A green circle trap covered in fungus gnats

9 Secrets About Plant Bugs That’ll Make You Scream!

If you’re tired of flying pests wreaking havoc on your beloved indoor plants, and you’re ready to protect your leafy friends from the clutches of bug destruction…

Look no further!

In this article, we're going to explore the world of plant pests, focusing on the notorious and irritating creatures known as Fungus Gnats.

We'll address common questions, debunk myths, and provide you with effective solutions to eradicate these pests once and for all. By the end of this read, you'll have the knowledge and tools to ensure your plants thrive, even if you're a beginner.
A ubloomd green sticky trap cover in fungus gnatsWhat are Fungus Gnats?
Picture this: tiny black flying insects hovering around your indoor plants and flying into your face/space, seemingly out of nowhere. These are fungus gnats, small flying insects that belong to the Sciaridae family. They are often attracted to damp environments, making potted plants and their surrounding soil an ideal breeding ground. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in the moist soil, and their larvae feed on organic matter and plant roots, leading to potential damage if left unchecked.

Are Gnats and Midges the Same?
Gnats and midges are often mistaken for each other due to their similar appearance, but they are distinctly different creatures. While they share some characteristics, such as their small size and flying abilities, they belong to different families. Gnats, as mentioned earlier, belong to the Sciaridae family, while midges are part of the Chironomidae family. Despite their differences, both can pose problems for your plants if not properly controlled.

Can Gnats Bite?
Gnats are more of a nuisance than a direct threat to humans or pets. While they may occasionally land on your skin, their bites are generally harmless and rarely cause significant discomfort. However, their presence can be irritating, especially when they swarm around your face or infiltrate your living space.

Will Gnats Kill My Plants?
Fortunately, adult fungus gnats themselves do not pose a direct threat to the health of mature, established plants. However, their larvae can cause damage by feeding on plant roots and organic matter. In severe cases or for young and vulnerable plants, this can lead to stunted growth and reduce overall plant strength. It's essential to identify and eliminate these pests before they cause irreversible harm to your beloved green companions.

How Do Gnats Reproduce? Do They Lay Eggs?
To understand how to combat gnats effectively, it's crucial to grasp their reproductive cycle. Adult female gnats lay their eggs in moist soil, where the larvae hatch and develop. These larvae feed on organic matter to grow. They feed on decaying plant matter like bark and dead leaves, and they especially love plants' hair roots (fine baby roots). To break this reproductive cycle, you need to eliminate the flying adult gnats and their root-eating larvae to protect your plants from further harm.

How Do Gnats Get in Your House?
You might be wondering how these bothersome insects find their way into your home in the first place. Gnats are often present in outdoor environments, such as gardens or nurseries, where they can hitch a ride on your clothing, or find their way through open doors and windows. Once inside, they are naturally drawn to the moist soil of your potted plants, where they lay their eggs and begin their life cycle. You could also be bringing these insects in with a new plant that you purchased at a plant nursery. We suggest quarantining any new plants before adding them to your existing collection. 

Can Gnats See in the Dark?
Contrary to popular belief, gnats are not particularly adept at navigating in the dark. They rely primarily on their other senses, such as their keen sense of smell, to locate damp areas and potential breeding grounds. This is why if you have your phone on in a dark room or a reading light over your book, the adult gnats will be attracted to this light as they can not see much else. So, while you may be concerned that these pests will fly in your mouth, land on your skin or buzz around your plants at night, their vision is not their strongest suit, so you do not need to fear.

Will Gnats Leave on Their Own?
Gnats can be persistent pests, and it's unlikely that they will leave your plants on their own accord. The longer you ignore their presence, the more their numbers will grow, leading to potential harm to your plants. Taking proactive measures to eliminate these pests is crucial to safeguarding your indoor garden (and your mental health).

What Kills Gnats Without Killing Plants?
Now, the moment you've been waiting for—the solution! When it comes to eradicating fungus gnats without harming your precious plants, there are several effective methods. One natural approach is to add a thick layer of sand or diatomaceous earth on top of your plant's soil to prevent the gnats from burrowing down and laying their eggs. Additionally, sticky traps will reduce the overall number of gnats significantly. Yellow sticky traps attract the flying adults by sight (but as previously mentioned, their vision is not their strongest suit), whereas uBloomd’s Green Sticky Traps attract adult gnats by scent, reducing their population in a more rapid manner.

Proper watering practices, such as allowing the soil to dry out between waterings, can also discourage gnats from laying their eggs. By combining these methods and maintaining a vigilant approach, you can bid farewell to these persistent pests without putting your plants at risk.

You are now armed with the knowledge to combat fungus gnats and protect your plants from their destructive clutches. Remember, prevention is critical—maintain good watering practices, keep an eye on your plants' soil moisture, and have traps in your plants to help identify the first signs of a gnat infestation.

By implementing the solutions provided in this article, you can ensure that your indoor garden thrives, even if you're a beginner.

Say goodbye to plant pests forever and hello to a flourishing indoor jungle!