Tiny and annoying, fungus gnats (Bradysia spp.) are more than just a nuisance. Their larvae may damage the roots of houseplants, according to the Colorado State University Extension’s website. The tiny black bugs thrive in soil that is continually moist and rich in organic matter. Getting rid of fungus gnats can be a problem because you certainly don’t want to drench your plants with a chemical that may hurt the plants. Instead, turn to an all-natural solution that uses liquid dish soap to kill fungus gnats.
Killing the Adults
Fill about the bottom one-half of a deep bowl with apple cider vinegar. Adult gnats will be attracted to the apple cider vinegar’s odor.
Add five drops of liquid dish soap to the apple cider vinegar. The soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar and provides enough resistance so that gnats cannot escape the mixture.
Place the bowl near your houseplants. The fungus gnats will drown when they investigate the mixture. Empty the bowl and replenish it with a new batch of the mixture periodically.
Killing the Eggs
Remove all decaying plant material from the soil of your houseplants. You may need to remove some of the top layer of soil as well to get all of the decaying plant material.
Let the plants’ soil dry to a depth of about 2 inches.
Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar with the water you will use to water your houseplants.
Give your plants’ soil the water containing liquid dish soap and white vinegar every other time you water the plants. Let the soil dry to a depth of 2 inches before you water the soil again. Eventually, the mixture will kill fungus gnat eggs and larvae.
Things You Will Need
- Deep bowl
- Apple cider vinegar
- Liquid dish soap
- Measuring spoons
- White vinegar
- Watering can
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