En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Fungus gnats on indoor 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

Problem with Eupatorium greggii
April 27, 2008 - At the Garden's fall plant sale in 2006, I bought some Eupatorium greggii. It did very well last year. Recently, the entire plant looks like it is just wilting from the top down, as if it has some so...
view the full question and answer

Waxy deposits on Magnolia fuscata from Ethel LA
June 18, 2013 - I have a 4yr old Magnolia Fascata (aka banana shrub)- I noticed that it has small oval shaped yellow waxy deposits on the branches.. I have also noticed small black ants on the branches. The unknown d...
view the full question and answer

Lopidea texana nymphs and adults feeding on Mountain Laurel in March
April 04, 2006 - What is the species name of the bright red bug (Miridae) nymphs and adults that are feeding on Texas Mountain Laurel leaves at this time (March 24) at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
September 09, 2012 - We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trun...
view the full question and answer

What flowers will ducks and swans not eat?
January 11, 2009 - I live by ducks and swans. They love eating my flowers. Any suggestions on what flowering plants they won't eat?
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