larvae. These insects are sometimes attracted to house plants. One adult can create 300 more gnats, and the entire cycle from egg to adult takes 3-4 weeks, depending on the temperature. Let Your Soil Dry Out - The first thing you can do is make sure you allow more time to pass between waterings of your plants. A mosquito dunk comes as a dry pellet that you'll dissolve into water that you'll pour over and through the soil of your plant. They also carry a pathogen caused by fungi that they like, such as Phtophtora and Pythium. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. The annoyance with this is you'll need to start watering from the bottom of your container so you don't wash the sand away. They will live anywhere that they can locate food and will travel once their food source has been depleted. Once inside the home, they can take up residence and lay eggs in food or fruit that is left out in the open. Where Do Spider Mites Come From? The first move is to get rid of the adults to stop the laying of any new eggs. These tiny eggs may take as little as 24 hours to hatch. If you see adults flying around in any significant numbers you need to act in the ways mentioned above, and quickly since their life cycle is so fast. This is similar to the bite of a mosquito, and may cause reasonable inconvenience or irritation to the victim. They're typically just annoying, but there are predator types in the Arachnocampa genus in the Keroplatidae family. Tiny, yet persistent, fruit gnats are particularly annoying in the home. Mosquito dunks spread a bacteria to the larvae and eggs to stop their development into adults. Disclosure. Diatomaceous Earth - This is extra cruel but it works great. You'll know there's a problem if you start seeing poor growth, yellowing, and sudden wilting. What's nice is the adult fungus gnat only lives around one week, but in that time they can lay up to 300 eggs each. Our Linkedin network is a great place to meet the best professionals in our industry. Learn more about. However, due to their fast reproduction cycles, they can quickly become a pest when uncontrolled. If you allow them to thrive inside to grow a large enough colony to harm your plants, you've got bigger problems than gnats. If you're really proactive, you can do the occasional mosquito dunk as mentioned above. If you can see their larvae, you'll find they're around 1/8th of an inch long. 21 Plants That Repel Ticks: Fresh Smells We Love & Ticks Hate! Yellow Sticky Card Traps - You can find sticky card traps at Amazon for cheap and are extremely effective because you can place them right onto the soil where the adults are walking around. This is the fastest method. When spread to your plants, this causes a condition called "damping-off," which causes a thinner, constricted stem that causes the plant to be too top-heavy. The cause of an infestation indoors and outdoors is simply a lack on your part to attack at least two stages of the life cycle (eggs, larvae, and adults) to put an end to the replication. It's not the prettiest solution but it drains quickly so adult gnats won't be tempted to lay eggs. It also helps stop growing larvae from every being able to emerge out of the soil and through the sand. I don't recommend using these or any beneficial nematodes in your house. 4 years ago. When you think about a fruit fly they tend to have a rounder shape overall, while fungus gnats are more like mosquitos in appearance but smaller. Basically, you take a shallow dish like a small sauce serving bowl or tuna can that's around a 1/2 an inch deep and fill it with a custom mixture. The only problem with this method is when you water the plants you'll wash away most of the diatomaceous earth. It is unlikely they will live to a year. Fungus gnats' bodies contain what are called antifreeze proteins which make them especially hardy when it comes to cold temperatures. Add a Layer of Sand - Another way to keep your soil dry is to place about a 1/2 of an inch of coarse sand across the top of your soil. You just need some kind of synthetic fabric that won't rot to cover the holes but still let water pass through. This will help you make sure you're dealing with the right pest and employing the right methods to exterminate them in the present and prevent them in the future. Typical flypaper can work too if you already have it. You can use products like neem oil, hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, and AzaMax but in this case you're better off with mosquito dunks. Fungus gnat larvae can spread fungus spores that are dropped by adult gnats to your plant’s roots, possibly causing a number of common plant diseases.