Who knew you’d be wishing for fruit flies?
But fruit flies can be easily lured and trapped using a few drops of wine or a piece of banana peel at the bottom of a glass, a paper funnel placed inside, a tiny hole near the bottom of the inside of the glass (making sure the top of the funnel is as wide as the mouth of the glass to avoid escapees) and voila! You can carry the glass outside and release them into the wild for birds and bats to munch on!
Not so with those pesky fungus gnats. Those slightly smaller fruit fly look alikes, you know, the ones flying out of the soil of your houseplants and straight into your face while you were relaxing in the morning, minding your own business and enjoying a nice cup of coffee? YES, THOSE. They know how to interrupt a moment of tranquility and cause stress. I'm here to help!
Top 5 Ways to manage Fungus Gnats:
1. Topsoil Treatment. Let the top soil of all your plants dry out completely, on average this takes about a week. We are going to treat all of our plants at once, not just the plant that is infested. Fungus gnats move around and are often living in multiple plants, even if we only notice them in one. After the topsoil has dried out, remove the top inch of soil from your houseplant. I use a clean, large spoon to gently scrape away the soil into a garbage can or bag. This method is an important step in removing the fungus gnat larvae that grow inside the soil before they become those annoying flying adults. This is crucial to decreasing the amount of adults and less cruel in my mind than relying on the fly paper while our Sacred Soil Tonic works its magic! I suggest you remove the soil and put it into the garbage-not into your compost!
2. Sticky fly paper is not cruelty free. It’s actually terrible because the gnats get stuck and die slowly. I resisted this method at first….but it is honestly the quickest way to get ahead of the gnats before they fly and spread and reproduce like crazy inside the soil of your other plants.
We offer a 5 pack of sticky paper in the shop which should last you at least a year (unless your collection is larger than mine)! I recommend cutting the paper into small strips and placing them inside the pot, with the bottom edge touching the soil, just under the inside lip of each pot. This way, the aesthetic of your houseplant is intact while the fly paper inconspicuously traps the adult gnats as they fly around the soil.
3. Use our Sacred Soil Tonic when watering for the next few months. Be sure to remove the top layer of soil first for faster results and the sticky paper too! The Sacred Soil Tonic takes a few weeks to completely rid your plants of fungus gnats on its own because it disrupts their life cycle. PLEASE BE PATIENT and let it work its magic! While slowly but surely riding your plants of fungus gnat larvae and pupa, Sacred Soil Tonic also nourishes your plant while boosting its own natural immune system to avoid any future infestations. Remember to DOUBLE your dose of Soil Tonic (20 ml/ gal) while treating your plant babies for fungus gnats and let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
4. Top Dress your Plants. Using rocks, sand, and dry moss are three beautiful ways you can add a decorative top layer to the soil of your houseplants. This discourages the flying adults who are roaming around looking for a new home to lay their eggs.
5. Take your houseplants outside. If your weather is mild, and your infestation is extreme, I suggest you first grab all the contaminated plants and place them outside while you work on removing the top layer of soil so the gnats that fly away will not fly into your other houseplants. If your infestation is advanced, when ordering our Sacred Soil Tonic, be sure to include sticky fly paper too!
I encourage you to use our soil tonic when watering all the plants, just in case an adult already laid eggs in another plant and you were unaware! Continue this for a month and then taper off to every other time you water. You my friend will be fungus gnat free and your plants will be thriving and flourishing like never before!