House plants are a wonderful thing, there’s no doubt about that. They are lovely to look at, and they bring oxygen into your home. However, they can also bring unwanted guests. If you are wondering how to get rid of fruit flies in houseplants, you are far from alone! Read on for our favorite tips.
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How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In House Plants?
There are a great many things you can do to get rid of these irritating little buzzers thankfully, and you don’t have to resort to nasty chemicals:
- Water less frequently. Keeping the soil on the dry side will help reduce the amount of flies that are able to breed in your soil.
- Use a gravel mulch. By simply mixing a little gravel into the soil, you can make the environment less attractive to the flies.
- Sticky traps. If you hang a sticky trap near the plant it will trap the adult flies, meaning they will not be able to breed and the cycle will be broken.
- Try nematodes. These biological controls are often another type of insect that preys on the gnat, such as Steinernema feltiae.
- Natural insecticides. Using home remedies like cider vinegar can really help to keep your insect problem at bay.
Here’s a little video that explains why gnats arrive, and what you can do to get rid of them:
Why Do I Get Little Flies Around My House Plants?
You may think that your indoor plants are safe from pests and things that can savage them in the outside world – but there is at least one critter that can still appear!
The fungus gnat is a tiny fly that is drawn to the damp, nutrient rich soil in your house plants.
They look a lot like fruit flies, but they are actually different in their feeding habits as well as their physical appearance.
The fungus gnat feasts on the algae, fungus and even plant roots when they are in their larval stage.
Many plants can handle the root damage, but young or recently repotted plants can have problems because of this.
You will probably find that you have more of a gnat problem if you over water your plants, so keep watering to a bare minimum!
How Do I Get Rid Of Flies In My Potted Plants?
Thankfully, there are a lot of options for you when it comes to getting rid of the irritating little flies that buzz around your pots, and you don’t have to resort to chemicals.
- Stop watering. Although you might feel sorry for your plant, a bit of drought won’t kill it – and dry soil does not attract the little flies.
- Use Neem oil. This natural oil is a great and gentle insecticide. Use 1tbsp of Neem with 1tsp Castille soap and 4 cups of water. Spray liberally all over the soil.
- Nematodes. Natural predators of creepy crawlies is the best defense against creepy crawlies – try Steinernema feltiae to combat the fungus gnats that you will find in your potted plant soil.
- Try vinegar traps. Mix a little vinegar with an equal amount of cider in a shallow dish and leave it near the plant. The insects will be attracted but will drown when they get too close.
- Use sticky traps. Placing these clever sticky strips on or near your plant will catch the adults, thus breaking the life cycle.
- Repot the plant. If nothing else works, uproot the plant entirely and wash off the roots. Repot the plant in fresh soil, and you should find that there are no more gnats.
Here is a useful article, telling you all about these little bugs and how to get rid of them.
Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Gnats In Houseplants?
Vinegar has so many uses, and not just in cooking! It also makes a great insecticide and bug trap to get rid of those pesky critters.
- Make a spray with one cup of water, 1tbsp cider vinegar, and a couple of drops of dish washing soap. You can use this spray safely on all parts of your plant, and know that it will kill the invaders without hurting the plant.
- Fill a deep bowl with cider vinegar and add a splash of red wine, beer or cider. Place this near any affected plants. This mixture will attract the flies, who will try to drink but then will be drowned when they reach the liquid. Change it every few days.
- Make a vinegar trap using a small, shallow dish that can sit on the soil of your affected plants.
Placing the trap closer to the plant will get rid of gnats that are right up close to the plant, helping to break the breeding cycle.
What Home Remedy Kills Gnats In Houseplants?
There are a great many home remedies that you can use to get rid of gnats on your plants, and most don’t rely on harmful chemicals!
- Diatomaceous earth will kill any insects, as the sharp edges of the silica based powder will slice through their bodies.
- Cinnamon is a natural fungicide, that will not only deter the gnats but can also prevent them from laying their eggs.
- Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to kill gnats and their larvae; simply mix 3 parts hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water, and pour over your plant when it needs watering.
- Apple cider vinegar placed in a bowl near your plant, mixed with a little wine or beer, will attract the insects and then drown them.
As well as these methods, you can avoid getting gnats in the first place by watering your plant from the bottom, so that the soil doesn’t get damp and attract fungus and therefore gnats.
So there you have it – a few reasons why you get flies in your house plants, and a few ideas on how to get rid of them.
Remember, a natural solution is always best, especially for house plants – you don’t want to be breathing in nasty chemicals!