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Thread: Fungus Gnats

  1. #9
    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    I put one quarter of a "mosquito dunk" in my "watering can" and use sticky traps for the adults. The Mosquito dunks contain BT which kills the larvae.
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  2. #10
    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    It's probably not a big deal, but I found when I grew some of my plants in a sandier mix, there are no fungus gnats at all. Hardly any springtails either compared to my 2:1 or 3:1 peat:sand mixes. Gnats seem to like stagnant soggy soils. I used neem oil in the past to kill them off, and it really took care of them. No damage to the plant whatsoever. Just keep feeding it like you are, and you should have a flowering adult plant in no time, regardless of how many gnats there are.
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  3. #11
    PeaceCarny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPlantaholic View Post
    Gnats seem to like stagnant soggy soils.
    That's why I thought they were growing in the LFS...it stays moist so it makes for a good breeding ground. Now though, I haven't seen any...they don't seem to like warm weather so I guess that's why they're gone.

  4. #12
    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    That could be the major factor. I know temps get fairly high in my setup, so that along with a drier mix must completely discourage them.
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  5. #13
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Fungus gnats larvae live in the top inch or so of very damp soils. The easiest recommended control for house plant infestations is to allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out completely between waterings. This is not advisable for carnivorous plants. Another preventative is to put a top mulch of sand at least 1/4 inch thick. The adults are not able to lay their eggs through this layer or are fooled into thinking the soil is too dry for them. The mulch should be applied before an infestation begins.

    I've tested this method in my Sarracenia rosea pot and it works quite well. The added plus (or perhaps a minus) is that none of the other mosses grow in the pot either.

    Read more about fungus gnats here:

    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7448.html
    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r280300811.html

    And for those who think the larvae are harmless (from above):

    Only fungus gnats commonly damage plants. Larvae of these flies feed on roots, thus stunting plant growth. Root damage can occur in interior plantscapes and in houseplants if high populations infest moist, organic-rich soil. Fungus gnat larval damage can be especially serious in greenhouses, nurseries, and sod farms. In addition to larvae chewing on roots, both larvae and adults can spread plant pathogens and may promote disease in commercial crops.

    and

    DESCRIPTION OF THE PESTS
    Fungus gnats are small (2–5 mm long) mosquitolike flies with dark wings, delicate legs, and long antennae. They lay their eggs in soil, and the eggs hatch about 4 days later. There are four larval instars that increase in size up to about 0.33 inch (8 mm). Larvae are clear, with visible internal organs, and have shiny black head capsules. Initially larvae feed on root hairs and algae; later, larvae may feed on the insides of roots. When populations are high, larvae may bore into larger roots or stems that are in the soil. Larvae will also feed on leaves touching the soil. One generation may complete development in 21 (72F) to 40 (61F) days.

    DAMAGE
    Larvae usually feed on roots and algae within 1 inch of the soil surface. Root feeding by larvae can allow entry of plant pathogens. Direct damage through root feeding can cause wilting even though the plants are being sufficiently watered. Damage is particularly severe in propagation areas, in seedling flats, and with especially sensitive crops. Adult fungus gnats also disseminate soil-inhabiting pathogens on their bodies and in their feces. Fungus gnat adults can be a nuisance when present in large numbers.

    Fungus gnats are a vector in spreading the Fusarium fungus which is responsible for rhizome rot in Sarracenia.
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  6. #14
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    ....Fungus gnats are a vector in spreading the Fusarium fungus which is responsible for rhizome rot in Sarracenia.
    They are also one of the suspects in the spreading of Ceph sudden death syndrome
    Av

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