How to Get Rid of Houseplant Gnats

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These pesky little bugs can be a real pain to get rid of, but with these tips, you'll be able to get rid of them in no time!

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If you have ever had a gnat infestation in your home, you know how frustrating it can be. These pesky little creatures can be challenging to eliminate and seem to thrive in indoor environments. This blog post will discuss how to get rid of gnats in your plants. We will provide some helpful tips that will eradicate these pests for good!

What Are Houseplant Gnats?

If you have ever seen tiny gnats flying around your houseplants, you have experienced a houseplant gnat infestation.

These insects are attracted to damp soil and lay their eggs in the potting mix. The fungus gnat larvae feed on organic matter in the soil, which can quickly damage your plants. Houseplant gnats are a common problem for indoor gardeners, but they can be controlled with simple techniques.

girl holding plant smiling

How do you know if you have a fungus gnat infestation?

The best way to tell if you have a gnat problem is to look for the adults flying around your plants. These gnats are usually black or dark brown and only grow to be about ? inch long. If you see these insects near your plants, their larvae are likely present in the potting mix.

To confirm an infestation, you can also try the following test. Fill a clear container with water and add a drop of dish soap. Then, place the container near your infested plant. The gnats will be attracted to the water and will drown when they land in it.

Identify the Problem

If you have gnats in your plants, you first need to identify the source of the infestation. Gnats are attracted to damp, humid conditions, and they often lay their eggs in moist soil or on top of the soil that has decomposing matter.

Once you have identified the source of the problem, you can take steps to correct it.

How to Get Rid of Gnats in Your Plants

Do Not Over Water Your Plants

Ensure that you are not overwatering your plants and that the soil and planter allow for good drainage. Ensure your planters have small holes for excess water to drain, and empty the saucer under the pot after watering. Sitting water is a great place for fungus gnats to lay eggs. These simple steps will make your home less attractive to gnats and other pests. In addition to taking care of the environment in which your plants live, you can also take some proactive steps to get rid of gnats.

Let The Soil Dry

One of the most effective methods is to let the top layer of soil dry out between waterings. This will disturb the gnat life cycle by killing the larvae and discouraging adult gnats from laying their eggs in the top inches of soil.

You can also use sticky gnat traps to catch adult gnats, and many commercial products contain gnat-killing chemicals. If your soil has so much excess moisture, you may need to add fresh soil. It is also important to use soil with perlite to help with drainage.

mixing plant soil with perlite

Yellow Sticky Traps

One effective method is to use yellow sticky traps. These sticky fly traps are coated with a sticky substance that adult fungus gnats are attracted to. When they land on the trap, they become stuck and eventually die. You can purchase these traps at your local hardware store or online. BUY Sticky Traps HERE.

I like this method because it is inexpensive and gets rid of plant flies from the soil’s surface in large numbers. I have an entire blog post about using yellow sticky traps for houseplant pests.

houseplant sticky traps for gnats houseplant pests sticky traps

Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

Another clever way to get rid of fungus gnats is to make a trap using apple cider vinegar. I like this method because it is a safe natural way to get rid of your fungus gnat problem. Mix a half cup of warm water in a small bowl, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, and about six drops of liquid dish soap.

The sweet syrup will attract gnats, but the sticky dish soap will drown them once they reach for a sip. This method will take a little longer because you will need to wait for the fungus gnat eggs to hatch after ridding the adult plants.

Predators

Another method to eliminate gnats is introducing predators into your home. Ladybugs and green lacewings are two insects that feed on gnats. You can purchase these insects online or at a garden center. Release them into your home, and they will quickly go to work, reducing the gnat population!

a lady bug crawling on a stem

Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture

Another method is to make your bug-killing insecticidal soap. Hydrogen peroxide is a quick and effective way to eliminate larvae, killing them on contact. Mix four parts of water with one part hydrogen peroxide and soak your soil with the solution.

Neem Oil

Neem oil can be diluted with water and applied to the soil to kill larvae. It is a natural and safe solution for getting rid of gnats in your plants. You can purchase a neem oil spray at your local garden center or online. Neem Oil smells very bad, so I advise taking your plants outside when you spray them and let them air out a little bit before bringing them back inside. BUY Neem Oil HERE. 

Peppermint Essential Oil

Essential oils have so many uses, and one of them is getting rid of gnats in your plants! Peppermint oil is a natural gnat repellent. Mix ten drops of peppermint essential oil with water in a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and spritz the soil around your plants.

The strong scent of peppermint will keep gnats away. Spray the homemade gnat repellent on the fruit flies and gnats on the soil’s surface where they might live and lay their eggs.

spraying houseplant

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance that is effective in killing gnats and other pests. It works by puncturing the exoskeleton of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. You can apply it directly to the soil, mix it with water, and spray it on the plant leaves.

There are many effective methods for getting rid of gnats in your plants. Try one or more of these solutions to eliminate these pesky pests! BUY Diatomaceous earth HERE.

shovel with soil

FAQS

Why do my indoor plants have gnats?

Pests like fruit flies and gnats are comfortable in damp dirt; eggs and larvae can’t survive without constant moist surroundings. Chances are, your plant can handle less water than you’re giving it, so try testing the soil with your finger and only watering when it’s completely dry, at least 2 inches down.

How fast do fungus gnats multiply?

Fungus gnats can lay hundreds of eggs in their short lifetime, and the entire life cycle from egg to adult can take as little as two weeks.

What pests can you control with a bioinsecticide?

Got plant pests? Get Arber Bio Insecticide Indoor/Outdoor Concentrate. This non-chemical insecticide is formulated with good bacteria that are effective against small-but-mighty insect pests — but harmless to the beneficial ones your garden depends on.

Arber Bio Insecticide Indoor/Outdoor Concentrate effectively controls a whole host of garden-gnawing insect pests, including:

  • Aphids
  • Gnats
  • Grubs
  • Mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Leaf beetles
  • Leafhoppers
  • Thrips
  • …and many more.

This plant-protecting powerhouse also helps control and prevent scourges like rust, leaf spot, white mold, powdery mildew, and others that can damage your indoor and outdoor plants.

Conclusion

If you have gnats in your plants, there are several things you can do to get rid of them. Identify the source of the problem and take steps to correct it. With these simple tips, you can say goodbye to gnats for good!

Do you have gnats in your plants? What tips do you have for getting rid of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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How to Get Rid of Gnats in Your Plants

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  1. It’s so informative. Got a lot of tips. Thanks for sharing.

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