The other day, I wrote about horror movie I woke up to when I saw my precious seedlings swarming with flies. I immediately wrote to Anne Marie to solve my bug dilemma. Apparently the mini “fruit flies” are really fungus gnats and are a frequent greenhouse or indoor garden occurrence. Anne Marie says they are more of a people nuisance than a plant pest problem, especially when several fly up in your face when you are watering your plants.
Here are Anne Marie’s tips for eliminating my fungus gnat problem:
- Soils that are high in organic matter and are kept damp are particularly attractive to fungus gnats. The entire life cycle lasts about 4 weeks.
- The best way to reduce the population of fungus gnats is to let the soil dry out between waterings and especially on the surface.
- A more effective method is to cover and seal the soil area with plastic wrap (or a thick inorganic mulch) to prevent the adults from getting to the soil and laying more eggs.
- If needed, yellow sticky cards can be purchased to monitor the number of fungus gnats around plants. Place the yellow cards near the soil surface.
- Investigate any open bags of soil before using them to see if they are harbouring fungus gnats.
- The potentially damaging part of the life cycle is the young larvae. These look like small, white worm-like things that are 5 mm long and feed on the roots of plants.
- It is only if they are numerous that they cause any problems for plants (and mainly young seedlings or greenhouse transplants). The adults are the dark mini flies that like to be pests and fly in your face.
So, I’m going to try and let them dry out a little and I’m going to pick up some of the yellow sticky tape. My sister had to buy some recently because she brought home an herb with a white fly problem.
Jessica Ross, over at EcoLogic on Homemakers’ site is having a different problem. Her seedlings aren’t growing anymore.
Is anyone out there having problems with their seedlings?