I live in an apartment building and I have a wonderful balcony with a beautiful green corner. Of course, I have plants inside the apartment, but during the summer I move them outside to enjoy the sun rays. Now, that fall has come, I transferred the plants inside and after 3 days I saw small flies flying around them.
Those unwelcomed visitors were fungus gnats and they appear after you water the plants.
What are fungus gnats?
Fungus gnats are small dark insects that resemble fruit flies and infest houseplants. If you have them, you will notice them appear when you disturb the soil or water your plants. Fungus gnats can get into your houseplants when they are left outside, but usually they come straight from the nursery, where they hide in the soil until you bring them home unknowingly.
Getting rid of fungus gnats
Killing off the gnats is really not that difficult and thankfully you don’t need to use strong chemicals to send them away. Vinegar was the powerful weapon to get rid of fungus gnats. Since these tiny insects are related with fruit flies, they love fermented foods and vinegar is one of their favorite beverage.
Vinegar and Soap Trap
A cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/4 cup of dish soap placed around where the gnats are the most is a good trap. Place four to five glasses in different rooms and under affected plants. The gnats will flock to the vinegar, get stuck in the soap and be unable to fly out.
These traps consist of a yellow note card covered in a sticky adhesive. They are most effective when cut into small squares and placed directly on top of the soil or attached to skewers just above the soil. Adult gnats will fly or crawl onto the card and become trapped. Fungus gnats are attracted to the color yellow, so use the yellow sticky cards rather than the blue ones. Both can be bought at most hardware or garden stores, as well as online.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is an organic, abrasive powder that works well on fungus gnats. The powder sticks to the gnats, dehydrating and immobilizing them.