Picture this – you go to water your houseplants and are met with pesky pests flying up from the soil and crawling around the base of the plant. Your unwanted guests are most likely fungus gnats. While fungus gnats are not majorly harmful to your plants if controlled, these bugs can be a nuisance that you don’t want flying around inside your home.

What Are Fungus Gnats?

The first step in getting rid of your fungus gnat problem is making sure that they are not some other type of pest. Fungus gnats are tiny bugs less than a centimetre in length. They have dark grey to black colouration, and larvae have black heads with nearly transparent bodies. You’ll see adults swarming around houseplants or crawling around in the soil.

How To: Fungus Gnats Prevention

The best way to tackle fungus gnats is to stop them from infecting your plants in the first place with these tips.

Watch Your Watering

Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil, which is where they like to lay their eggs. If you overwater your houseplants and keep the soil damp, fungus gnats are likely to set up shop.

To keep them at bay, let the top layer of soil dry out between waterings. This also helps prevent root rot and other fungal issues.

Keep Soil Clean

Since decaying plant matter attracts fungus gnats, keeping the surface of your houseplant’s soil clean can make it less appealing to them.

When your plants drop leaves or flowers, make sure to remove them quickly. You can also try using a potting mix that is low in composted material as a further deterrent.

Layer With Alternative Mediums

Since fungus gnats lay their eggs in moist soil, adding a layer of sand or fine gravel to the top of the soil can deter them. Keep it simple or add a pop of personality with colourful gravel to your houseplants while preventing pests.

While fungus gnats can be a nuisance and can damage your plants, there are many ways you can take care of the problem before it gets out of hand.


This three-part series will give you everything you need for fungus gnats prevention. Keep an eye out for Part 2 next week!


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Feature image via Cotton Bro, Pexels