By Stylicious Living

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Organic and Safe Ways to Eliminate Fungus Gnats

If you have noticed tiny flies flying around your home or tiny insects at the base of your indoor plants, you are probably hosting Fungus Gnats. Other than just being annoying and bothersome, they can damage your plants by eating the root system and plant itself. Also, once they affect one plant in your home, they can easily migrate to other plants. Therefore, they need to be addressed as soon as possible. Follow these simple, organic, and safe steps to eliminate them immediately:

1) Isolate the plants from other plants in the home. Place affected plant as far as possible from other plants.
2) Use yellow sticky tape. They are attracted to the colour yellow and will be trapped by the sticky film. We recommend Sticky Stiks®. These will only work if your problem is minor; the following steps will eliminate Gnats if you have a more serious problem.
3) Place a small bowl of Apple Cider Vinegar (1/4 – 1/2 a cup of Vinegar) near the affected plant. As the vinegar ferments, the Gnats are attracted to it and will drown in the vinegar.
4) Remove the top ¼” of the soil and replace with sand. The Gnats are attracted to organic matter and will not be able to survive in the sand.
5) Replant in new pre-moistened potting soil. Take the plant out of the pot, remove as much soil as possible, put back in clean pot with pre-moistened potting soil, and then top off with a ¼” of sand.
6) Keep isolated for 2-4 weeks to ensure the Gnats have been eliminated

How to prevent Fungus Gnats in the future:

1) Let plants dry out between watering. Gnats like moist, organic environments. By lengthening your watering intervals, you will decrease the ability for the larvae to develop into adult Gnats.
2) Be diligent when purchasing new plants. Be sure to inspect all plants before you bring them home. Look at the soil and look underneath the leaves for signs of insects. Also, all leaves should be healthy and green, avoid buying plants with any yellowing and limp leaves.
3) Isolate all new plants from other plants for 2-4 weeks when you bring them home before you place them in their permanent spot.
4) Inspect your plants often for disease and insects. We recommend inspecting all of your plants on a monthly basis.

These steps are not only effective but healthy and safe for the environment and your family. Good Luck!

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