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Fungus gnats and Houseplants

Fungus gnats and Houseplants
November 2nd, 2012

Going “Gnatty”?

Fungus gnats are tiny mosquito-like insects, about 1/8 inch in length. You will generally first notice them darting about new seedlings or overwatered houseplants. Adult fungus gnats are mostly an annoyance, but the larva can do damage to young plants and seedlings by feeding on the new, tender roots. It is also thought that they feed on the developing callus of cuttings, delaying the development of new roots. Their feeding stresses the plants and provides an entryway for disease pathogens. The first symptom of damage is usually wilting, followed by general decline of the plant.

How to Control:
Yellow sticky cards, placed standing up on the soil surface, attract and hold the adult fungus gnats.
Overwatering may be biggest cause of our fungus gnat infestation. Letting the surface dry out between watering can go a long way toward controlling the problem.
Steinernema feltiae, a beneficial nematode (called Nems or NoGnat), can be used to drench the soil. These tiny worms like creatures will actually enter the larva. There they release a bacterium which is lethal to the larva.
Stratiolaelaps scimitus (formerly know as Hypoaspis miles) a common predatory mite of fungus gnats, which will attack the larval stages of fungus gnats and suppress their numbers, can be used.


Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Fungus Gnat Controls
November 15th, 2012

Can certain biological controls work together?

It is a common question that we are asked about beneficial insects. This week we were asked about the compatibility of Nems, Steinernema feltiae and Stratiolaelaps scimitus (soil mite) to control fungus gnats. These biologicals work very well together and when used in conjunction greater fungus gnat control is seen. Nems are a fast control and results are usually seen in 4 weeks after applications. On the other hand, S. scimitus is along term control that will remain in the soil of your plants to provide continuous control. In this case, yes we can all just get along.

To see our fungus gnat controls Click Hereclick here.




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