For those new to Foothills gardening or even those who need a quick reminder, you may be wondering where the seemingly endless and bothersome invasion of tiny gnats in your house may have come from. Who knew that when you brought in summer plant containers or got a new houseplant, you may also have been putting out the welcome mat for these tiny gnats? These pests can also be found in terrarium moss on soils or light mulch around plants. Even if you’ve let the soil stay too moist in a favorite house plant, you were setting yourself up for this invasion. Take heart as everyone deals with Soil Fungus Gnats at some point. It doesn’t matter if it’s a houseplant or an outside garden plant – all are subject to this annoying pest. Just remember, they are harmless to humans!
|Fungus Gnats are small|
These tiny insects are attracted to vegetables and herbs in addition to African violets, cyclamen, foliage plants and holiday poinsettias where they can do serious damage. Fall and winter months are especially active. The gnats, only 1/16” long can be easily mistaken for fruit flies, but are totally different. Once indoors, the larvae in an infected plant feed on roots and root hairs, that when damaged may result in yellowed & wilted leaves, see photo.
|Orange Mint with Fungus Gnats|
The easiest and simplest control method is to let your plant/ container soils dry out between watering, if you’re able to do this without damaging the plant. Caution … It may well become a battle of patience!