Controlling fungus gnats in your houseplants can be difficult, but with some simple knowledge you can be successful. Fungus gnats are attracted to moist potting soil, the kitchen trash can or drain, and at times, even the basket of your coffee pot when moist grounds are left sitting without being cleaned.
Aside from being annoying as they fly around the room landing in your morning coffee, and flying around your face, adults don’t directly harm your plants. It’s the larvae that will do it! Being attracted to the moist soil, adults flock to overwatered plants to lay their eggs. The larvae feast on the roots of the plants, damaging them, and guess what? They then develop into adults to start the whole process again!
The best place to start to combat these annoying pests is to stop overwatering your plants. Many plants “thrive on neglect” and watering every week or two is enough. As a general rule, allow plants to thoroughly dry out between waterings. This will help to avoid having an issue with fungus gnats and will definitely keep your plants looking better. If you already have a fungus gnat infestation, allow the plants to dry out thoroughly, almost to the point of becoming limp and then begin watering again, but lightly! Use yellow sticky traps to trap any adults lingering in the area to avoid re-infestation.
Tip: Mark your calendar, set an alert on your phone or water only on pay day. Keeping a watering schedule will help you water properly and help to keep your plants pest free!