Friday, March 4, 2011

Making sure the Houseplants stay insect free :). . . . . . Naturally!

It's been said that a good defense is a great offense, and with that in my mind,  I've taken on WAR with the fungal gnats that can live in houseplants. It doesn't matter that we don't have any fungal gnats or that I have yet to see one little flying creature in the house, it's war and it's on!!!!!

 Years ago we brought home a plant and later found out it had fungal gnats (sounds worse then it is, it's basically two or three fruit flies hanging around), they look just like fruit flies, you wouldn't know the difference if you saw one, the only reason I knew they weren't fruit flies was because we had no fruit out!

This time around I will launch the first attack, even if there is no one to fight against!

Fungal Gnats live in the moist soil of houseplants. If you have a few fungal gnats I can almost guarantee that you are over watering your plants. They need the moist soil to survive!
So If you happen to see a fruit fly and you have no expired fruit out, you might have gnats. Not to worry for two reasons:
  1. They are completely harmless, they are no threat to humans or pets.
  2. They are easy to get rid of, here's how:
  • First, stop over watering your plants! Try this first, there's a good chance they'll go away just from this!
  • If you still have a fly or two, place a potato on top of the soil, this will attract the larvae and make sure future generations of gnats aren't born! Throw out the potato slice daily.
  • And last, in correlation with the potato, or by itself you can try these yellow stickers. They're called STICKY STIKS They have no insecticide on them they are basically just super sticky tape, the adult gnats are attracted to the color and will get stuck, won't be able to lay eggs therefore breaking the  cycle :)
I bought this pack for $5.99 it comes with a million little sticky "leaves" and a bunch of little "stems".
 Here's how they look when "assembled"


Here's how it looks in the plant, you can barely notice it's there!



As a precautionary measure I've placed one in each of our houseplants! and I've added a layer of sand to the tops of the plants, sand dries quickly so adults gnats will assume the soil is dry and not lay eggs!

Because every plant deserves to sing:

                             "There ain't no bugs on me, there may be bugs on some of your mugs,
                                                         but there ain't no bugs on me"

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much!! I have had these little bugs and they drive me crazy. We killed them last time by putting a thin layer of sand on top of the soil. We repoted our plants this summer and are getting the bugs again. I will have to try your tips! :O) I am not sure how I can across your blog... I enjoy reading it! I added you to my blog list :O)
    xo
    Kelly

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  2. Where did you buy the sticky sticks? Thank you!

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  3. "Aint no bugs on me.." Hysterical!! I just recently purchased some new houseplants and, a day or so after I got home, I noticed I had these gnats! They were making me crazy. This happens almost every time I buy new ones. Thanks to your tips, I now know how to get rid of them!!
    Thank You!
    Heather:)

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  4. Thank you for these great natural tips! I have been wanting try houseplants again but the yucky gnats have been a problem for me in the past.

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  5. This is a great tip. I have lots of houseplants and sometimes this is a real problem. Thanks for sharing

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  6. WOW I'm so glad other people can use these tips too, Not that I'm glad you all had bugs in the past like us, just glad you can use the tips :) hehe
    I bought the sticky stiks from the HOME DEPOT :)
    Hope that helps

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  7. OMG, thanks for this post. I can't stand those damn fungal gnats. I'm buying those off Amazon right now.

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  8. Great tips Ashli! Once I'm done rearranging rooms, I plan to purchase some houseplants, and will definitely use those sticky sticks!

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  9. I have been fighting this battle for the past few weeks, this post comes at a perfect time. I have tried drying out the soil and no luck, they are still there! I am going to try the potato and buy those sticky strips next time I am the nursery! THANKS! {My son was so sad because his beloved aloe vera has flies that keep coming out!}

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  10. I use these sticks too. It's the only way to get rid of these insects. I cannot dry out some plants like myrtles, for example.
    One more thing: these flies can also live in fresh soils from the shop. That's how they appear even if you don't overwater plants.

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  11. Hi there! Thanks so much for sharing this. This is the first Spring I have experienced the gnats and they are driving me crazy! This post couldn't have come at a better time!

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