Fungus gnats reside in damp areas and love to breed around areas where there is lot of decay. They are very commonly found indoors and are usually in greyish-black colour. The adult flies are the ones that enter into homes stay on for long periods of time, if they are not controlled in the initial stages. These gnats are just about 2 to 5mm long. So it becomes quite difficult to identify and control them. One good thing about these gnats is that they don’t bite. However, they more than make up for this by flying around the ears, noses and faces of humans on a regular basis. They can belong to any of the families like Bolitophilidae, Mycetophilidae, Diadocidiidae, Keroplatidae, Sciaridae or Ditomyiidae.
There are two main types of fungus gnats – adult flies and larvae. Adult flies enter into homes and feed on liquid diet. Except for the fact that they are found flying irritatingly all over, adult flies are not known to carry any diseases or germs. They are not dangerous at all. The larvae on the other hand feed on plants and bring a great level of damage to plants. These larvae can bring excessive damage in places like nurseries, greenhouses and other farms, where they can feed on roots and cause these plants to rot. These larvae are the chief carriers of plant fungal diseases like Botrytis blight, Fusarium wilt, Verticilium Wilt, Black root rot etc.
Appearance & Life Development Cycle
Adult flies are grey in colour and they are anywhere between 1/6th and 1/8th of an inch. Larvae are of 1/4th of an inch long and they have black heads. Plant debris and soil formations with a huge amount of fungus are places where female fungus gnats lay their eggs on. The life of fungus gnats goes through 4 main stages – egg, larvae, pupa and finally an adult fly. It takes around 4 weeks for eggs to develop into an adult fly.
Tips to control fungus gnats
- Avoid too much of water accumulation in your house. Ensure that your drainage system is built properly. When you water your plants, take care to ensure that your plants don’t stay too wet.
- Fungus gnats love to stay and breed in moist areas therefore drain off excess water that drops off from your plant.
- A special type of horticultural sand or a piece of potato can be kept on the plant containers, so that gnats don’t lay eggs inside.
- Choose a good pest control expert to suggest you permanent solutions to control fungus gnats. Toro Pest Management, with close to 50 years of experience in this industry, is one of the leading names in this field.
- Allow considerable time intervals when you water plants and ensure that the upper part of the soil in your container remains dry.
- Clean the areas around your plants so that dried, yellow leaves are not allowed to accumulated. These are excellent breeding areas for fungus gnats.
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