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Fungus Gnats, as their name suggests, are fond of fungus and decaying plant remnants. They are a nuisance for gardeners and owners of houseplants. They find fungus gnats flying around their plants and then, the plants bear damage like yellowing and wilting leaves.
Fungus gnats are tiny flies having long legs relative to their body. These insects are usually black, brown or yellowish. The larvae have well-developed heads, several body segments, and a ventral bottom lobe on their last abdominal segment. The dark winged fungus gnats molt several times as a larva. Other fungus gnat flies lay their eggs directly on larval food. The eggs hatch in matter of days. They pupate in the ground and the adults emerge in three to four days.
The larva feed on moist decaying organic matter. Things like rotting wood, animal waste, under bark, over-watered plants, and atriums are suitable for fungus gnats to breed. They also grow rapidly on flat-roof structures and accumulated droppings in bird cages. Presence of fungus gnats indicates over- watering in houseplants. They can feed on roots that have sat in drain water too long. Allowing the soil to dry can reduce their numbers. Their feeding stresses the plants taking them to decay. The first symptom of damage caused by Fungus Gnats is usually wilting, followed by slow decline.
How to Prevent Damage
- Clean fallen leaves and debris of trees. Fungus gnats feed on dead plant parts.
- Use pots of wheat to attract fungus gnats, then compost the soil the wheat once the female fungus gnats have laid their eggs in the pots. This technique is quite effective in greenhouses.
- Use yellow sticky traps near the infested plant to trap adult fungus gnats.
- Call professionals if things go beyond your control.
We emphasize on using green methods to exterminate Fungus Gnats that are both very effective as well as environment friendly.
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