Have you noticed some insects often buzzing around your home plants? Most of the tiny flying insects look similar unless they are given a close look.
The ones especially found near plants are fungus gnats which are small flying insects similar to gnats and fruit flies. This type of gnats dwell near plants and aren’t much danger to humans, but they can cause problems to plants.
Many people get confused between gnats and fungus gnats. If this boggles your mind and if you are keen to know whether fungus gnats are dangerous, do they bite, and much more, then keep reading this article.
What are Fungus Gnats?
Fungus gnats are tiny flies that measure 1/8 inch with long legs, dark wings, and antennae. You can also find a Y-shaped pattern on their forewings. Though they resemble fruit flies, they cannot fly strongly.
Fungus gnats reproduce rapidly. Female fungus gnats can produce 200 eggs within 7 to 10 days of the life cycle. And within 3 days, these eggs hatch.
Their larvae or maggots are tiny, wormlike, with shiny black heads and an elongated translucent body. The larvae get inside the soil and feed on the fungus, algae, and plant roots as they grow.
Where do Fungus Gnats Come From?
Fungus gnats exist near your homes or offices where home plants are placed. They flourish in soils rich in organic material and moisture.
So these pests multiply during winters because, at this time, you may place some outdoor pot plants inside. Cooler days slow the plant growth, so they try to retain moisture and this becomes favorable for fungus gnats breeding.
Do Fungus Gnats Bite?
Though some kinds of gnats bite humans, fungus gnats are harmless. In fact, fungus gnats aren’t dangerous for humans but plants.
They don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases to humans but can severely affect the houseplants and seedlings by feeding on the roots. Even some fungus gnats feed on the stem and leaves.
If you find any home plant showing wilting and root rot signs, you can now relate the reason.
How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats?
Removing fungus gnats from your house is not hard. We have researched and listed the best ways by which you can kill fungus gnats.
Some of the best ways to eradicate fungus gnats are
1. Fly bait
Flying insects easily get attracted to fly baits. They feed on a tiny dose of bait and die within some minutes.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Take a shallow container, add 1/4 inch of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap, and wrap it with plastic wrap. Now make a few holes in the plastic covering so that fungus gnats crawl through and die.
3. Insect spray
If you aren’t okay with the trap method, use insect spray. By using insect spray, you can quickly get rid of fungus gnats. It is recommended to cover your mouth and nose and wear gloves while using the insect spray.
4. Sticky traps
Another quick way is to use a sticky trap to catch the fungus gnats that keep buzzing around your houseplants. Cut the sticky traps into small pieces and place them near plant pots or close to the soil. The fungus gnats tend to crawl or fly on it and get caught.
How to Prevent Fungus Gnats Infestations?
Keep the soil in dry condition. To do this, allow your house plants to dry out a little and then water them. You can reduce or even eliminate the infestation by slowing down the watering process.
Add a layer of sand to the soil. By covering the houseplant soil with a layer of sand, you can avoid fungus gnats accessing the soil for breeding purposes.
Fungus gnats aren’t the same as other gnats. They resemble fruit flies and gnats, but they are mostly found near home plants. So gnats that hang around plant pots are fungus gnats.
Though these fungus gnats don’t bite or cause any major issues to humans, they can easily affect your home plants. So it is crucial to take the above-mentioned steps to eliminate fungus gnats. We have also mentioned how to prevent fungal gnats’ infestations.
We hope this article gave you a quick insight into fungus gnats. Cheers!