Fighting Summer Fungus Gnat Problems In Houston

June 04, 2019

a fungus gnat feasting on a houston texas plant outside of a home during mid summer

Nothing ruins a pleasant summer day faster than pesky, annoying flies buzzing around your head. Typical house flies can be hassle enough, but fungus gnats are a serious concern for anyone with gardens or flower beds on their property. Indoors they’ll damage any plants or seedlings around the home while causing outdoor plants to wilt and rot. 

The primary source of damage from fungus gnats comes not from the adult flies themselves but rather from their larvae. When they find a suitable breeding area, female adult fungus gnats will lay hundreds of eggs which will hatch into larvae and begin feeding on plant material nearby to survive—leading to severe root damage and plant death. Common plant targets for fungus gnats include geraniums, African violets, carnations, and poinsettias, among others.

Fungus gnats are closer in appearance to mosquitoes than to other types of flies, identifiable by their long legs and the distinctive Y-pattern found on their wings. Though fungus gnats are not considered dangerous to humans, they are nevertheless a significant concern for many Houston homeowners. 

 

Below are some tips to keep your home free of fungus gnats this summer:

  • Check outdoor plants for signs of rotting, wilting, or fungus gnat presence before bringing them indoors.

  • Inspect plants before purchasing them for signs of rotting or wilting caused by fungus gnats. Look for their glossy, transparent larvae in the soil near the base of the plant.

  • Do not overwater plants or leave pools of standing water in the yard that could attract gnats.

  • Avoid potting materials such as peat moss that can withhold water and become a target for gnats to lay eggs.

  • When watering plants, allow the soil to dry to a depth of 1-2 inches before re-watering. This can both kill larvae that are present while simultaneously making the plant less appealing to future fungus gnats.

  • Turn off exterior lights near doors and windows when not in use.

  • Fix any moisture problems present throughout the home, especially damp wood or drywall.

  • Do not leave out food and keep fruit in sealed containers and refrigerated if possible.

  • Ensure that gutters are flowing properly and that gutter water does not begin pooling around plants around the exterior of your home.

  • Keep piles of wood debris well away from the exterior of your house and any plants in the area.

  • Caulk gaps in the walls and around windows and doors. 

  • Keep exterior windows and doors closed when not in use and install door and window screens to keep gnats from flying inside.

 

You should also be on the lookout for telltale signs of fungus gnat infestations. If you’ve been giving your plants plenty of water, but they still seem to be wilting and dying for no apparent reason, it could be an indication that fungus gnats have found their way inside and left harmful larvae.

Fungus gnat damage is most common in greenhouses, nurseries, and sod farms, but it can happen to any household plant if you aren’t careful. If you’re worried about the safety of your Houston’ homes greenery, don’t wait—call Modern Pest Control for a thorough inspection and treatment of any pest problems you could be facing.

When you contact Modern for fungus gnat control for your Houston home, a licensed pest control technician will inspect your property, determine what conditions are attracting them and then develop a plan of action that results in a fungus gnat-free home or business! Visit our residential pest control page to learn more about getting rid of gnats or contact us for more information.

Tags: home pest control in tx  |  fungus gnats in houston

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