What do fungus gnats look like?
- Fungus gnats are small flies, 1/32 to 7/16 inches long and although smaller, they are mosquito-like in appearance.
- Typically, they are black, brown, or yellowish. Some species have dark colored wings, while some have spotted wings.
What are the habits of fungus gnats?
- Fungus gnats are our most common commercial office-building pest in the office-setting. This is a function of employees bringing plants to work.
- Larvae develop in a number of habitats—indoors and outdoors and primarily in moist organic matter.
- Breeding sites include rotting wood, animal waste, old mulch, and over-watered indoor plants.
- Fungus gnats are also commonly found within interior house plants.
- Typically, the infestation will start in a single house or office building plant, and then females will identify and take up residence in neighboring plants within the space.
Damage From Fungus Gnats:
- Although they pose no threat to humans, adults can easily become a nuisance indoors.
- Fungus gnats are highly attracted to lights such as LED lighting created by computer screens—this creates an extreme annoyance within a work environment.
- Larvae can damage plant roots, resulting in stunted plant growth.
What should I look for when dealing with fungus gnats?
- Immature stages appear as “glistening objects” within the top layer of moist soil in house plants.
- Resting adults are often found resting on plant vegetation—which often indicates and identifies breeding sites.
- Moist organic matter, especially over-watered potted plants, which can easily breed large numbers of fungus gnats.
How can I control or get rid of fungus gnat infestations?
- Allow soil to dry-out by reducing the level or frequency of watering. Larvae cannot easily develop in drier soil.
- Infested plants can be taken outside to allow the sun to dry out top-most layer of soil.
- Plants can be removed, repotted—to replace infested soil.
- A one-inch layer of sand can be added to the top-most section of plant soil to create a deterrent for larval development to reduce breeding sites.
- Use clean, pasteurized soil to pot plants and do not bring infested soil indoors.
- Pesticides are not a solution to these issues—only identification and environmental remediation as described will mitigate and reduce these pesky fungus gnats.
If you are tired of swatting at fungus gnats, call the entomologist-led professionals at Innotech Pest Management to schedule an appointment for one of our expert-trained service technicians to tailor a solution to your fungus gnat problems.