En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Fungus gnats on indoor plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Austin and I work in an office where we like to have plants. Recently we started to get these annoying tiny, little nits, how can we get rid of them without harming my plants. Help they are all over!

ANSWER:

If by nits you mean gnats, you are probably suffering from the bane of all indoor gardeners-high humidity, with the unfortunate side effect of fungus gnats! With all the rain we have had in Central Texas this year, even the outdoor plants, not to mention the people, are beginning to get a little moldy. The gnats are a very small fly who choose places where mold and mildew is growing, like potting soil, to lay their eggs. Indoor plants are at the mercy of the environment people want to live in, and when mildew gets going in the potting soil, the pesky little gnats appear. To control the gnats, you must control the indoor growing conditions, or try to get rid of the mildew. Small sticky sheets are made to catch the flying gnats. They won't get rid of all of them, but at least it will help you see the extent of the problem. Also, misting the plant with a very weak solution of an insecticidal soap might discourage freshly hatched gnats. And you might check to see if the plants are being watered too much. You know how it is, everyone who passes by feels like the plants might need a little drinkie. And the little gnats will thank you for improving their living conditions.

 

More Pests Questions

Control of ball moss in oak trees
March 23, 2007 - I live in San Marcos, Texas and I have a two acre lot with lots of oak trees. Most of these trees have so much ballmoss attached to them that the leaves and branches are not visible anymore. Is ther...
view the full question and answer

Why are there gnats in my houseplants?
July 22, 2009 - I have flying brown gnats in my house plants. Can you tell me why?
view the full question and answer

Pests on American Beautyberry from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Something is eating the leaves of my American Beautyberry shrubs. One is almost stripped of leaves on the upper branches. I have looked and can't see any insects or caterpillars. I have also looke...
view the full question and answer

Growths on Shumard Red Oak leaves from Katy TX
April 01, 2013 - Our beautiful Shumard Red Oak has developed lots of light green grape like growths on the leaves. Please inform us what this could be and how we should treat it?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
February 05, 2013 - How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center