Fungus Gnats on African Violets – Getting Rid of Larvae, Eggs & Flies

Flying bugs like fungus gnats can make an appearance in or around your African violets for several reasons although most tend to do with the soil and how well you maintain it. Here are the steps for quickly getting rid of the tiny flies before the infestation becomes an even bigger problem.

Over-watering your African violets

Over-watering tends to be the main culprit for the development of fungus gnat infestations on African violets. Fungus gnats and other similar flying bugs love moisture and dampness. African violets don’t require excessive moisture to thrive. You are overwatering your plant if the soil remains super soggy and develops tiny puddles of water. The simplest solution to getting rid of fungus gnats on African violets is to reduce the amount of watering. You only need to water the plant when the top layer of the soil looks dry.

If you are using self-watering pots or automated plant watering systems, you may want to re-configure the frequency of watering the device is set to. These devices add a lot of convenience but can introduce fungus gnat problems as they are designed to keep the soil damp at all time.

Gnats thrive in poor-quality soil

Fungus gnats will also appear around African violets if the soil quality is poor. You might have brought in African violets that have been potted in gnat-infested soil. The existing soil may also not be draining well and this adds to the problem we highlighted on over-watering. If you suspect that the soil is the problem then you will need to repot the African violets in high-quality potting mix that drains well and is free of pests. Food-grade diatomaceous earth could be one way of dealing with fungus gnats.

Using yellow sticky traps

Placing a few yellow sticky traps around the African violets may help get rid of adult fungus gnats but they won’t resolve the originating cause of the bug infestation. To completely get rid of the flies around the African violets, you need to also eradicate the larvae and eggs in the infested soil.

For a more natural method of dealing with fungus gnats, you could consider having a few venus flytraps around the African violet plants but you just need to be mindful that they aren’t totally effective at getting rid of the pests.

Repotting, however, isn’t an easy step as household plants like African violets can be quite sensitive to a change in environment and may end up going through transplant shock. Instead of repotting, one alternative method to consider is using mosquito bits. Let it soak in the water used for the African violets. We would suggest letting the mosquito bits or dunks soak for at least 24 hours in order for this method to be effective.


  • Is it a gnat:

    I have some black flies around my african violet but not sure if it’s a fungus gnat, fruit fly, or something else?? Any way to tell if I am suffering from a fungus gnat problem??

  • Lifesaver:

    Thanks so much for this article. The gants disappeared after I mixed two solutions together. I first placed a bunch of yellow sticky traps around the plant then I added some mosquito bit water.

  • Bridget:

    My gnat problem has been going on for months and I don’t know what to do to keep these pesky flies away from my African Violet. I am pretty sure it’s not coming from other plants around the house. Is it time to re-pot the plant to new soil?

  • Jennifer M:

    It’s not mentioned here but I would suggest trying the hydrogen peroxide method. You mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water. Pour this solution on the top layer of the soil. The gnats hidden inside should die on contact. This worked for my african violet plant.

  • Leslie:

    Can anyone share what soil works for their african violet? I think it’s time for me to repot my african violet but not sure which soil works best!

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