Well, I’m now in my home office 8 hours a day and I’m irritated! I have fungus gnats flying across my computer screens, dead in the “lit” candle on my desk, crawling on my windows and crawling in the soil of my potted plants. EWWW! I knew I had them, but didn’t know just how bad with hardly being home during the day prior to this past week.
Due to my wanting a completely organic garden I chose not to use pesticides. The entire life cycle from egg to larvae to adult will happen in as little as 3-4 weeks depending on temperature. Adult gnats can live about one week and lay up to 300 eggs. And within 4-6 days their tiny larvae will begin feeding on plant roots and or turning your leaves yellow.
Remedies I’ve tried:
Adding 1 tsp dish soap and 1 tsp vinegar to my watering can and using this recipe every other watering. I watered when the first inch of soil was dry. This supposedly would kill gnats and eventually their eggs in the soil. FAIL!
Leave a small container of apple cider vinegar around the pots to drown the gnats. They are attracted to the sweetness of the cider vinegar. I even set a few jars on top of the soil in my large tomato plant pots. I had to empty them and change the vinegar almost daily this past week because I had 20+ on the bottom with 10+ floating on top. FAIL SORT OF
Both of these methods work for some, but did not work for me. Gnats in soil are fairly common with indoor plants especially if the heat inside is too warm. I closed the vent in my office when my heat was on, have darker curtains to shield the sun, and had grow lights. After all this, if you get close enough to the plants, they were infested, but still growing. I put these pots outside today on my covered patio. I’m praying they don’t freeze or die seeming this is January in North Texas, but with the temps lately being 45-65 during the day I hope they will still grow. Now with colder temperatures, the growing process will slow down tremendously. Which is ok seeming I won’t transplant until March. FINGERS CROSSED!
I know for a fact I will lose my more sensitive herbs like my three basil plants and possibly my cucumbers. But….let’s pray! Next year, I will wait until mid January to start my seedlings rather than trying to jump the gun by planting at the beginning of December. Lesson learned.
Photo credit: http://www.helpfulgardener.com