Tis the season … for fungus gnats

Have you noticed an annoying visitor that you haven’t been able to get rid of? We’re not talking about a relative that’s overstayed their holiday welcome … we’re talking fungus gnats. These small black flies live and breed in the soil of houseplants.

With each watering, more gnats are given a warm, moist incubator for nearly 200 eggs in their 10-day lifespan. In order to get rid of fungus gnat larvae, allow houseplant soil to dry out between waterings. If needed, repot with fresh potting soil, which offers less degraded material for gnat larvae to snack on.

If the infestation is particularly bad, Fertilome offers an Indoor/Outdoor Multi Purpose Insect Spray that works when applied to the soil. A Sticky Whitefly Trap also works to capture gnats, but only controls the flying adults

Originally published on December 8th, 2010. Updated on April 30th, 2019.