Fungus gnats are the tiny creatures that reside in the rich and damp soil. These are the pests that adversely affect the growth of the plant. These pests survive the best when there is high humidity and moisture in the atmosphere.
Life Cycle of Fungal Gnats
The life of an adult fungal gnat is about one week. A single adult can lay up to 300 eggs in its lifetime. The life cycle of a fungal gnat depend upon the temperature. There are four stages in the life cycle of fungal gnat- egg, larvae, pupil and adult. The female gnats lay eggs and that hatches into the gnats larvae. These fungal larvae can survive in multiple areas including fungal deposits. These gnat larvae deteriorate the health of the plant by feeding on the roots, root hairs and the stems of the plants. These gnat larvae take away the nutritious content from the plant roots and ultimately cause the death of the plants.
Are you aware what happen to the Plant when it is affected by the Fungus Gnats?
Whenever a gnat larva affects the plants, there are multiple symptoms that can be observed in the affected plants.
- Normal leaves start looking yellow
- Growth process is very slow
- Sudden wilting of leaves
It has been observed that seedlings, young plants and cuttings are most adversely affected by the gnat larvae.
Let’s see how can we get rid of Fungus Gnats
1. One should always do proper inspection of plants while going to purchase it from the market. One should look for the gnat larvae at the base of the soil. And should not buy those plants on which flying larvae are observed.
2. We are already aware that fungal larvae grows in damp soil so be sure that you are not overwatering the plants especially during the time when these larvae require less water such as in winters.
3. One of the best ways to control the growth of pests in plant is that one should keep the soil dry to a depth of one or two inches between watering. This makes the soil less attractive to egg laying females and also kills the larvae. It also suppresses the development of the eggs. One can also apply GNAT NIX, a dressing material to reduce the growth of pests.
4. One can also use materials to trap the growing eggs such as YELLOW STICKY TRAPS. These straps are placed at the soil surface in a horizontal fashion. This is because these fungal larvae are attracted to yellow color. We can easily remove these larvae on the traps so that they cannot lay more eggs any further.
5. One can also use Mosquito Bits and Microbe-Lift® BMC that contain Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis. It is a highly effective biological pesticide that kills damaging larvae. It is safe for a variety of organisms such as wildlife, aquatic animals such as fishes and other humans because it contains NO harmful residues.
6. Some nematodes can also be used to destroy the gnat larvae. These beneficial nematodes are the microscopic worm like organisms that penetrate into gnat larvae and release a bacterium that eats the pest completely. In addition to this, these nematodes are safe to use as it does not harm the plants, humans and other pets.
7. A non toxic spray such as Flying Insect Killer (it is a combination of peppermint, cinnamon and sesame oil) can be used to kill gnats and other insects.