Dreaded Fungus Gnats How to Get Rid of Pilea Houseplant Pests Once and for ALL!
I’m here to share my 7 Step SOLUTION with YOU!
It’s watering day of your beloved Pilea Peperomoides houseplants and other houseplants like African Violets only to find the moment you gently provide your beloved houseplants with a drink of water the horror show begins of the flying miniature evil winged ones. The Dreaded Fungus Gnats, I know that feeling All too Well, UGH!
WHAT ARE FUNGUS GNATS?
- The Fungus Gnat (Mycetophilidae and Sciaridaeis) a tiny dark colored fly that infests soil within moist houseplant media, and organic decomposition. I personally feel they resemble a morph between a fruit fly and a mosquito. The Fungus Gnat is very tiny at only about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long with long legs and clear wings.
- Fungus Gnats Preferred Home is moist potting soil, they can be found flying within green houses, as typically there is plenty of food source and nesting for them.
- The female Fungus Gnat is a short lived pest, only living about 7-10 days. Within their short-lived life, the female will lay about 300 eggs. Yes, those eggs will typically be laid within your damp houseplant potting SOIL! GROSS!!
- After the eggs are laid, Fungus Gnat Larvae will appear within 4-5 days. The larvae may feed on plant roots during the next 2-3 weeks. Thereafter and adult Fungus Gnat will emerge.
- Fungus Gnats will not bite or harm people, however they can be quite the nuisance and may harm your delicate houseplant roots.
WHERE DO FUNGAS GNATS COME FROM?
- Fungus Gnats can come indoors from open windows, doors, drains, and yes they can even fit through screens!
- Another way to introduce Fungus Gnats to your beloved Pilea Plants and/or Houseplants is purchasing a new plant who’s soil is infested! Yuck!
- Therefore I always recommend growing your own Pilea Babies if possible. If you want to know how I go about propagating my own Pilea Plants please enjoy my Pilea Propagation Blog!
- Fungus Gnats can be brought indoors when you bring your beloved houseplants back indoors for the cold months. This being said I never EVER put my houseplants or my beloved Pilea Plants outdoors.
- Last but not least one of the most common ways to introduce the horrid Fungus Gnats to your home is through commercially bagged potting soil mix. That’s right friends, that expensive bag of potting soil purchased at your local big box store and may possibly be branded by a “well known” name….well it very well may be a big bag of Fungus Gnats and their Eggs! This is part of my solution to ending my Fungus Gnats for good! Keep on reading to read how I ridded my beloved Pilea Houseplants from these nasty little flying pests!
HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS!
There are quite a few home remedies out there for getting rid of Fungus Gnats. I’ve tried them all everything from a bowl of apple cider vinegar & dish liquid to messy sand used as a top dressing to my Houseplant Soil. Neither of those two choices worked for me.
MY 7 STEP SOLUTION:
How I Finally Got Rid of Fungus Gnats!
- Step One – Kill the Adults! Catch & kill the flying adults with these Yellow Sticky Traps.
- Step Two – Let Soil Dry, Seriously…let your plants go as long as they can without watering. Overwatering/moist soil is a Haven for Gnats. Dry soil will hinder the reproduction of the Gnats.
- Step Three – Hydrogen Peroxide to Kill any adults or Eggs in the Soil. That’s right, as crazy as it may sound Hydrogen Peroxide. Mix 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide with 4 parts Water. Drench soil from the top until you hear sizzling and see bubbling.
- Step Four – Let Soil Dry again
- Step Five – Take Outdoors To Remove Tainted Soil (this is the ONLY time I take my plants outdoors to repot) I remove my plants from their soil, place tainted soil in a trash bag. Place plants under running water making certain all tainted soil has been removed from their roots. Bag up tainted soil & tie tightly to dispose of in an outdoor trash bin.
- Step Six – Repot Your Pilea Houseplants or Whatever Type of Houseplant you may be repotting in a “peat-LESS” based Soil. I found this soil to be pure Magic! Seriously, I feel it’s how I got rid of my Fungus Gnats. After researching I found this to be clean and pest free, bagged beautifully by a small company who cares about their soil The Cactus and Succulent Blend is a potting mixture of coir, perlite, pumice, sand, and stalite. Best of all it does NOT contain Peat, which makes it RESISTANT to the Dreaded Fungus Gnats!! THIS SOIL is now the ONLY Soil I will continue to use for my Pilea Peperomoides! They do also offer other fungus gnat resistant mixes to suit your Houseplant needs, if you find the Cactus and Succulent Blend is not suited for your choice of Houseplant.
- Step Seven – Bring your beloved freshly planted houseplants back indoors where they are now safe and sound & water. Thereafter if you have a Pilea Plant, you will want to wait about 2 weeks before watering once again. Your Pilea Plants will tell you when they would like to be watered, as their leaves will become softer…than water.
- I can honestly say since using my seven steps, I have not had another Fungus Gnat.
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MY FINAL THOUGHTS:
I hope my 7 Step Solution to Ending Your Nightmare of Fungus Gnats helps to Guide you with this Simple Process of Ridding your home and houseplants of these horrible little flying evils of the world! I’d love to hear your solutions in comments below.
Comment with any questions you may have, I’m happy to help if I can!
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