How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats Quickly from Houseplant Soil

Fungus gnats can quickly infest your houseplant soil and could destroy your entire plant if you let an infestation get out of control. While fungus gnats are harmless to humans and are more of a nuisance, they can actually kill the roots of houseplants and also damage seedlings. It’s important to get rid of the fungus gnats quickly so that the problem doesn’t get too out of control. There are many different types of traps out there that can get rid of these gnats and we wanted to go into some details about a couple of the best options out there.

Fungus Gnat Trap

Best Fungus Gnat Traps

There are a variety of different gnat traps available that will eliminate the gnats in a safe and effective manner. A lot of the gnat traps use a sticky substance to trap the gnats and they are pesticide-free so that they don’t harm other insects or your pets. The gnat trap you select could depend upon how bad your infestation is but regardless of that, they all work very well at killing off these fungus gnats in a very short time.

BioCare Gnat Stix Indoor Traps

BioCare Gnat Stix Indoor Traps are pesticide-free and are non-toxic so these traps are great for people who have children or small pets. In this product you will get 12 sticky gnat traps and 12 wooden sticks. You should use one of the Gnat Stix for each of the plants that are infected, plus you want to add one to nearby plants as well.

These sticky traps work very well because they can kill off the adult gnats right as they are coming out of the soil and it works for months at a time. The yellow coloring of the traps are what attracts the fungus gnats to it. Just take the wooden stick and put the sticky strip right onto it and push it into the soil of your household plant. You can replace the trap every three-months or as soon as the sticky trap is full. The best part about the BioCare Gnat Stix Indoor Traps are that they are easy-to-use and very simple to replace.

HOME-OUTDOOR Safer Brand Houseplant Sticky Stakes

Home Outdoor Safer Brand Houseplant Sticky Stakes come in a two-pack of 14 sticks and 7 traps. This particular trap works best for potted plants and it will attract all kinds of flies and gnats. There are no pesticides in this product and it will attract the various pests to the traps within minutes. Fungus gnats, fruit flies, black flies, and midges all can be trapped using the sticky stakes.

You can use these stakes either indoors or outdoors and the yellow coloring of the trap and the glue itself is what attracts the fungus gnats. This organic option will quickly begin collecting these fungus gnats and the traps themselves are disposable. You can gently begin shaking the plant once you have put the stake into the soil and the fungus gnats will begin to get caught in the sticky trap.

How to Kill Fungus Gnats

There are a variety of steps you can take to get rid of the fungus gnats yourself without the use of traps. These methods are highly effective and most of them are very safe since they use household items you are likely to have on hand. The most common methods to kill fungus gnats use either apple cider vinegar or cinnamon.

1. Soak the Houseplant Soil with Hydrogen Peroxide

Simply add a ratio of one part hydrogen peroxide to four parts water in a small bowl, and then pour the mixture into the soil. Make sure the mixture is going into the root zone and allow it to flow out of the bottom of the pot.

2. Build a Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

Grab a plastic cup or small glass dish and pour around one-half inch of apple cider vinegar into the cup. You then will need to add two drops of dish soap into the vinegar mixture. Mix together lightly with your finger and then cover the cup with transparent tape, but leave a small eighth-inch hole in the top of the tape.

3. Sprinkle Cinnamon on the Houseplant Soil

Sprinkling true Ceylon cinnamon on houseplant soil will help with damping-off and will kill the fungus that the larvae feed on. Just add a layer across the top of the houseplant soil and then continue every three weeks if you need to in order to keep the fungus gnats away.

4. Mix Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth into Soil

It’s important that if you use Diatomaceous Earth that you purchase the food-grade variety which is safe and non-toxic to pets and for food-related products. Wear a dust mask and mix the Diatomaceous Earth into either the top layer of soil or mix into the potting soil completely. This method will kill any adult gnats or larvae that happen to stumble into contact with it.

What Causes Fungus Gnats?

Fungus gnats can be found in moist locations, such as if you have overwatered your house plants. These gnats love to breed and live within these areas where there is excessive moisture, including areas where standing water exists. This could be inside of your potted plant soil or near a sink in your kitchen or bathroom.

Anywhere that there is a light source you could end up with a fungus gnat infestation since they love light, even artificial light sources such as lamps. Windows are a common place you will also find the gnats and they also love carbon dioxide found by your nose and mouth.

Organic matter that is decaying is also a huge attraction for the fungus gnats. This includes fungus, leaf material, leaf husks, and dead leaves. If you have any type of decaying organic material in your houseplant, then the gnats will find it and become instantly attracted to it. Compost, wood chips, and peat moss are all examples of organic materials that these fungus gnats love.