Knowledgebase

House Plants #817038

Asked November 29, 2022, 3:03 PM EST

GA, I need assistance with getting rid of gnats on/in my house plants. I have several big plants and for some reason I got all these tiny gnats. I've never had this problem before and I have had these plants for over 30 years. I can actually see the the small bugs in the dirt. Also, they seemed to love water and I have to keep all areas dry of water. Thanks for whatever assistance you can give. Smiles, Judy

Prince George's County Maryland

Expert Response

That sounds like you could be dealing with fungus gnats.
Here is our page on them, including a way to figure out where they may be coming from: 
https://extension.umd.edu/resource/fungus-gnats
Letting the soil dry out usually solves the problem.
However, it's a bit unusual that you would be noticing the young maggots in the soil. 
Is the insect you are seeing in the soil look like tiny worms or are they jumping, which could suggest springtails, which also like moist places?
You can learn about them here: 
https://extension.umd.edu/resource/springtails
Both of these insects are harmless by the way.
Both can also indicate a problem with either a drain or too much wetness somewhere. Check under your pots that water and soil are not accumulated there, and don't water without checking the soil for dryness with your finger.
Lastly, a colleague found her fungus gnat population was coming from a stored bag of extra potting soil so think along those lines. 

If you determine they are coming from the soil of your houseplants and drying it out is not working, you could use the totally safe bio-pesticide called Bt in granular form, which is steeped in water and then watered in. You'd find it in better garden centers and on-line.


Christine



Christine McComas Replied December 01, 2022, 10:11 AM EST

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