Now that the gardening season is coming to an end, it’s time to start focusing on houseplants and indoor gardening – and that means battling with bugs!
Houseplant pests are a huge pain for the indoor gardener, and I get asked about them all the time. A trend I’ve noticed is that many, many people confuse soil gnats for fruit flies. Well, I’m here to tell you they are not the same.
I totally understand how people get confused by this. Soil gnats look similar to fruit flies, and they are just as annoying. But those aren’t fruit flies buzzing around your houseplants all winter long, they are soil gnats. Soil gnats lay their eggs in moist soil where the larvae will hatch and feed on small roots, fungus and other organic matter in the soil. They have no interest in fruit.
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Tips for controlling soil gnats
- Allow the soil to dry out between waterings
- Spray the top of the soil with soapy water to kill the larvae
- Store unused potting soil in a sealed container
- Remove the top inch of soil and replace with dry soil or sand
- Use a yellow sticky trap to control capture the adult soil gnats
Oh, and the best way to get rid of fruit flies? Make a DIY fruit fly trap.
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How do you control soil gnats? Leave a comment below and tell us about your battle plan.