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  • Ack! Gnats!

    After a weekend out with the family and a day chained to the desk, I got down yo the basement tonight to check on the plants. Gnats! Have seen no signs of them to date but there's quite a few flitting around now. I know there's stuff to order for this, but in the meantime, is there anything available through LowesHomeDepotWalmartTractorSupplySouthernStates that can help?

    This may explain the sudden drooping of several of my cuttings....grrrrr.....
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

  • #2
    Gnatrol, sand on top, gnatnix, paint strainer bags, nylons, sticky traps. Pyrethrem or any other bug killer if you want to go the chemical route.

    The physical barriers help keep them out.

    Gnatrol or chemicals seem to work best. Gnatrol needs watered in heavily though.
    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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    • #3
      Don't over water, use diatomaceous powder on top of the soil, (lightly). Sold in hardware stores for bed bug control.

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      • #4
        Look for the mosquito bits/dunks with bti.

        I think most big box stores have them.
        Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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      • #5
        Remove an inch of top soil and then generously sprinkle diatomaceous earth on top of soil. Water infrequently so the soil dries out. use Fly ribbons and glue pads everywhere. Good luck bro.
        Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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        • #6
          Thanks. Will be making a shopping trip to town tomorrow.
          Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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          • #7
            Liquid Sevin will get straight to the roots and bottom of the cutting where the larvae is, no messing around laying on the top.
            PPP
            Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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            • #8
              I've read that hydrogen peroxide (1:4 dilution of the 3% household solution) will kill fungus gnat larvae upon contact. Anyone try this and can report back re. efficacy?
              Sarah
              Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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              • #9
                I haven't tried hydrogen peroxide but it would most likely kill off all of your beneficials in the soil too as well as the gnat larvae.

                I didn't have much luck with the mosquito dunks. They didn't seem concentrated enough and a pita to soak before watering. Gnatrol is the same but powder form. 3 weekly doses of about 1-1.5 tsp seems to do the job pretty well with regular watering. Sadly, not really an option with cuttings.

                Removing the top soil never helped me much either. I imagine it removes some of the eggs but the larvae dig all through the soil from to to bottom and the adults will enter the drain holes as well to lay eggs if they aren't covered. Sadly they will be under the bark all up and down any rotten cuttings you may have. Hard to say if they are the cause or affect. I've never had them adversely affect an established plant that I could tell.
                Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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                • #10
                  They seem to be concentrated on the side of the room with the cups that aren't doing anything....so I guess I'll go through those and see what's viable and what's not...maybe that will help, too. Have kept everything that doesn't show complete signs of death and decay in the effort to never give up until you're sure it's dead.
                  Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by sarahkt View Post
                    I've read that hydrogen peroxide (1:4 dilution of the 3% household solution) will kill fungus gnat larvae upon contact. Anyone try this and can report back re. efficacy?
                    Yes it works extremely well and is the only method I use. I had ZERO gnats this year by treating soil ahead of time. I use 1 cup per gallon for treatment. For use on plants I use 1 or 2 tbsp. As far as killing beneficiels, they are not needed for start ups, sprinkle some compost on top to restore beneficials if you feel you must have them.
                    Another fantastic benefit to using peroxide is you give the roots a shot of oxygen and will often kick start root development. Cheap fantastic product. Too much oxygen is not good, although I have not run into any problems using it a few times on each plant.
                    I also like using it to clean/sterilize plant trays and pots instead of bleach. If you ever made beer or wine it is sold in powdered form to clean beer and wine making equipment. No chlorine residue to contaminate soil or weaken plastic.
                    Last edited by drew51; 03-01-2016, 07:34 AM.

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                    • #12
                      DB,

                      An odd but effective trick......if you find on that side of the room that you do have some rotten cuttings and i'm sure you do don't throw them away. Instead use them as a trap and overwater them even more, they are dead already so who cares. The adults will be much more attracted to those cups. Add some cuttings to it or another container near it and get them TO rot, overwater them. It will draw the gnats to those cups like a magnet and poison the gnats in those cups. I have found that sort of trap to almost eliminate gnat issues. They go where the good eats are.
                      Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                      • DBJohnson
                        DBJohnson commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Excellent! Will do that.

                      • cis4elk
                        cis4elk commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Evil sorcery, I love it.

                    • #13
                      When I had problem with them I sealed off top and bottom of pots. Now I always make bottom Of pot large coffee filter. Let's water out no bugs in and top 2 inch very pouris so stay dry. I also when seen them sprinkle cinnamon on top soil and tightly strech packing tape over the pot top leaving room between soil and tape bottom. They hate cinnamon so they fly up and stick to tape
                      Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                      1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy πŸ‘ΌπŸΌ.
                      2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                      • #14
                        Paint strainers work well also there about 50 cents a piece and they come in all different sizes

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                        Wish List -

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                        • #15
                          These are some great ideas everyone! There must be something in the air Bryant bc I thought I almost beat these lil suckers until a few days ago.. Im so Po'd they are back! I used those mosquito dunk crumbs type things and they grow fuzz on them by the next day aftering just slightly watering them in?? Am I doing something wrong with this product? Im afraid the fuzz will move to the cuttings if I leave it in there. So far Ive been just kinda moving the pieces around & away from the base of the cuttings & the fuzz has lessened, but still.. It doesnt look like it will be good in the long term..
                          My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

                          Rooted Cuttings Available 2021:
                          https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...fxsT1DuH8/edit

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                          • fitzski
                            fitzski commented
                            Editing a comment
                            The guy at the hydro store where I bought the mosquito bits puts them in water for a day or two, and then use the strained water on the plants.

