Since fungus gnat larvae are the ones eating away at your plants’ roots once they take hold, it’s important to get rid of them before they cause even more damage. Fungus gnat larvae grow beneath the surface of the soil, so killing them requires different methods than killing adults.
Neem oil can be your best friend when it comes to getting rid of fungus gnat larvae. This oil is derived from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree – a plant native to tropical India. Neem oil is a natural and effective pesticide, thanks to its high concentration of azadirachtin.
To eliminate the larvae of fungus gnats, dilute neem oil with water in accordance with instructions on the bottle and pour into the soil. You can also spray it directly on your plants to get rid of adult fungus gnats.
If you’re looking to tackle your fungus gnat problem with products you already have in the house, you can try hydrogen peroxide. Combine four parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide, and drench the soil with the mixture.
Keep pouring until you notice liquid draining from the bottom of the pot. This mixture will kill fungus gnat larvae upon contact without harming your plants.
Another home remedy argued to help combat fungus gnats is a bit unexpected: potato slices. Slice up a potato and place them on the surface of the soil with the cut sides facing down. The larvae will be attracted to the potato, and crawl onto its surface to feed.
Throw out slices containing larvae and replace with fresh slices until your fungus gnats are no more. This method works slowly but is natural and doesn’t require spraying or drenching your plants, so some prefer it.
Replace The Soil
Once fungus gnats have begun laying eggs in the soil of your houseplant, you simply repot to remove the eggs and larvae. Replace the soil completely and wash the container to get rid of any traces of the bugs.
Once repotted, you can also layer fine gravel on top of the soil to further discourage the gnats.
This three-part series will give you everything you need for fungus gnats prevention. Keep an eye out for Part 3 later this week!
Feature image via Cottonbro, Pexels