                            Good luck.

                        • #16
                          Hate to say it, but this is another plus in the direct-pot column. So far, no wilting or dying or what-not from the treepots. The trouble with the gnats so far seems to be with the 3-cup cuttings, the bagged cuttings, and the ones up-potted from those methods. Now, that being said, I think I'll follow Fabio's advice in the future and put a coffee filter in the bottom of the pots...just in case. I think I read on one of these threads that Miracle-Gro soils and seeding mixtures are bad about having gnats? Is so, that could be the culprit since that's what I used in the cups.
                          Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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                          • Jamie0507
                            Jamie0507 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I read that too about Miracle grow soil, notoriously bad for being left outside in the rain in the big box stores and harboring gnats by the time you bring the bag home.. I haven't used Miracle grow recently, and I've been nuking my media in the bags like crazy.. I think they have found refuge somewhere that Im not noticing and then it only takes 2 to tango right?? Ugh I DESPISE THEM! Im so getting Pyrethrin tomorrow & going to war! 😑

                          • cis4elk
                            cis4elk commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Gnat have no problem going straight to big pots as well.

                        • #17
                          I also went the permethrin route. Let's see how this works.

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                          • #18
                            100% cold pressed neem oil with Azadirachtin,Not the stuff they sell at the bigbox stores,works every time for me and it's nontoxic. just mix with water and mild dish soap spray once every 3 days to break the larva's cycle.I pour boiling h2o on my seed starting mix now when I hydrate it to kill all the nats eggs. last year I got hit bad with nats from Miracle grow seed starter.neem will work on any soft body insect I think.

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                            • #19
                              Most all big box bags of soils especially MG has fungus eggs inside. I was at hardware store other day and always walk down garden isle even if o no need to be. I see fungus gnat flying around bags on shelf. If one bag come into store with hatched fly they hop from bag to bag making egg in all bags. If you notice some of you better soils are sealed bags. No breathe holes. I now never buy any soil bag with any type hole in it. Although sometime no matter because you put you own potted trees next to trees you get from others that may be egg in tis pot and will spread. I was told by microwave soil WILL kill them but will also kill many good tings included in the soil. Best promised I can tell you is either block entry ways for them come in and out and keep top two inch dry. You can also spend lil money and top dress pot with 1.5-2 inch sterile sand. They can no dig three sand and you can still top water.

                              I also stress cinnamon... No only help with gnats but also kills mold and is natural antibacterial and can help you plants. No go crazy just light sprinkle on top and let it be if you get some on leaf dust off although.
                              Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                              1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy πŸ‘ΌπŸΌ.
                              2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                              • #20
                                Mike you are absolutely right the two times I bought Miracle grow potting mix from Home Depot I had a major infestation never again the only thing I use now is Pro-mix HP and I won't buy any ripped bags so far so good
                                Wish List -

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                                • #21
                                  I've never microwaved my ProMix HP, but a recent fungus gnat infestation in a few cups seems more or less solved with 1:4 dilution of 3% hydrogen peroxide being lightly added to the top and a little in the outer cups, where I had been adding a little water anyway to increase root humidity and reduce watering frequency while the plants soak in the sun. I didn't flood the cup with the dilute H2O2, so hopefully the mycorrhizae in the mix are still helping out. It probably did affect the beneficials to some degree but that is a smaller evil to the plant's immediate well being than the fungus gnats making them droop...

                                  They're almost ready for potting up anyway. And they're still alive, which is important.
                                  Sarah
                                  Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                                  • #22
                                    This first three months of the fig-addiction, my plant population has increased to over 110 individuals, all inside on Promix. And, I had not seen a single gnat during this time. Then I made the mistake of bringing in established plants from three different sources. A couple of days later, I walked into one of the plant rooms and was greeted by a five-foot cloud of swarming fig-ingestors.

                                    I purchased a half-gallon of Riptide (5% pyrethrin) and several large bags of Gnat-nix. It only requires a couple of capfuls of the pyrethrin in a gallon of water, but it worked perfectly. I used a fine mist from the spray bottle to knock the cloud of pests out of the air, and doused the soil mix as well. Over the next ten days, I have seen a lone gnat only twice. And each has met with swift justice.

                                    There was no sign that the plants had noticed any change at all post-Riptide treatment.
                                    CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.

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                                    • #23
                                      As part of my solution, I've put up some sticky fly tapes. Just checked them afte the first 24h.....and there are about 3 times as many gnats stuck to the fly traps as I would have guessed were in there to begin with! No flying insects noticed at all....now if the peroxide solution and diatomaceous earth work as advertised, I think I'll be in good shape.
                                      Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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                                      • #24
                                        I'm having very good results with Neem Oil. It is a concentrate, and you mix some and spray on.
                                        Very nice product for lots of stuff

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